Hartlepool's fire brigade hits all priorities despite covid challenges, say chiefs

Cleveland Fire Brigade has managed to hit its planned priorities for the year, along with managing Covid-19 challenges, according to officers.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:06 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:06 pm
Cleveland Fire Brigade HQ

Cleveland Fire Authority looked at how the brigade managed against its targets within its Community Integrated Risk Management Plan in 2020/2021 at the latest meeting of the executive committee.

Ian Hayton, brigade chief fire officer, said despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic they have managed to deliver on the priorities included as part of the fire authority’s service plan for 2020/21.

Alongside this, they have also fulfilled all the additional requirements which have been brought upon them due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Mr Hayton said: “Covid became the priority in relation to the protection of the community and saving lives, and therefore you would probably expect that our attention and our efforts were deviated away from what would be our core business and our core improvements, to Covid.

“However we’ve also delivered on all of the priorities that we said we would.”

These priorities include starting work on the next safety plan for the brigade, which is scheduled to go to public consultation later this year, and strengthening governance arrangements and collaborative working.

Other priorities include taking steps to tackle climate change within the brigade and ensuring the brigade increases its diversity, with new firefighters to be recruited in the coming months.

Mr Hayton added: “We’ve seen that we’re looking very much at climate change, very much on the agenda, very much part of the vision that this authority is environmentally friendly and we get as green as possible, so that work on the climate change is progressing.

“Our approach to diversity and inclusion, that has not stopped, we are running and will be running a complete new course intake in July and therefore we are in the throws of that recruitment process.”

He also noted that the fire authority was marking International Women’s Day by holding an event celebrating achievements of staff and looking towards accelerating gender equality.

This involved staff members running a seminar and ‘myth-busting’ about careers for women.

The fire brigade also had three tests it set itself for its arrangements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which it met, according to fire brigade chiefs.

These included delivering the statutory responsibilities of the authority, supporting the wider Covid-19 efforts and looking after the health, safety and wellbeing of staff.

Mr Hayton added: “Those were the Covid intentions and we have done those to nth degree, so if this was an exam I would give ourselves, marking my own homework, a pass in each of those areas.”

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