Update on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s planning and preparedness for COVID-19
Conclusion and summary of findings
A desktop review of the original and updated documentation, data, supporting evidence and virtual interviews was undertaken with staff at all levels within the SFRS, Representative bodies and Regional Resilience Partners to provide assurance on behalf of the SG.
The original review concluded HMFSI Scotland believes there is good evidence to support the SFRS strategic planning assumption, and the necessary mitigation that will enable the Service to continue to deliver its statutory duties.
This updated report supports the continued good practice within the SFRS, ensuring statutory duties and strategic objectives are achieved.
We also believe that the SFRS should utilise our findings and the opportunities identified to further enhance and improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
Summary of the key findings
- commanders and managers are keen to maintain this agility, although are cognisant of the need to maintain proper accountability and scrutiny.
- the SFRS should ensure there is clear decision making and authority to commit resources with those representing the Service.
- the WFH arrangements need to be evaluated as it is too early to be assured of the longer term consequences of this new way of working.
- the SFRS should ensure a training needs analysis of all areas of training is undertaken, and that a plan is developed to ensure specialist skills like water rescue and rope rescue is in place to prevent long term risk to staff and communities.
- the impact of these changes should be evaluated by the SFRS to identify potential organisational benefits and risks.
- the SFRS should look at amending the UFAS arrangements to reduce levels of demand, utilising evidence to inform any decision making.
- the SFRS should use evidence and data to ensure resources are utilised in the most efficient and effective way.
- new ways of working should be thoroughly evaluated to maximise opportunities to deliver better service.
- the SFRS should ensure that the more rural parts of the country are not deprived of investment as these are areas that will assist the organisation increase performance.
- the SFRS may wish to consider future plans being designed as frameworks providing guidance on outcomes or consequence management
- these challenges need to be fully understood to ensure there is no negative impacts.
- partners and the SFRS should ensure that plans are developed to re-instate joint training without delay, when circumstances permit.
- the SFRS appear not to have been participative which may have assisted monitoring and anticipating the impact of C-19.
- the SFRS should work with partners to seek how the CAR assets can be accessed and deployed and if a national, regional of more local alignment may maximise their usage.
- the SFRS should work with partners to identify interoperability issues and work together to remove potential barriers.
Lead Officer, Simon Routh-Jones CBE, QFSM, HM Chief Inspector
Responsible Officer, Rick Taylor, HM Assistant Inspector