HMICFRS report Avon Fire & Rescue Service as ‘making good progress’

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have today published a letter, recognising the progress made by Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS), since their recent inspection last year.

The letter comes following a revisit of the Service, after the inspection identified two accelerated causes of concern, one relating to the Service mobilising system and the other regarding the Service’s site-specific risk information. It reads:

“…We are pleased to see that the service has started to make good progress in relation to both accelerated causes of concern. We recognise that the service has invested time and resources to develop its action plan and has established appropriate and clear governance arrangements, which are being further strengthened following the publication of our full report…”

You can read the full letter here.

The Service was inspected by HMICFRS in May 2023 for seven weeks and following inspection were required to develop action plans to address each of the two causes of concern and the recommendations made by the Inspectorate.

AF&RS Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton said: “Staff have worked hard in response to the recent findings of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service inspection of the Service.

“I welcome the acknowledgement of these efforts in the Inspectorate’s revisit letter, and I am pleased they have recognised the plans made to address their findings, the work that’s been undertaken and the progress we have made so far.

“We still have work to do but I am determined that as a Service we will make the continued improvements that we have set out to achieve and build upon what we have already put into place.

“Furthermore, I hope these findings offer further assurances to our local communities that we are continuing to work hard to provide an efficient, effective and value for money fire and rescue service that the public have come to expect.”

Chair of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Brenda Massey, said: “On behalf of the Fire Authority, I am pleased to see the commendable and swift actions made by the Service have been recognised by the Inspectorate.

"Although work remains to be done, I have confidence that the Service will persist in making the necessary improvements to ensure pace of positive change; we will work together to ensure the necessary improvements and progress are made and reported on.

“I trust these findings provide reassurance to local communities, affirming the Services commitment to local people.”

Following the publication of this letter to outline the HMICFRS’ findings since their inspection, they will visit the Service again at a date yet to be agreed and will continue to work with AF&RS against the recommendations made.

As part of the monitoring process, the Chief Fire Officer will report back on Service improvements to the Fire Performance Oversight Group (FPOG), made up of representatives from HMICFRS, the Home Office, Local Government Association and the National Fire Chiefs Council.

The action plan for the Service and implementation against this, in response to the HMICFRS inspection report can be found on the Service’s website – www.avonfire.gov.uk.