Independent Inspection of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service
7.1 As stated in the foreword to this report, the NIFRS provides an invaluable service to the communities it protects. The people who work for the Service display a genuine passion for their individual roles, and a collective pride in the organisation they represent. Whilst we have made a number of recommendations and identified areas for improvement within this report, the challenges identified are in no way insurmountable. With sound leadership, political support, and financial investment, each of the issues highlighted can be fully addressed.
7.2 In commissioning this inspection the DoH and the Board of the NIFRS have taken a positive step on the journey of continuous improvement. We trust this report will assist the Service to move forward in a positive manner. We look forward to following this journey and remain committed to providing support and advice where appropriate to do so.
7.3 We firmly believe that there is value in formal and routine inspection of large organisations by an independent and sector competent body. We would urge the DoH to explore options available to ensure appropriate independent scrutiny continues beyond this inspection process.
The DoH should establish arrangements for the ongoing scrutiny and inspection of the NIFRS by an appropriate, fully independent and operationally competent body.