Fire service's fast response times, knowledge of its communities and passionate people praised in report

Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chris Lowther.Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chris Lowther.
Chief Fire Officer of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chris Lowther.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has been graded good in its latest check by inspectors.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has published its inspection report on Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) on Thursday, June 20. 

In its summary the HMICFRS stated: “Overall we commend TWFRS for its performance.

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“This provides a good foundation for improvement in the year ahead.”

HMICFRS graded the service as good in its effectiveness, which looks at its emergency response and services it provides to the public, efficiency, including its finance management and people in terms of its culture, training and how it treats its people.

HMICFRS highlighted the service for:

*Responding to fires, noting it has one of the fastest response times in the country

*Knowing its communities, finding it has a good understanding of our local and community risk

*Protecting the public through fire regulation

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*Providing an efficient service and making good use of its resources

*Responding to national risks

*Having passionate staff who are proud to serve their community.

Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther, said he was pleased with the grading and added: “The fact that the service has been independently recognised as a good service is a testament to the professionalism and commitment of everyone who works for us.

“I believe this grading is a fair reflection of our service and has only been possible because of the teamwork that is evident across our organisation.”

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He acknowledged there are areas for further attention, with efforts already under way to work on those.

Mr Lowther added: “Our best assets are our people.

“I am very proud of the work they do every day to protect lives and ensure we deliver a professional and effective organisation.”

Tony Taylor, Tyne and Wear Fire Authority’s chairmain, added: “Those of us who are close to the service know it continues to deliver a good – if not great – service to our communities despite disproportionate cuts to our budget of £25 million since 2010.

“We can only imagine how much better these grades would have been if we had benefited from a fairer funding formula.”