HMICFRS Fire Service Inspections
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service: Causes of concern – progress letter
During March and May 2022, we inspected North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS). During our inspection, we identified two causes of concern:
- The service doesn’t have in place robust processes to ensure transformation activities provide efficiency and effectiveness.
- The service doesn’t have in place adequate workforce planning processes. This means that areas such as safety-critical training, succession planning, absence and work-time management don’t support its current and future integrated risk management plan.
In January 2023, we carried out a revisit to review progress against the recommendations to address both causes of concern.
On 30 January 2023, North Yorkshire FRS submitted an action plan setting out how it would address the areas of concern and our recommendations. We reviewed the action plan, and in our letter of 19 April 2023, we acknowledged the progress the service was making.
Between 4 and 7 September 2023, we visited again to further review progress.
This letter summarises our findings.
Read the letter online
Commissioner Zoë thanks Chief Fire Officer and his team for significant progress against His Majesty’s action plan
- Read the press release: Commissioner Zoë thanks Chief Fire Officer and his team for significant progress against His Majesty’s action plan
Fire & Rescue Service – 2021/22 -Effectiveness, efficiency and people
This is HMICFRS’s third assessment of fire and rescue services. This assessment examines the service’s effectiveness, efficiency and how well it looks after its people. It is designed to give the public information about how their local fire and rescue service is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable with other services across England.
- The extent to which the service is effective at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks requires improvement.
- The extent to which the service is efficient at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is inadequate.
- The extent to which the service looks after its people is inadequate.
Reports and Response
- Read the full report on the HMICFRS website – North Yorkshire 2021/22
- Media release & Invitation to public meeting: Commissioner Zoë responds to HMICFRS’s latest report on North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Commissioner Zoe Metcalfe’s response to HMICFRS – Inspection of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service 2021/2022
COVID-19 inspection: North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
In summary, the service adapted and responded to the pandemic effectively. It used its on-call and wholetime firefighters to respond to emergencies. It involved all staff groups in providing additional activities to the communities of North Yorkshire during the first phase of the pandemic. Firefighters were trained and on standby to drive ambulances, and gave fire safety advice and fire cover to support to the establishment of a Nightingale hospital. Staff also delivered essential items to vulnerable members of the community, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies to NHS/care facilities.
A notable achievement is the support the service gave to the county council’s shielding programme. The service made approximately 6,000 telephone calls to the county’s known vulnerable people, to find out their needs and check how they were. The service also offered fire safety advice during these calls.
Staff are empowered to be creative and innovative, and have provided local solutions to support communities. For example, staff made use of station video conferencing technology to talk to and work with fire cadets.
The service carried out a live national webcast event to tell businesses and communities how to reduce their risk of fire and other emergencies, and increase their resilience to COVID-19. It also participated in a fortnightly public update live stream. The North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner (PFCC) led this update, giving advice and informing the public what was being done in response to COVID-19.
Inspection Action Plan 2020
The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) welcomes the report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and the areas for improvement raised for NYFRS.
Lots of work has been done since the inspection however, our mission ‘helping you to feel safe and be safe in North Yorkshire’ is what we are dedicating all our efforts to achieve, alongside success against our areas for improvement. On the 1st April 2020, a new Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) was formed, including ‘enable North Yorkshire’. This is a unique collaboration to bring together the business support functions for North Yorkshire Police and NYFRS.
We’ve considered every element of the inspection and subsequent reports in responding to the HMICFRS Inspection reports. Our Action Plan focuses on the ‘Areas for Improvement, giving our analysis, thoughts and reflection on each area and what we are doing about the issues raised.
On the inspection areas where we have scored ‘good’, we’ll not stand still. We’ll continue to seek improvement and understand how we may achieve outstanding in the future. This is part of our commitment to deliver continuous improvement through the PFCCs Fire and Rescue Plan, our CFOs strategic view – Ambition 2025 and our new Risk and Resourcing Model (RRM).
Our approach to the inspection is open, honest and transparent. The report covers numerous areas under the headings of Effectiveness, Efficiency and People. We’ve explored the comments and identified what we need to do to improve and where required, a gap analysis will inform our future success against the areas for improvement.
This work won’t be done in isolation. We’ll work with other services, stakeholders and partners to benchmark, learn and develop our plans to ensure we demonstrate the causal effect of our work on public safety and resilience. We’ll use our service delivery and enabling tools, whilst having the freedom and flexibility to tailor our service, to the public’s needs.
We’ll continue to work with HMICFRS to better understand their comments and evidence, as we firmly believe that a richer understanding of the rationale will help us develop a better outcome for the public.
We wholeheartedly recognise that our colleagues are our most important asset. Their input will form an essential part of our progress.
Read the action plan
Fire & Rescue Service – Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2018/19
This is HMICFRS’s first annual assessment of fire and rescue services. This assessment examines the service’s effectiveness, efficiency and how well it looks after its people. It is designed to give the public information about how their local fire and rescue service is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable with other services across England.
- The extent to which the service is effective at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks – good.
- The extent to which the service is efficient at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks – requires improvement.
- The extent to which the service looks after its people – requires improvement.
We are satisfied with some aspects of the performance of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. But there are some areas where the service needs to make improvements.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at providing an effective service to the public. It is good at:
- protecting the public through fire regulation;
- responding to fires and other emergencies; and
- responding to national risks.
But its understanding of the risk of fire and other emergencies requires improvement. And the service requires improvement to the way it prevents fires and other risks.
The service’s efficiency requires improvement. Specifically, it requires improvement to how it uses resources and to the way it makes its services affordable.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people. It is good at:
- promoting the right values and culture; and
- getting the right people with the right skills.
But it requires improvement to how it:
- manages performance and develops leaders; and
- ensures fairness and promotes diversity.
Overall, we would like to see improvements in the year ahead.