Agenda item

HMICFRS COVID-19 Inspection Outcomes

To consider Report CFO/007/21 of the Chief Fire Officer, concerning the outcomes of the COVID-19 inspection carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) attached as Appendix A and B to this report. Please note, the reports are no longer under embargo.



Members considered Report CFO/007/21 of the Chief Fire Officer, concerning the outcomes of the COVID-19 inspection carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) attached as Appendix A and B to this report.


Members were informed that Appendix A, was the HMICFRS Inspection report for MFRS, whilst Appendix B, was the national report for all FRS’s.


Members attention was drawn to page 17, which highlights the positive outcomes of the report for MFRS. It was highlighted that the work undertaken by MFRS, has been broad and vast in supporting our communities.

Members were advised that this work commenced in March 2020, with the repatriation of UK citizens from Wuhan, back to Arrowe Park Hospital. They were informed that this was the first time that a FRS got involved in the pandemic; and this is where the initial learning for MFRS occurred. They were advised that this commenced the journey in assisting other partners around health, but also acting under the Civil Contingencies Act.


With regards to the headlines of the report, Members were informed that MFRS were praised around the breadth of work undertaken alongside our agility to maintain our statutory functions throughout. It was noted that some of MFRS key contributions have been outside of our statutory functions, with over 300 staff across the whole organisation, stepping up and volunteering. Members were advised that this volunteering included the delivery of prescriptions to individuals who were shielding, and the delivery of food parcels to the most vulnerable, extending to health and the delivery of face fit testing for partners, enabling them to continue to do their jobs safely and effectively.


Members were informed of the support provided by MFRS around the national roll out of mass testing, particularly in the Liverpool area.

They were informed of the logistical support provided, within the whole command structure, the Local Resilience Forum structure, and a Strategic Coordinating Group, which has been assisted and supported by MFRS, particularly the DCFO.


Members were advised that 10 of our firefighters have been trained by NWAS to drive ambulances. They were informed that this may be to support future demand management planning, however given the pressures on NWAS during the period, it was thought prudent to ensure that we have staff available and trained to step up if required. It was highlighted to Members that this is part of a North West response; and that there are 42 firefighters trained to drive ambulances across the North West, if they are needed.


Members were then informed of the support provided by MFRS staff to vaccination centres, in particular, to the mass vaccination centre established in St. Helens. They were advised that there are over 200 MFRS staff facilitating, with around 140 of those being in the role of vaccinator, and others assisting with administrative roles associated with the mass roll out of vaccinations.

Members were informed that as it stands, over the past 7-day period, 70 MFRS staff have been deployed to the mass vaccination centre, and over 5000 vaccinations have been delivered, with 1246 being delivered directly by MFRS staff. It was noted that every vaccine delivered is preventing a potential devastating impact on that individual. Members were also informed of some of the communication received from staff involved, who feel thrilled and privileged to be part of that national response.


It was re-iterated to Members that there has been a really positive undertaking by MFRS and its staff, over the period, which is captured within the Inspection report, with notable practice included throughout.


It was confirmed to Members that MFRS have continued to deliver all of its statutory responsibilities throughout; and has seen all of our staff operate within Covid secure premises. They were advised that this is also captured within the report, along with how quickly we were able to adapt and move to more agile working arrangements. Members were informed that as a result, an Agile Working Policy and Flexible Working Policy have been introduced, with a Home Working Policy being introduced very shortly, which will enable some of the learning from the pandemic, to be embedded across the organisation.


Members were informed that within paragraph 14 of the report, there are a couple of areas for improvement highlighted, however these are described as being standard comments, as it is unlikely that anyone anticipated the full impact of the pandemic. They were advised however, that in light of this, and the learning points identified, Officers have sought to weave that logic and understanding into all of MFRA’s plans moving forward.


Members were assured that in comparison to reports for other FRS’s, MFRA’s is certainly one of the best; and praise was expressed to staff who have continued to work and contribute throughout the pandemic, to aid the continued smooth running of our own service, but particularly in relation to the broader contribution.


The Chair of the Authority commented that as community leaders, Members have been extremely proud of what MFRS has achieved.


Members Resolved that:


the extremely positive outcomes of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service COVID-19 inspection and the national outcomes, be noted.


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