Agenda and minutes

No. Item


Preliminary Matters

Members are requested to consider the identification of:


a)    Declarations of interest by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the Agenda


b)    Any additional items of business which the Chair has determined should be considered as matters of urgency; and


c)    Items of business which may require the exclusion of the press and public during consideration thereof because of the possibility of the disclosure of exempt information.



Members considered the identification of declarations of interest, any urgent additional items; and any business that may require the exclusion of the press and public.


Members Resolved that:


a)    There were no declarations of interest made by individual Members in relation to any item of business on the Agenda.


b)    There were no additional items of business declared by the Chair, to be considered as matters of urgency.


c)    There were no items of business requiring the exclusion of the press and public during consideration thereof, due to the possible disclosure of exempt information.



Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 113 KB

The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, held on 30th October 2018, are submitted for approval as a correct record and for signature by the Chair.



The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Scrutiny Committee, held on 30th October 2018, were approved as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Chair.



Verbal Update - Incident Involving Injury to Firefighter

To consider a verbal update from the Assistant Chief Fire Officer, concerning the outcome of an RTC incident at which a Firefighter was struck by a 3rd Party vehicle.


As requested at the previous meeting of the Committee on 30th October 2018, the Assistant Chief Fire Officer provided Members with a verbal update, concerning the outcome of an RTC incident at which a Firefighter was struck by a 3rd Party Vehicle.


Members were informed that the incident occurred on Longmoor Lane; and was as a result of the 3rd Party driving without due care and attention.


They were informed that the female driver was questioned by Police regarding the incident. She admitted the offence of driving with undue care and attention and was given the option of an out of court disposal consisting of attendance at a driver awareness course. She has since attended and completed the course satisfactorily.


The course is a 1 day course which the offender pays for, typically around £150 for this course, and consists of a half day of theory and a half day of practical driving with an ADI.


The alternative to this would have been a criminal prosecution where the sentence would likely be a fine and 3-9 points endorsed on the license.


Members queried whether there are additional measures that MFRA could take to prevent further incidents of a similar nature.


They were informed that our staff followed the relevant procedures; and did everything that they should have done. The individual was turning right; and drove into a coned area. Therefore, the incident occurred as a result of human error.


Members Resolved that:


The content of the verbal update, be noted.





Operational Response Presentation

To consider a presentation by the Area Manager for Operational Response.


Members were provided with a presentation by James Berry – Area Manager for Operational Response.


The presentation provided Members with a brief overview of the Operational Response Directorate, which consists of Service Delivery, Health and Safety, Operational Assurance; and Time and Resource Management.


Members were advised that the presentation would focus on Service Delivery; and would provide some background information regarding where MFRA have come from and some of the drivers for change, where we are today; and some considerations for the future.


In terms of where MFRA have come from, Members were informed that in 2005, the population of Merseyside was 1.4 million, with an increasing elderly population, high incidence of socio-economic deprivation; high levels of social exclusion and crime; and high levels of deprivation.

With regards to operational response in 2005, MFRA had 1200 Operational Firefighters, a budget of £75 million, 26 fire stations; and 42 fire appliances, in addition, there were 420 Support Staff.


Members were informed that around that time, there were a number of catalysts for change and reform of the Fire Service, including the Fire Services Act 2004, which introduced the National Framework; and the requirement to produce an Integrated Risk Management Plan. There was the ODPM White Paper – “Our Fire and Rescue Service” in 2003; and the Bain Report 2002, which built on the requirement for reform and supported the move to locally determined risk based standards, as well as addressing other requirements for change identified by the Audit Commission.

Members were advised that it was important to note that at this stage, there was no austerity.


In addition to these catalysts, there was also a drive to ensure the effective provision of resources, which resulted in aligning risk to life -not property, improving response times; and ensuring that the right resources were in the right place at the right time.


Members were informed that at this time, there were lots of ideas generated, however in hindsight, there was nothing to measure those ideas against. This resulted in resources being removed first and then the impact being evaluated; and it became clear that a different approach was required.


The presentation then showed Members a chart, which detailed the daily demand on operational resources, between 2000 and 2003; and a chart that showed the incident demand curve for 2004/2005 along with appliance availability. This clearly demonstrated that demand fluctuates throughout the day, increasing significantly between 16:00hrs and 20:00hrs, however the number of appliance immediately available, remained the same at all times.

Members were advised that this highlighted a requirement to look at things differently; and take a more scientific approach to decision making, rather than solely professional judgement.

Members were advised that MFRA then took the decision to work with a company called Process Evolution on a system called Fire Incident Response Simulator (FIRS). This system enabled resources to be removed in a “virtual” environment, to challenge decision making; and provide reassurance.


Members were also informed that at the time, there were 3  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Forward Work Plan for Operational Response Scrutiny

To consider and identify topics for scrutiny for the “Operational Response” Function, to be included within a Forward Work Plan.


Members considered items for inclusion in a forward work plan, for the Response function. 


It was agreed by Members that the 1st Rapid Review for Response Scrutiny will be based on:


“Scrutiny of the use of FIRS software in the decision making process around the conversion of Wallasey and Liverpool City Fire Stations to the Day Crewing Whole-Time Retained (DCWTR) Duty System”


The date and time of the Rapid Review is to be confirmed.


Members resolved that:


The following topics, be included on a Forward Work Plan for future Scrutiny in different areas:



1)    Monitoring of the implementation of the HALO system (Response).


2)    Scrutiny of the impact of prevention activity on operational response (CRM)


3)    Review of information provided by local authorities regarding the influx of particular populations (i.e student population) into Merseyside, particularly given the increase in high rise buildings built to accommodate such groups. (CRM)