West Yorkshire fire service ‘good but needs to improve’ say inspectors

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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service needs to make improvements to “provide a consistently good service”, a new report has said.

A report, released today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, said the performance of the force to keep people safe from fires was good, adding that improvements had been made since an inspection in 2018.

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But it added that, under the areas of “preventing fires and other risks”, and “protecting the public through fire regulation”, improvements should be made.

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WYFRS could do with some improvements, says service inspectorate.WYFRS could do with some improvements, says service inspectorate.
WYFRS could do with some improvements, says service inspectorate.

Writing in his report, HM inspector of fire and rescue services Roy Wilsher said: “I am pleased with the performance of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks, although it needs to improve in some areas to provide a consistently good service.

"For example, the service’s prevention teams could work better together, and the quality and timeliness of safe and well visits could be improved.

“The service has an effective integrated risk management model in place. But the approach to preventing risk and protecting the public is often to respond to a report or referral. The service should consider how it can take a more balanced and proactive approach to dealing with its risks.”

It added the service was taking “good steps” to improve recruitment diversity, investing in a “positive action officer” and making sure under-represented groups “can better identify with the service”.

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Mr Wilsher added: “Overall, the service has developed a good understanding of its future financial challenges. It has also identified savings and investment opportunities to improve the service to the public or generate further savings.

“The service has made good progress in most areas since our last inspection. We look forward to seeing the results of further improvements at our next inspection.”

According to statistics published in the report, West Yorkshire has a slightly higher demand for fire services than the rest of the UK as a whole, but home fire safety checks per 1,000 population were only just over half that of the national average.

The cost per person per year of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is £21.42 – £2.31 lower than the national average.