Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s purpose is to make Lancashire safer. The ways we do that have evolved, as risks to public safety have changed.

Preventing fires from happening, protecting people and property when they do and responding quickly and competently remain core services.

However, we now serve our communities in many more situations: from weather-related emergencies to searching for vulnerable missing people, we have adapted to keep people safe in other aspects of their lives.

Our people are central to all that we achieve. They have the essential qualities to respond positively to challenges, support others and make a difference in their communities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been able to use our skills and experience to protect people in completely new ways, working alongside our partners to deliver crucial public services.

An ambition to be outstanding in all that we do drives continuous improvement across the Service, and this year our priorities are to strengthen community safety in respect of the emerging risks affecting Lancashire.

We intend to do that by continuing to build a highly skilled, resilient and agile fire and rescue service, that can adapt and respond flexibly to the needs of our communities.

Innovation and investment are at the core of our plans, with a firm focus on digital innovation to ensure we remain at the forefront of effective and efficient fire and rescue services.

We have been able to set a balanced budget for 2022-23 that allows for investment in people, equipment, training facilities and accommodation. Over 80 new firefighter recruits will join the Service during the year and we will strengthen capacity and resilience in support services, which is vital to deliver further efficiencies.

Climate change is having significant impact on homes, businesses and environments in Lancashire, and the risk of flooding and wildfires is increasing. Every firefighter in the service has a bespoke flood suit and this year, we’ll add specialist personal protection equipment for fighting wildfires to their kit.

We are also investing in new all-terrain vehicles, enhancing our capabilities for travelling over moorland and similar terrain, as we commit further to understanding and mitigating climate change emergencies in the county.

Extensive reform to fire safety and building control standards is underway to make buildings safer for occupants following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. We are transforming our fire protection services to deliver these changes expertly and support local businesses to comply with legislation and reduce the risk of fire in their premises.

This year we will seek your views in a review of emergency cover to ensure that our fire engines are situated and staffed in ways that provide the best response to risks and emergencies in Lancashire.

“We aspire to be outstanding in all that we do by being the best trained, best equipped, best accommodated and most professional fire and rescue service in the country.”

Justin Johnston, Chief Fire Officer

 

  • Valuing our people so they can focus on making Lancashire safer

    Our STRIVE values and the Core Code of Ethics guide the professional behaviours expected of all our staff to ensure our workplace is one where everyone feels valued, included and able to reach their full potential.

    We will:

    • Deliver briefings to members of staff on the Core Code of Ethics and how it, alongside our Service values, supports us in being a place where people feel valued and able to meet the needs of the different communities within Lancashire.
    • Embed the Core Code of Ethics into our corporate policy, and recruitment and promotion processes.

    Develop resilient leaders who manage the performance of their staff

    We continue to focus on developing the capability and resilience of leaders to support their staff in achieving their full potential through talent management, promotion pathways and continuous improvement.

    We will:

    • Promote coaching and mentoring opportunities whilst also developing a range of tools that can broaden the coaching and mentoring skills of those in leadership roles.
    • Deliver the Institute of Leadership and Management level 3 and 5 qualifications.
    • Strengthen performance management through objective setting, performance monitoring and accountability.
    • Embed career conversations within the appraisal process ensuring that where talent is identified, appropriate development opportunities are delivered to support future leaders.
    • Through our talent, promotion and development pathways, create opportunities for the identification and progression of talent.

    Attract and develop diverse talent

    Recruiting, training and developing firefighters who can meet the diverse needs of the residents of Lancashire and bring diversity of thought and talent into our Service remains a priority.

    We will:

    • Undertake positive action to promote the Service as an employer of choice.
    • Deliver recruitment campaigns that ensure the Service has a workforce which can meet the needs of our people strategy.
    • Develop a training plan to build knowledge, develop competence, strengthen the skills of the workforce and create an environment for flexibility and innovation.
    • Deliver a robust approach to the progression of apprentices ensuring the needs of the people strategy are met.
    • Review incident command development and assessment to ensure our incident commanders receive the most effective training.

    Deliver firefighter pension changes

    We have invested in additional resources to support implementation of the pension remedy in relation to legislative changes arising from recent legal judgments.

    We will:

    • Implement the remedy to those affected as expeditiously as possible, including transfer into the revised pension scheme with effect from 1 April 2022.
    • Provide remedies when practicable to current and historical leavers.

    Upgrade fire station facilities

    Investment in fire stations is part of our commitment to ensuring our people have the best accommodation to support their health and wellbeing, and provide a positive working environment.

    We will:

    • Complete an upgrade of facilities at Hyndburn Fire Station.
    • Continue to review and develop plans for upgrading station facilities.
  • Preventing fires and other emergencies from happening

    We believe that the best way to make Lancashire safer is to prevent fires and other emergencies from happening in the first place. Our approach recognises life’s different stages, and we focus our efforts on helping people start safe, live safe, age safe, and be safe on our roads and around water, targeting those most vulnerable.

    Reduce fires and other emergencies in Lancashire’s diverse communities

    We are focussed on refining how we target, develop, and deliver prevention activities in a manner that reflects the specific risks and needs of Lancashire’s diverse communities.

    We will

    • Introduce a water safety thematic group within the Service and lead the formation of a pan-Lancashire water safety
    • Continue our education, fire cadet and The Prince’s Trust programmes and develop further youth engagement and early intervention packages, building on our work to become an ACE aware
    • Broaden collaboration opportunities as a result of changes in legislation, including consideration of our role in the Serious Violence Duty and new forensic science standards for fire

    Improve our Home Fire Safety Check service

    Working with Lancashire’s communities and our own employee voice groups, and using the principles of equality impact assessments and data analysis throughout, we will adopt a fully person-centred approach to targeting, booking and delivering the service.

    We will:

    • Review partnership referrals to ensure that for each of Lancashire’s districts, the profile of referring partners matches the profile of
    • Improve our web and phone services for self-referrals to align with emerging national principles and
    • Develop the software we use to co-ordinate the delivery of home fire safety checks, to ensure we continue to target the highest risk

    Develop prevention services for homes equipped with assistive technology

    Telecare systems (linking devices such as pendants and fall detectors to a monitoring centre) are increasingly used to keep people safe in their own homes. Many include smoke alarms and help to protect some of Lancashire’s most vulnerable residents.

    We will:

    • Create a domestic automatic fire alarm policy that ensures we share the right information with telecare providers and monitoring centres, to provide person-centred home fire safety checks that continue to reduce risk
  • Protecting people and property when fires happen

    We help local businesses to reduce fire risk in their buildings, keep people safe and comply with fire safety legislation. Business safety is supported by a county-wide inspection programme that targets the highest-risk premises. Where businesses fail to commit to fire safety, we lead enforcement activity.

    Transform fire protection and business safety

    Following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, sweeping improvements to fire safety and building control standards are transforming the way fire and rescue services, and our partners, work. We are focussed on delivering these changes expertly and providing support and guidance to the premises which are most affected.

    We will:

    • Recruit and develop business safety advisors and inspectors, trained to national standards, ensuring our inspectors are accredited for future work with the Health and Safety Executive.
    • Broaden the scope of fire protection training and support given to operational teams to ensure safe and effective pre-planning and response to incidents within the modern built environment, where buildings may not always perform as expected and contain increasingly complex fire safety systems.
    • Continue to use technology to digitise the service, increase mobile working capability and evolve our staffing models to reflect the changing regulatory landscape.

    Introduce business fire safety checks

    Following a successful pilot, business fire safety checks by operational crews will be expanded. The checks are designed to help businesses comply with legislation with helpful and friendly advice provided at the time and followed up electronically.

    We will:

    • Implement business fire safety checks delivered by operational crews across Lancashire

    Strengthen our fire safety inspection programme to meet evolving standards

    We take a risk-based approach to inspecting businesses to make sure they are complying with fire safety laws. Targeting the highest risk premises where occupants are at significant risk of harm if a fire occurs ensures an effective and efficient approach. Expanding our protection workforce will strengthen delivery of our risk-based inspection programme in line with fire safety changes.

    We will:

    • Target premises based on risk and audit consistently, in accordance with evolving national standards.

    Introduce a new automatic fire alarm attendance policy

    Due to historical levels of incidents which have been found to be false alarms and following public consultation, we are changing the way we respond to automatic fire alarms in certain premises.

    We will:

    • Introduce new day-time response arrangements in specified non-sleeping risk premises so that our resources can be used more effectively.
    • Support businesses to make the necessary changes to their fire alarm procedures and emergency plans.
    • Implement a refreshed approach to reducing false alarms in premises exempt from the policy, so that we are only called to genuine emergencies.
  • Responding to fires and other emergencies quickly and competently

    We strive to deliver the highest standards of operational response to a wide range of risks and emergencies in Lancashire. Continuous improvement in how we prepare for, and learn from, incidents alongside investment in training and equipment, means we can adapt and respond flexibly to the changing needs of our communities.

    Review emergency cover incorporating the replacement of the Day Crewing Plus duty system

    Our emergency cover review aims to provide assurance that the Service’s operational capability, resources and geographical disposition are efficient and effective. They should also reflect the risks within communities, the built environment, climate change and the natural environment of Lancashire.

    We will

    • Review appliance numbers, type, location and availability compared with risk and demand in the county.
    • Review crewing requirements and explore duty systems to replace the Day Crewing Plus system, which is no longer sustainable.
    • Consult the public on how we plan to deliver our services most effectively and efficiently.

    Review special fire appliances and resource provision

    The Service operates a range of special fire appliances, such as aerial ladder platforms, swift water rescue units, and hazardous materials and environmental protection units, that are located and deployed according to the risks in communities.

    We will:

    • Review the locations and requirements of special fire appliances to ensure our response capability is optimised, resourced to risk and crewed effectively, and implement findings as part of the emergency cover review.

    Invest in our fleet

    Innovation is at the core of investment in our fleet as we continue to acquire appliances that enhance firefighter safety and firefighting capability, and minimise fire damage and associated costs to businesses and homes.

    • Invest in a 45-metre aerial ladder platform (ALP), the greatest ALP capability currently available in the UK, to support our response to tall building risk in Lancashire.
    • Commence procurement of two more water towers; fire engines with added capability to deliver large volumes of water from height and pierce building exteriors to extinguish fires within compartments.
    • Continue work to replace incident command units with superior vehicles that will lead to more effective large-scale incident management.
    • Introduce several new fire engines as part of our vehicle replacement plan.

    Respond to the impacts of climate change

    Building on how we have adapted to support communities during extreme weather events, our new Climate Change Operational Response Plan aims to reduce the increasing threat of flooding and wildfires, improve firefighter safety and lessen the impacts on communities and public services.

    We will:

    • Provide new wildfire personal protective equipment for all firefighters and additional equipment for our specialist wildfire units.
    • Introduce two new Hagglund all-terrain tracked vehicles to our fleet ahead of the wildfire season.
    • Explore the use of climate change response vehicles to strengthen our capabilities in relation to wildfire and flooding events.
    • Introduce electric and hybrid powered support vehicles in response to climate change.

    Implement operational learning in response to national events

    Operational learning drives improvement and our ability to adapt to emerging risks in communities. Rigorous review of how we prepare for, respond to, and learn from incidents, including national events, is vital to ensure firefighter safety and an effective response.

    We will:

    • Continue to implement recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry including strengthening knowledge of the built environment and supporting fire safety improvements, primarily in high rise residential buildings.
    • Review existing policies, equipment and training in respect of the Manchester Arena Inquiry to ensure we can respond to any events of a similar nature as effectively as possible.

    Optimise emergency cover through improved data including dynamic mobilising software

    A software system that provides dynamic mobilising data to inform real-time decision- making on how best to deploy resources, will lead to improved emergency cover and incident response times across the county.

    We will:

    • Commence procurement of a dynamic mobilising software system at North West Fire Control to mobilise resources more effectively and efficiently.
  • Delivering value for money in how we use our resources

    We aim to use our resources efficiently and provide the most effective services to the people of Lancashire. We deliver efficiencies through continuous learning and innovation, with a particular focus on exploiting emerging technology. This enables the Service to invest in frontline activity that delivers long-term improvements and value for money.

    Implement the first stages of our new digital strategy

    The purpose of our digital strategy is to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of our workforce to ensure the best possible services for the people of Lancashire. We are establishing a digital first culture focussed on the needs of our communities and creating opportunities for them to engage with us in a more digitally enabled way.

    We will:

    • Introduce new performance and intelligence software that allows our people access to relevant, consistent and current data on a wide range of devices.
    • Support other items in this plan to increase communication and process efficiency through digitisation and automation

    Create digitally enabled fire engines

    Improved connectivity and accessibility on fire engines, utilising the latest available mobile technology, will enable our staff to deliver more efficient services while away from the office and working within communities. It will also facilitate an environment where crews will be able to conduct multiple activities simultaneously, creating additional capacity and productivity.

    We will:

    • Introduce devices in appliances that provide easy but secure access to our network, applications and services, as well as external
    • Trial options to replace mobile data terminals with more efficient, data-rich, de-mountable devices that can also be used on the incident ground, across different geographical areas and duty
    • Investigate mobile data requirements of special fire appliances and trial a range of devices suitable for use in these

    Install CCTV on fire engines

    The purpose of installing CCTV on fire engines is to increase firefighter safety while they protect communities and reduce costs associated with vehicle collisions.

    We will:

    • Trial four-way vehicle CCTV on fire engines at several fire stations and evaluate the results with a view to expanding installation across the county.

    Replace a number of drill towers

    Following implementation of the first phase of our drill tower replacement programme, site investigations and construction design services have been completed, and planning consent granted for the next phase.

    We will:

    • Begin construction and complete the replacement of four drill towers to improve firefighter training facilities, in line with our service-wide replacement
  • Overview

    Valuing our people so they can focus on making Lancashire safer

    • Embed the Core Code of Ethics alongside our STRIVE values
    • Develop resilient leaders who manage the performance of their staff
    • Attract and develop diverse talent
    • Deliver firefighter pension changes
    • Upgrade fire station facilities

    Preventing fires and other emergencies from happening

    • Reduce fires and other emergencies in Lancashire’s diverse communities
    • Improve our Home Fire Safety Check service
    • Develop prevention services for homes equipped with assistive technology

    Protecting people and property when fires happen

    • Transform fire protection and business safety
    • Introduce business fire safety checks
    • Strengthen our fire safety inspection programme to meet evolving standards
    • Introduce a new automatic fire alarm attendance policy

    Responding to fires and other emergencies quickly and competently

    • Review emergency cover incorporating the replacement of the Day Crewing Plus duty system
    • Review special fire appliances and resource provision
    • Invest in our fleet
    • Respond to the impacts of climate change
    • Implement operational learning in response to national events
    • Optimise emergency cover through improved data including dynamic mobilising software

    Delivering value for money in how we use our resources

    • Implement the first stages of our new digital strategy
    • Create digitally enabled fire engines
    • Install CCTV on fire engines
    • Replace a number of drill towers