Inspection of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: East Service Delivery Area
Appendix A: Staff Survey Outcomes
To support the SDA Inspection and enable wider engagement, we invited all staff in the ESDA to participate in an online survey.
Questions were centred to support the key themes of our inspection. The outcome is demonstrated within this appendix.
Level of engagement
As of 31 March 2022, 1,427 service delivery personnel were based in the East of Scotland. The survey returns received amount to 23% of this staff total.
During our fieldwork we engaged face to face with approximately 22% of ESDA staff.
"Too many shifting priorities that are poorly communicated and unclear."
"I'm aware of my responsibilities within my role but feel that it lacks strategic direction."
"Objectives are clear from Strategic Plan - Local LSO Plan - Station Plan – Appraisals."
"The station I am based at has a large amount of scaffolding internally to support the roof: property defects are actioned quickly but the condition of the roof is worrying."
"The station has been recently rewired and painted which was welcome. However, the internet capability and availability of PCs requires improvement. The amount of work/training which has to be carried out on PCs means that everyone can require to use one at the same time."
"The premises that I work in are suitable for the job, but it would be good to have up-to-date facilities and better IT facilities."
"Not sufficient number of radios (every crew member should have one). Every CABA team should have a TIC when entering a fire."
"Some equipment is good. Some bad. There needs to be more real consultation with the people using the equipment before purchasing. Some of the equipment we were using 15 years ago is better than what we are using now."
"In general, the quality and functionality of our equipment is good. I'm aware of technological advances that would enhance safety and response, however, budgetary constraints prevent progress."
"Totally feel undervalued which has an impact on morale. Staff shortages mean that the workforce is at a low ebb, which devalues individuals' sense of appreciation, which can have an impact on mental health."
"I think the management team understand the issues staff are experiencing just now in the aftermath of the pandemic, but I don't think these issues are at the forefront of their minds."
"My managers are very supportive of our team and frequently check in with us regarding health issues as well as ensuring no-one is struggling with workloads."
"Severe lack of practical training with a strong emphasis on online and e-learning which can feel pointless at times in a practical work/hands-on role. Any organised training events seem to be cancelled at the last minute due to staff shortages or individuals sent detached duties to another fire station therefore organised training can be missed."
"Covid has had a big impact on the amount of training over the last few years with an increase in skill decay. Hopefully moving forward this can be addressed but again staff shortage and sickness is having a big impact on training being carried out."
"I was offered and took part in various courses prior to moving into my current role, I have taken part in courses to further my development since being in role and opportunity is given regularly to further my personal development, not only by going on courses but also with opportunities presented to me within the role to widen my knowledge and understanding."
"A more formal approach to preparing for the next role would be beneficial. This could be introduced in a career pathway and aligned to recognised qualifications. This process would identify and prepare the most appropriate candidates for the next role."
"Not enough courses are run to supply demand. I believe strongly that we need development pathways for all roles. That way, when you are promoted, you already have the qualifications for the post, allowing you to settle into the job and not have to go on numerous courses, causing your job lists to build up causing anxiety and stress."
"As long as you are proactive then there are plenty opportunities for self-development."
"If the SFRS really cared about my H&S they would not have me working in a station that is literally falling down and I would have regular and updated refresher training on risk critical aspects of my job and I would have suitable PPE and equipment to do all aspects my job."
"Health and safety is catered for and we do have a great safety culture, however points raised regarding understaffing, lack of training courses and appliances constantly off the run have a negative impact on morale and FF safety."
"Yes, there are a range of policies/procedures and guidance along with support available from Health and Wellbeing, POD and support services (FF Charity etc.) to ensure my H&S and wellbeing."