Agenda item

Service Delivery Plan 2021-22 April to December Update

To consider Report CFO/009/22 providing an update on the Service Delivery Plan 2021-22 from April to December.


Phil Garrigan, Chief Fire Officer, presented the Service Delivery Plan update for April to December and the HMICFRS Improvement Plan for the Committees approval.


It was explained that the Service Delivery Pan formed part of the Integrated Risk Management Plan and provided Members with a reflection on implementation across each area through performance indicators.


Concerning the performance of the service from April to December, the Chief noted that the total number of incidents was amber, rising from 12878 to 14051. The increase in incidents was partly attributed to a rise in special service incidents such as Covid support and therefore was more of a reflection of MFRS’ multi agency work and it’s role during the pandemic.


A reduction in the number of accidental dwelling fires was highlighted with an acknowledgement that this signified a year on year reduction, spanning the last five years. The Chief commended the outstanding preventative work that had been undertaken to secure this continued reduction. Members were advised that the number of injuries and fatalities had also decreased during this period. 


With regards to the per cent of shifts lost to sickness absence, it was explained that Covid absence affected the figures and that if those instances were removed, absence performance would be below the set target of 4% (around 3.38%).


Councillor Wood noted that projections for infection rates in Wirral showed 1 in 20 residents currently had Covid and so queried if the service expected any fluctuations in transmission rates that could necessitate altering the plans outlined in the report. The Chief confirmed that when transmissions increased that was often reflected in the workplace but that effect was usually lessened at MFRS due to the precautions in place. The change in government guidance was expected to have a significant impact on transmission rates and it was explained that nationally Covid sickness was around 2%. It was explained that in MFRS if that figure rose to above 5% then there would be a review of the arrangements in place and the Chief was confident in that approach.


In relation to testing and access to tests, Councillor Wood asked if MFRS had a resource available for the public or its staff. Residents were currently being directed to their local authorities to arrange testing and the Authority had a supply of test kits through the Occupational Health team for its staff. The requirement to test had reduced and it was suspected this was affecting the accuracy of actual infection rates as asymptomatic cases would go unnoticed.


Councillor Connor noted the overall good performance of the Authority during the period and commended the work of the prevention team in reducing incidents as depicted in the performance figures. Councillor Connor had recently observed the prevention team on a local campaign after a fatality in the area, and the Chief extended an invite to any other Members who wished to join operational crews for a first-hand experience of how the crews operate and access communities.


The Chair of the Committee commended the service on its outstanding outcome in the HMICFRS inspection and its robust approach to tackling the areas that required improvement. It was asked if there were any areas that the service needed to focus on to improve performance.


The Chief explained that as a result of the inspection, Mo Yogi from the NHS and Asian Fire Service Network had been seconded to the Authority and was currently working on strengthening the Authority’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. The Chief expressed his confidence in the skills and strengths that this would bring into the service in terms of embedding and supporting the approach to equality.


A change in how Station Managers operate was also highlighted to Members, as the role would now encompass functional responsibilities alongside their station-based work. This change would be implemented on the 1st April and would seek to create stronger relationships between crews and the communities that they serve. The Chief explained that the new approach would help to ‘round’ the Station Managers, providing them with knowledge on station response, developing people, organisational response and functional knowledge to be better on the ground, thus improving that middle manager group‘s effectiveness.




a)        the attached Service Delivery Plan reports (Appendices A-C) be approved for publication on the website; and


b)         the HMICFRS Improvement Plan at Appendix D be approved.


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