Humberside Fire and Rescue Service consists of the unitary authorities of East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, surrounding the east coast in northern England.
The Humber area has a total population of 925,000 people and a geographical area of 1,358 square miles. The Service reviews their Strategic Plan annually and measures targets in their Annual Performance Report to ensure they provide their communities with an assured level of service.
The Service are committed to keeping communities in the Humber area safe, keeping firefighters safe and contributing to the firefighting and rescue capabilities of the United Kingdom.
Chris Blacksell said: ‘I am very honoured to be part of such a great Service; I am proud of every member of staff for their dedication to HFRS and supporting the communities we serve. Our principles of Leadership, Dependability, Innovation and Passion are what makes us who we are as an organisation.’
Last year saw the publication of HFRS first inspection report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).
Following their inspection in November 2018, HFRS were pleased to see they had been rated as Good in both Efficiency and Effectiveness and think that the rating of Requires Improvement in how they look after Our People is a reasonable one, as the report mostly refers to improvements, which the Service had already started to deliver.
Keeping communities safe
Within each unitary authority HFRS have designated Public Safety Teams who carry out a range of prevention work to keep their local community safe.
The Public Safety Teams communicate and engage effectively with partner agencies to improve the safety and wellbeing of the public and identify the needs of the community.
The Public Safety Advocates provide sound advice on safety in the home, at work or in public places and help safeguard the most vulnerable.
The Service empowers their communities to prevent, prepare and recover from emergencies and prioritise public safety advice activities for the people that need it most.
The Emergency Response and Public Safety teams use effective intelligence, analysis and a targeted approach to provide safety on Fire, Road, Water and Wellbeing.
HFRS advise businesses on their fire-safety responsibilities and enforce when needed. The Service works with businesses to ensure they are compliant with relevant legislation and provide safe premises in the Humber area.
Post Grenfell Tower
The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, West London in 2017 raised several significant questions over how fire-safety regulations are enforced in such premises.
Since the incident, The Protection Team at HFRS and Operational Crews have been liaising with local housing providers, councils and residents to ensure safety in specific premises and will continue to work with authorities, both locally and nationally, to enforce fire safety in the areas where it is responsible.
The Service has been proactive in encouraging the use of sprinkler systems to help minimise damage from fire and to save lives. More recently, the Service has commissioned a 45m Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP); one of only two in the country (at the time), with ability to reach the top floor of all the Service area’s residential high-rise buildings with a water jet, and rescue from the top floor of all but three, which have sprinkler systems.
Fire safety is critical for any business to operate safely. The Service is committed to help all businesses and provide advice and information on fire-safety issues and legislation.
Responding effectively and efficiently to incidents
HFRS has joined forces with Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service to become a collaborative Fire Control known collectively as the East Coast and Hertfordshire Control Room Consortium. Together all four Services provide a single, highly resilient mobilising system.
Each Service has its own control room, which uses a new system to provide a multiple fall-back facility, this means each control room can receive and handle calls from any of the four Services’ areas, providing in house resilience for the community.
Response to incidents
All HFRS fire stations are in line with areas of risk and have a rapid-response capability to respond to incidents. The Service has 31 fire stations located across the Humber area. Nine fire Stations are crewed by full-time fighters, 19 are crewed by on-call firefighters and three are crewed by both full-time and on-call firefighters.
Annually the Service achieves an excellent on-call performance standard of 95% availability for the first fire engine and 80% availability for the second fire engine.
HFRS continuously develop their capabilities to deal with fire and rescue emergencies such as: fire, major incidents, waste fires, road traffic collisions, technical rescue, wildfires, maritime emergencies, water rescue, flood response and marauding terrorist attacks.
Due to an increase of wildfires seen recently in Winter Hill, Bolton and Hatfield Moor in South Yorkshire, HFRS have trained Specialist Wildfire Tactical Advisors to support other Fire and Rescue Services, who have a higher risk of such incidents in their area.
HFRS will always support and assist other fire and rescue services when called upon.
Flooding is becoming more frequent within the UK and brings such devastation to its communities.
Therefore, HFRS are working in collaboration with the University of Hull to commission a flood modelling, prevention, protection and response centre, called the Ark.
The Ark will be a purpose-built facility, specifically designed to simulate flooding scenarios. It will allow HFRS responders, and the community, to realistically train in controlled, moving and still water flood environments and all the hazards that pertain to these.
Currently, HFRS employs over 1,000 people and promotes equality, fairness and respect for all employees.
HFRS recognises the need to be reflective of the community it serves; the Service continually engages and promotes opportunities for Women and BAME through various community engagement sessions.
The Service is committed to be equal, diverse and inclusive and continue to promote their Principles and Behaviours:
- Leadership – we lead by example and respect the views of others,
- Passion – we are proud and enthusiastic,
- Innovation – we encourage creativity and are adaptable,
- Dependability – we will always deliver.
Hull Falls Intervention Response and Safety Team (F.I.R.S.T.)
Hull FIRST was commissioned in October 2015 with nine public services working together for a healthier, safer city. The scheme is crewed by firefighters and their aim is to provide fast and appropriate care in the community, help avoid unnecessary hospital visits and help people remain independent in their own homes.
HFRS work together with Hull CCG, Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS), Humber NHS Foundation Trust (HFT), HFR Solutions CIC, Hull City Council, and City Health Care Partnership Community Interest Company (CHCP), to create an early response call pick-up service.
HFRS has teamed up with Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) to provide a first-responder service to help protect local communities. Firefighters from on-call fire stations attend immediate life-threatening emergency calls received by the ambulance service.
On-call firefighters respond to people in need to provide early intervention to increase the chance of survival for cardiac-arrest victims.
These successful partnerships have saved lives across East Riding of Yorkshire, North and North East Lincolnshire.
Integrated Care Centre (ICC)
East Hull Fire Station relocated to a shared facility in June 2018 at The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre, NHS Community facility, in Hull.
Crews respond from the ICC and continue to work in partnership to develop services for the local community.
Collaborations with Humberside Police
Health and Safety
HFRS takes its health and safety responsibilities seriously and recognises that the health, safety and welfare of its employees is an integral and fundamental part of its function.
Health and safety are at the core of all HFRS work and the Service have recently seen a reduction in premiums due to their safety record.
In April 2019 HFRS introduced a joint Health and Safety Service with Humberside Police to provide professional support, guidance and advice across both Services.
In April 2018, HFRS and Humberside Police merged their estates teams to create a single service. This successful collaboration offers great benefits in terms of efficiency and provision, whilst enabling a joint strategic approach to estate management.
Safer Roads Humber
This successful partnership delivers educational activities to prevent road traffic collisions and the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. The road safety team also delivers activities to businesses to ensure the Management of Occupational Road Risk. Their overall aim is to encourage a change in attitude and behaviour amongst road users so that the roads of Humberside are safer for all.
In September 2019, HFRS and Humberside Police launched a jointly funded drone asset.
The DJI Matrice 210 and DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise dual drones will be shared by both emergency services to assist with investigations when required.
The high-tech equipment will be held and operated by HFRS but is deployable whenever needed across both Services.
With high-definition cameras and thermal imaging, the drones can play back footage to the pilot and camera operator in real time.
HFRS entered into a collaborative arrangement with Humberside Police and K9FI for the provision of fire dogs to assist in the identification of accelerants used at fire scenes. HFRS utilise the dogs to attend prevention visits to educate people in the dangers of deliberate fire setting.
Future developments in the collaboration will see the dogs utilised for high-risk missing persons.
Taking Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to 2021 and beyond
HFRS continues to deliver an excellent emergency service to local communities and continuously looks ahead to prepare for what is to come.
In 2021, HFRS will introduce a new three-year Strategic Plan and outcome-based objectives. This will support continuous improvement across the Service.
For more information, go to www.humbersidefire.gov.uk