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Public accountability meeting – 29 October 2019

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Meeting overview

This month’s meeting focuses on:

Fire – On-call firefighters
Police – Domestic abuse

Ask a question

The full procedure for asking questions at this meeting is available here: Procedure for public questions

  • To ask a question in advance 
    Send your question to info@northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk before midday on Friday 25 October, please include your name and address with your question.
  • To ask a question during the meeting using Twitter
    To ask a question during the live broadcast, post your question on Twitter using #NYscrutiny

Public questions

Questions received before the meeting

Gwen Swinburn@GSwinburn
HR overview. Very useful report, but on staff overview it’s unclear- chief Constable staff has gone down from 880 in April to 815 now, against a budget target of 920. What is happening and how much budget is saved so far, what happens to that?#nyscrutiny Re people update. Can there be an occasional report on departures that includes- 1. Retirement 2. Early retirement (& essentially pension strain costs) 3. Transfers 4. Dismissal 5. Resignations being clarified. 6. Report on all employment tribunal cases & results

“Thank you Gwen for the question.  Firstly, to reassure you, these are all issues we look at on a regular basis regardless of whether the are part of the PAM agenda or not, but we will look to see if we can bring an update on these matters to PAM at some point.  There are some challenges around GDPR and protecting personal information, because there are often very few people included in these processes, making the chances of identifying them much greater.  These aren’t insurmountable but do require some thought, care and attention.” Will Naylor, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner



Questions received during the meeting

From david smith@david201712

#NYscrutiny . 1/2 Why is it that your Middle Managers have gone to those stations highlighted in yellow on the chart and bullied the crews to have the TRVS when there is no policy in place for riding Fire appliances with 3 Crew.

The Service has introduced these proposals at the four stations to the crews in an informative and open manner, inviting feedback and continuing discussions where issues have been raised. The Service categorically refutes the allegation of bullying. This is an organisational procedure to ensure that we are able to deliver the best possible service to our communities. These new fire engines represent an opportunity to increase availability to a range of incidents where otherwise there would be no local response, and to replace old appliances with new, modern equipment that can effectively respond to incidents. These appliances will be crewed with four or five crew whenever possible and will be able to respond effectively to the full range of incidents. They will also be able to respond effectively and safely to a limited range of incidents in their own right or in support when only three crew are available which is not currently possible. There is a Standard Operating Procedure in place for riding with three crew which is currently under full review in the run up to the new fire engines being put on station.

#NYscrutiny 2/3 Stations such as Masham will then not be used for standby moves. If they are then requested for a chimney fire, Incident Commanders will then have to ‘make up’ for a standard ‘type b’ appliance which could be 20-25 mins away.

The new fire engines will be planned to be crewed with four or five whenever possible, depending on availability and will be deployed to the full range of incident types. It is not the intention that they will only be crewed with three, but if only three are available then they will still be able to attend a range of incidents. Currently if only three are available the Masham fire engine would not be deployed, whereas the new engine could be deployed to some incidents in its own right and in support of some other incidents. If it was requested for a chimney fire and four or five crew were available it would be able to respond in its own right and it would also be deployed if only three are available along with an additional supporting appliance.

#NYscrutiny 3/3 The TRV project has been a disaster from the start to which management should of been held accountable from the start.

TRVs were introduced under the previous Fire and Rescue Authority and under previous management. Since transfer of governance a new management team has come in. Extensive steps have been undertaken to understand the issues with the appliances and rigorous testing has been undertaken to ensure the vehicles are safe, and they have passed on all counts. Previously the appliances were brought in with the view to reducing crews, but this is not the case this time. It is the Service’s intention that these appliances will be planned to be crewed as Light Rescue Pumps with four or five crew whenever possible, with the option of being deployed as Tactical Response Vehicles to a more limited range of incidents should only three crew be available, improving the service to the local community. This is a very different approach and is being managed in a very different way, taking feedback from and working with local crews to ensure they can be integrated successfully.

The oncall availability for APR 18- MAR 2019, shows that the availability for the whole year shows that Colburn with a 39.4%. The management have targeted Masham which the haven’t took into account that two firefighters are operational.

The reason for low availability in Colburn is different to that in Masham. Colburn actually has a higher number of crew available throughout the day after seeing high recruitment levels in the last 18 months. However, these new firefighters have not progressed to supervisory level yet and Colburn often do not have a qualified supervisory manager on call so that they can be available to respond. This is currently being solved in a different way, at which point Colburn’s availability will improve markedly. Introducing one of the new fire engines at Colburn would not make any difference to this issue.

#NYscrutiny Silver command are picking and choosing which stations to cover through the OSR, but not informing station crews if they are back on the run

OSR deployment is managed by the Central Administration Office who monitor crewing forecasts and mobilise OSR on a pre-planned basis to maintain good fire cover across the county. This is reviewed regularly and on the day at the change of shifts and changes made as required dependent on actual numbers. The primary aim is to ensure that cover is maintained across the county in the best possible way based on fire cover modelling, and it is certainly not a case of simply picking and choosing. A system is in place to inform crews by text when OSR deployments are being made. The Service is also looking at new ways to manage on-call availability through technology and mobile phone apps allowing immediate notification regarding appliance availability status.

#NYscrutiny Putting the TRVs into RDS stations is unacceptable and a lack of respect for the communities. I certaininly don’t want my local retained station to have an inadequate appliance turning up to any incident. Get rid of the TRVs they are a waste

The reintroduction of these new fire engines actually represents an improvement in service to the local community. They are in no way inadequate and represent newer, modern, more technologically advanced fire engines than the fire engines currently at these fire stations, some of which are up to 16 years old. When crewed with four or five, as is the intention, they can respond effectively to the full range of incidents. Additionally they provide the flexibility to also respond effectively and safely to a more limited range of incidents when only three crew are available as they have technology and equipment specifically designed to enable this, which the current appliances do not have.

Watch the response


No. Time Item Purpose Lead
1 13:30 Attendance and apologies To note attendance and apologies: Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner
2 13:32 Minutes of previous meeting & Actions To discuss and agree the draft minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 September 2019 and to discuss the action log. All
3 13:35 Questions from the public To address questions raised by the public in advance in relation to the agenda. Police Fire & Crime Commissioner
4a NYFRS Thematic – On-call firefighters: On-call firefighters
4b 13:40 NYP Thematic – Domestic abuse: Domestic abuse
5 15:00 Performance / Outcome Updates
5b Performance update – Police North Yorkshire police
5c Performance update – Fire North Yorkshire Fire and rescue Service
6 15:50 Questions on Twitter To address questions raised by the public in relation to the agenda. All
7 15:55 Any other business All
8 16:00 Date of next meeting 26 November 2019 at 13:30hrs, Alverton Court, NYP HQ

Meeting papers