Cleveland Fire Brigade hailed as ‘head and shoulders above the rest of the country’ despite cuts
Fire brigade staff in Cleveland have been hailed as ‘head and shoulders above the rest of the country’ after the organisation drew up its yearly plan.
Earlier this year Cleveland Fire Authority published its service plan for 2020/21, identifying planned improvements and priorities for the year ahead.
A report on the plan to the authority’s executive committee noted priorities include continuing work as part of the Community Integrated Management Plan for 2018-2022.
It also includes addressing any areas for development following the recent inspection from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, which ranked Cleveland Fire Brigade as ‘good’ in all three key areas of inspection.
Cllr Luke Forst, Stockton-on-Tees representative on the committee, noted the plan highlights the positive work which continues to be carried out by the fire authority, despite cuts in resources in recent years.
This includes how response times to primary fire incidents are the fastest in the country, and how a higher rate of safer homes inspections and business premises fire audits are carried out than any other fire and rescue service.
Cllr Frost said: “There are a few things I would like to highlight in the plan that to me is great and shows others why we are a fantastic service.
“Despite a reduction in the authority’s cash budget of £3million, which is the equivalent of 10% cash reduction, over the last seven years, we are still head and shoulders above the rest of the country.”
He also added how plans looking at tacking the authority’s carbon footprint and to bring in a ‘town management scheme’ are both positive.
Cllr Frost said: “We’re focusing on developing our arrangements to reduce our carbon emissions and to tackle the impact of climate change, we’re bucking the trend and I look forward to reading the climate change strategy.
“One of the biggest highlights for me is the plan to establish a town management scheme. The slogan or indeed the badge of, one vision, one team leading the future, is sheer brilliance.”
Cleveland Fire Authority officers noted their plans for the year have also been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic however, which has become a priority for the brigade.