Fire and Rescue Service Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters by wulinqing


									                                                                 Fire and Rescue Service
                                                                    Headquarters, Pirehill
                                                              Please ask for Kay Johnson
                                                                      DDI (01785) 898670


Tuesday 12 July 2011
2.15 pm
Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,

 A Chair and Vice-Chair’s Preview (for Mr W D Day and Mr G Morrison) has been arranged
                                       for 1.45 pm)

                                                                 Howard Norris
                                                      Secretary to the Authority
                                                                    1 July 2011
1.    Apologies

2.     Declarations of Interest

3.     Membership of the Committee (for information)

       Day, W D (Chairman)                    Lawson, I S
       Morrison, G (Vice Chairman)            Oates, J
       *Bayliss Mrs E J                       Wazir, M A*
       *Dutton A E                            Wells, J
       Easton R

4.     Minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2011

5.     Terms of Reference (for information) (to be reviewed by the Terms of Reference
       Working Group)

6.     Sickness Absence Performance

       Report and presentation by Mrs J Doran, Director of People
7.    Items for Future Meetings

      To be reviewed by Members

       September 2011           Review of the Communications Strategy
                                Family Group 4 2010/11 Year End Benchmark Report
       Future Items date not    Previous Working Group updates
       yet specified
                                Benchmarking update report following further
                                Developments (CFOA benchmarking)

                                Explanatory paper – Links between performance
                                measures and processes and why we have moved over
                                to Statistical Process Control recording

8.    Date of Next Meeting – The next meeting of this Committee will be held on
      Thursday 1 September 2011 at 2.15 pm

9.    Exclusion of the Public

      The Chairman to move:-

          “That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of
          business which involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as
          defined in the paragraphs of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local
          Government Act 1972 indicated below”.

      PART TWO

10.   Occupational Health – 1 year contract with Staffordshire Police Update
      (exemption paragraph 3)

      Oral update of the Mrs J Doran, Director of People

11.   Fire Control Options Appraisal Project
      (exemption paragraph 3)

      Report of the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive
                                                                           Item No 4 on Agenda

                            HELD ON 18 MAY 2011

                      Present: Mr. W. Day (Vice Chairman in the Chair)

                        Easton, R.                Wells, J.
                        Lawson, I.

Also in Attendance: Mr H Norris, Secretary to the Authority, Mr D Greensmith, Head of the Assets and
Resources Directorate, Mr I Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction, Mr S Redfearn, Strategic Risk Manger, Mr M
Adams, Head of ICT, and Mr M Thompson, Project Manager, Performance and Planning.

Apology: Morrison, G.


Documents referred to in these minutes as schedules are not appended but will be
attached to the signed copy of the minutes. Copies, or specific information in them, may
be available on request.

                                Membership of the Committee

77. The number of Members of the Committee was depleted due to the fact that neither Mr
Kent-Baguley or Mr Najmi had been re-elected to Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Mr
Francis had not been re-nominated to serve on the Authority, by Staffordshire County
Council. Mr Day was therefore in the Chair.


78. Members discussed the future of fire control and were advised that a Working Group of
officers had been set up to look at this matter. Mr Bloomer and Mr Jones were also on the
Working Group. Recommendations arising from the Working Group would be put to the
Authority in due course. In response to a question Members were advised that the report
may come to the Scrutiny and Performance Committee for their comments should the
timescale allow.

79. RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Scrutiny and Performance Committee held on 4
February 2011 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

                                     Quarter 4 Performance
                                          (Schedule 1)

80. The report outlined Service performance for Quarter 4 of year 2010/11. The table
appended to the paper reported strategic performance information. The reports showed
performance on a range of indicators in Statistical Process Control (SCP) chart format.
Supplementary data was provided where appropriate to provide context for some of the
indicators. Most of the indicators were within control limits, with many showing
performance which was below the mean for the year during recent months. Members
attention was focused on those areas where performance broke through either of the
control limits, showed a high degree of variability or was significantly moving toward either
control limit.

                                            Page 1 of 7
There had been a vast improvement in Data Quality over the previous two years from 88%
to 99.4%. The improvement would be covered in the next Item on the Agenda. Members
were pleased with this improvement.

Deaths and injuries in accidental dwelling fires had fallen over the last Quarter.
Performance had improved over the three year trend. There had been a rise during
November and December 2010 over the cold weather. Members were advised that
historically bad weather had been associated with the rise in fire deaths and this was the
same throughout the country. The Service was doing exceptional work to reduce these
fire deaths and injuries by working with partners. Some deaths had been attributed to trips
and falls.

The deliberate grass fire trend over three years was up due to the spell of very dry weather
at the start of 2010. In April 2010 grass fires were up by 25%. A lot of work was carried
out in schools educating pupils on the dangers of grass fires. The Service had also run
radio and press campaigns. They had also done a joint press release with the Police on
the consequences of being caught. Members commented upon the positive impact of the
work undertaken with school age children.

The trend for UwFS was down over the year and the previous three years.

Members discussed the reduction in RTCs attended by the Service, which was good

Retained availability was up compared to the previous year.

Attacks on firefighters had reduced significantly which was felt partly due to the presence
of CCTV cameras and partly to do with the work undertaken by firefighters in the
community and in schools. Making the public aware of the consequences of an attack was
also a deterrent.

Members discussed the payment of invoices of which 96% had been paid within 30 days.
It was helpful to businesses to receive prompt payment in these difficult economic times.
In response to a question Members were advised that the Service did not, as part of
contract agreements, ask for discounts for prompt payments. Members were assured that
the Service already obtained the lowest price available through detailed procurement

Over the year there had been a lower absence rate overall compared to 2009/10. The
reduced sickness absence was attributable to more consistent absence monitoring and
closer management, particularly in relation to return to work interviews, contact monitoring
and case reviews. Retained figures were not included in the figures. The Service was
doing well compared to other local authorities and public sector bodies.

Members commented upon the new format for reporting which was easy to follow.

81. RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted.

                                        Page 2 of 7
                                       Data Quality
                                       (Schedule 2)

82. The report reviewed the current status of year end data quality within the organisation.
Provision of good quality information was necessary to ensure that all statutory legal
obligations were met. In order to understand and manage risk effectively, it was
necessary to ensure that data is of good quality.

Data confidence had increased this year from 99.1% to 99.4% for the Service as a whole.
The improvements made over the last two years had been significant, as the Service
commenced 2009 achieving data quality at a rate of only 83.1%.

The implementation of the Activity Assistant Incident Recording System (October 2010)
had reduced the amount of information returned which contained errors, due to the
improved automated validation routines which this system contained. A small number of
overdue records were the most significant issue faced by the organisation in relation to
data quality at the end of 2010/11. Of the 141 records in error at the end of the year, two
thirds were overdue with the remaining problems due to classification errors.

The sustained achievement of good levels of data quality had enabled the Service to make
use of new performance monitoring techniques, such as Statistical Process Control charts,
which were proving successful in supporting the systems thinking approach to delivering
performance improvement. It also meant that the Service would be able to make better
use of live information, which would be delivered to Area Command staff through
developments in reporting and systems later in 2011.

83. RESOLVED – That the current Data Quality standards be noted.

                              Unwanted Fire Signals Policy
                                     (Schedule 3)

84. The report presented the Unwanted Fire Signals (UwFS) Policy that was introduced
into the Service from 1 May 2011. The total UwFS for the year 2009-2010 was 2,917,
2010-2011 was 2579, a 337 reduction in Unwanted Fire Signals attended by the Service.
This equated to a total reduction of 880 from 2008 to 2009.

The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) had published a revised guidance document
on UwFS in September 2010. The policy, attached as an Appendix to the report, had
incorporated the changes in the CFOA guidance along with changes to its own procedures
where appropriate to reduce the number of unwanted fire signals attended by the Service.
This change in Policy was anticipated to mean a further reduction of over 2,000 appliance
mobilisations a year.

This Policy had gone through formal consultation which closed on 4 April 2011 and was
introduced on 1 May 2011.

The introduction of this revised policy would reduce both the number of calls attended and
the number of appliance mobilisations with subsequent savings from reduced Retained
turnouts and attendance payments, over the border responses, and wear and tear on
appliances, fuel, etc.

                                        Page 3 of 7
It was not anticipated that there would be any adverse legal implications as a response
would be made to all calls that confirmed that a fire was in progress. Similar policies had
been adopted by other fire and rescue services (FRS). The responsibility for effective
management and maintenance of alarm systems and fire safety procedures within
premises rested with the responsible person for the premises, not with the FRS.

The risks associated with non-attendance needed to be weighed against the risks to fire
fighters and other road users of appliances attending on blue lights, disruption of training
and risk reduction activities, etc.

Mr Sloss gave a presentation to Members. As outlined in the report UwFS were a drain on
the resources of the Service. 98% of UwFS required no action and only 2% required any
sort of intervention. Some of the false alarms calls were to things such a burnt toast etc.
These could have been investigated by the responsible person at the premises to confirm
that a turn out was not necessary. Premises had a responsibility to maintain and check
their fire alarms systems. Continuous false alarms also had a detrimental effect on
businesses. The majority of UwFS happened during the day when premises were

The presentation outlined the effect and impact of attending calls to UwFs and the aims of
the policy. The main aims of the policy were to reduce the dangers to firefighters and the
public from unnecessary responses, to reduce carbon emissions and wear and tear on
vehicles. A full pre determined attendance would be maintained to all calls received
informing the Service that there was a fire. Calls from an Alarm Receiving Centre would
receive a standard response on one pumping appliance, unless they confirm that a fire is
in progress. Fire control will call challenge and if the caller confirmed that there was no fire
then we would not attend. Callers would be asked to investigate and call 999 if there is a
fire and if an investigation was not feasible then they would mobilise one pump.
Attendance at an UwFS would be followed up by an Area Command/Fire Safety visit who
would get the premises to understand their responsibility under the fire safety order.

Mr Sloss advised that they would be monitoring the policy on a monthly basis. Meetings
were being held with key stakeholders.

Appliances would still be turned out to domestic properties and sheltered accommodation.

The cost of turning out an appliance was approximately £240. Detailed cost of turnouts
had been looked into and varied dependent on whether wholetime or retained fire fighters,
on turn out and attendance rates, were called out. Mr Day referred to the very successful
Fire motor cycle in Merseyside which carried 40ltrs of water, compressed air and 25
metres of hose and commented that it would only cost about one tenth of an appliance
turn out. The cost of these bikes was £30,000 and this was something the Service could
look at for the future.

In response to a question Members were advised that the legislation was already in place
and all that was needed was further education for businesses. The Regulatory Reform Act
and the Fire Safety Regulations made it clear what the obligations were for businesses.
Members wondered whether there was a need for a tightening of the legislation and were
advised that the legislation was sufficient but businesses needed to take on the
responsibilities contained in the legislation.

                                         Page 4 of 7
The Service had a clear obligation to attend a fire not an alarm. A media campaign had
been launched for the business community to make them aware of their obligations.

The fire safety officers would work with businesses to ensure that they were aware of their
requirements but ultimately the responsibility lay with the businesses themselves.

85. RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

                                Protective Security Strategy
                                        (Schedule 4)

86. Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) in the UK are faced with the challenge from Her
Majesty’s Government of meeting new standards and expectations for a Protective
Security Strategy (PSS) 1 as part of the UK Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST). A
protective security review undertaken by the Centre for the Protection of the National
Infrastructure (CPNI) of the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) had been a major
contributor to demands for early action by the UK FRS.

The PROTECT component of CONTEST aims to reduce vulnerabilities to people,
premises and information in key public services. The establishment of the PSS as a
response to this had been ratified by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA)
Operations Committee. The PSS implementation programme comprised 7 policies & 70
mandatory requirements and identified three workstreams to be addressed:

(a) Personnel Security (Vetting – Identity Management of individuals and contracting
organisations, Right to Work/Trade, National Security Vetting Clearance); there is a need
to manage the risk of anyone exploiting their legitimate access for unauthorised purposes.

(b) Premise Security (reduce the risk of unauthorised access to premises, vehicles,
equipment and clothing); and

(c) Information Security (usually measured by Confidentiality, Integrity and availability of
electronic and paper records and underlying Information Communications Technology
(ICT) infrastructures). Underlying ICT infrastructures include radio, voice and data
communications, mobilisation systems, risk data systems and HR/Finance systems).

The Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) had sponsored a
number of risk assessments and, as a consequence, the Service had engaged with Mentis
Management Consultants and other Fire and Rescue Service organisations in a
Collaborative Syndicate to deal with this challenge.

Two security consultants from Mentis visited Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Headquarters on 12 October 2010 to:

(a) Discuss security culture, threats, risks and controls with a range of officers and staff;
(b) Tour Headquarters, Fire Control and ICT facilities; and
(c) Examine key security policy and procedure documents brought to their attention.

There was a mandatory requirement to implement the Strategy. The Chief Fire Officers
Association (CFOA) had set up 3 workstreams (under a Protective Security Working
Group) to issue best practice national guidance notes on each of the above 3 areas, which
had not yet been received.

                                          Page 5 of 7
Mentis had submitted a number of recommendations.

Positive feedback was given in respect of: -

   1.   Fairly sound Personnel Security
   2.   Generally appropriate Physical Security
   3.   Thoughtful & generally appropriate Business Continuity Planning
   4.   Thoughtful & pragmatic implementation of ICT Security.

To summarise the main recommendations for potential improvement: -

   a. Limited evidence of risk assessments in relation to the vetting of personnel in senior
   b. The need for more detailed verification of identities & antecedents (one’s ancestors)
      of non-uniformed personnel and retained firefighters.
   c. The need to comply with a number of HMG Infosec Standards e.g. in relation to
      Information Security (ISO 27001).
   d. The need for Business Impact Assessments & Privacy Impact Assessments
      (personally identifiable information).
   e. Additional security in respect of shared information with external
      partners/commercial suppliers.
   f. Ownership of a Protective Security Strategy within SF&RS, with specified
   g. Increased security awareness at all levels.

Ahead of the CFOA Guidelines, recommendations were submitted to and accepted by the
Service’s Organisational Assurance Group (OAG) that we adopt a pro-active approach by
setting up a Protective Security Governance Group, comprising Head of Performance and
Improvement, Head of Human Resource, Head of ICT & the Property/Premises Manager,
together with the Strategic Risk Manager and also undertaking a GAP analysis in respect
of (a) Personnel & Premises Security – against guidelines to be provided and (b)
Information Security – against ISO27001. This would provide a good estimate of what
additional work would need to be undertaken and allow the Service to assess some
realistic costs involved and timescales over the next 12 to 24 months. Local authorities
had been given funding to implement a PSS but not fire and rescue services.

The Service was looking at ways of enhancing security over the next few years. For
example by anti virus, securing networks, limited access to files. Both internal and
external monitoring would be undertaken.

Security was being tightened up leading to the Olympics in 2012.

Members discussed the involvement of Authority Members in the Group and this would be
looked into.

87. RESOLVED - That the report be noted.

                                Items for Future meetings

88. Members discussed the following Item which had been put on the Scrutiny and
Performance Committees programme some time ago:-

                                        Page 6 of 7
“Staff Wellbeing Strategy – Further Progress Report – Internal Audit Report on the
Occupational Health, Fitness and Welfare Facility Occupational Health Unit Vehicle

They were advised that as matters had moved on in respect of Occupational Health and
the Service had entered into a 1 year contract with Staffordshire Police to carry out the
Occupational Health Services for the Service it might be more appropriate for Members to
be given an update on the progress of the service provided under the contract at the
appropriate time.

89. RESOLVED – That the following items be brought to a future meeting of the Scrutiny
and Performance Committee.

July 2011               Occupational Health Update – 1 year contract with Staffordshire
                        Police Update
                        Sickness Absence performance (Judith Doran)
Future Items date not   Previous Working Group updates
yet specified
                        Benchmarking update report following further
                        Developments (CFOA benchmarking)
                        Explanatory paper – Links between performance
                        measures and processes and why we have moved over
                        to Statistical Process Control recording

                                 Date of next meeting

90. Date of Next Meeting – The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled to be held
on Tuesday 12 July 2011 at 2.15 pm


                                      Page 7 of 7
                                                                   Item No. 5 on Agenda

                      2009 Changes to the Terms of Reference

             Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority

                        Scrutiny and Performance Committee


The Committee consists of 9 members with a quorum of 3.

Terms of Reference

• To undertake policy reviews with a view to improving the Authority’s performance.

•   To check whether priorities are being met.

•   To examine services provided and make recommendations as to how service
    improvements can be put in place.

•   To appoint ad hoc task and finish groups as necessary.

•   To consider for Scrutiny items referred by other Committees.

•   To scrutinise the performance of the Service in relation to its contribution to Stoke
    and Staffordshire’s LAAs.

   • To monitor aspects of service performance.

    •   To develop local performance standards and targets


To set local standards and performance targets.
To select areas for investigation on its own initiative (as well as undertaking tasks
allocated to it by the Authority or other Committees).

Receive minutes from: The new Authority Improvement Panel

Reporting to: Minutes go to the Strategy and Resources Committee

Frequency of Meetings

The committee will meet six eight times each year.

(New Committee separated from the Audit function - established by the Fire Authority on
3 June 2005 and amended in May 2008).
                                                               Item No. 6 on Agenda


                                   12 July 2011

                         Sickness Absence Performance

                         Report of the Director of People


The Human Resources (HR) department has undertaken an analysis of the Service’s
sickness absence data for the financial year 2010/11. The analysis shows a
downward trend for absence with some seasonal peaks, namely July and December.
There is a reduction in the number of people on long term sickness absence which
can be explained in part due to the closer management of sickness absence by HR
working closely with line managers and Occupational Health to identify long term
sickness at an early stage and putting in place ongoing support.


For discussion and report

Financial Implications

Improvement in sickness absence will lead to financial savings. It is essential that
sickness absence continues to be monitored with the objective of achieving further

Legal Implications


Equality and Diversity

Further analysis will need to be undertaken in relation to the statistical data and
protected characteristics.

Risk Implications


Consultation and Engagement undertaken


This Report is for: Information

Report Author: - Judith Doran
Telephone: - 01785 898633 or 07971 893254
Email: -
Sickness Absence Data – 12 month analysis

1.       Percentage Sickness Absence
The HR department has undertaken an analysis of the sickness absence data for a 12
month period 2010/11. The following graph details the percentage sickness absence level
for the year April 2010 to March 2011 and compares it with the previous year. Sickness
levels have improved overall from June 2010 when compared with the previous year, with
the exception of December 2010. This peak is possibly explained by seasonal flu.
Monitoring of sickness absence is undertaken by the HR team and through a close working
relationship with line management, on-going support is being given to achieve a reduction in
sickness absence levels.

Percentage Absence level comparison 2009‐10 / 2010‐11 




  3.00                                                          2010‐11


         Apr May Jun July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

2.       Short and Long Term Absence
The following graph indicates an improvement in the absence levels for long term absence
(28 days or more) over the financial year April 2010 – March 2011. Management of these
cases is on-going and becoming more robust through facilitation of a regular review of all
long term absence between Human Resources, Occupational Health (OH) and Payroll.
These cases where the absence is either over 28 days or, where the absence is anticipated
to become long term, are identified and an OH referral progressed to enable early
intervention and support is available.
Absence levels 2010-11 – depicted as Short and Long Term (long term = 28 days or


3.     Causes of Absence
The categories of sickness absence for 2010/11 and the previous year are shown below.
The main causes of absence during the year to date in both years were musculoskeletal
problems followed by Stress/Anxiety/Depression which is in line with national patterns. The
recording of the specific reason for absence has improved which has identified the need for
intervention at an early stage and enables appropriate action to be taken in the form of
preventative measures and support.

Shifts lost by absence reasons

4.     Sickness absence by role (shifts lost)

Absence in all departments of the service has reduced year to date and is distributed
throughout the Service as illustrated below. The category ‘unif’ denotes Operational Staff at
Station Manager and above and ’shift’ denotes Firefighters, Crew Managers and Watch
Managers with ‘supp’ representing support staff. The graph illustrates the pattern across the
year showing the seasonal increases in December and January.

The pattern of sickness absence is on a downward trend which is encouraging. Of particular
note is the reduction in numbers of people on long term sickness absence which can be
attributed in part to the closer monitoring and management of the cases. The Service will
continue to monitor and analyse sickness absence and undertake proactive activity to
continue this downward trend.

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