ESSEX FIRE AUTHORITY Essex County Fire _ Rescue Service

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    Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

 MEETING                                               AGENDA ITEM

                 Challenge & Innovation
 MEETING DATE                                          REPORT NUMBER
                 12th November 2008                                    EFA/133/08
                 Light Fleet – Support of Presentation

                 Senior Divisional Officer Paul Hill

                 Senior Divisional Officer Paul Hill


The purpose of this paper is to present to Members of the Challenge and Innovations Committee
detail that is required in support of the presentation on Light Fleet.


Members of the Challenge and Innovation Committee are asked to:

1. Note the contents of the associated presentation and this supporting paper.
2. Note specifically that we are constantly checking provision against need and that iterative process
   is delivering savings.
3. Note specifically that a change in guidance and monitoring mechanisms for provided vehicles is
   an area that we are currently prioritising.


At the last meeting of the Challenge & Innovation Committee (24th September 2008) there was a
discussion around topics for future Task & Finish Groups. During that discussion the subject of Light
Fleet was raised.

It was decided by the Committee that Light Fleet would not be considered by a task and finish group
but would benefit from a future presentation. Cllr Walters indicated that he would like to meet with
SDO Hill and explore the issue before the next meeting. SDO Hill met with Cllr. Walters (County Hall,
28th Oct. 08, 14:00).

Vehicles currently in our light fleet are:

    •   58 Provided Cars
    •   74 Lease Cars
    •   2 Essential Users
    •   35 Car Derived Vans (Ford Connect Vans)
    •   6 Minibuses
    •   28 Vans
                                                                                        Agenda Item #
                                                                                    Report No EFA/#/08
                                                                                            Page 2 of 6

Provided Cars and Car Derived Vans

There are 93 vehicles in this section and their users come from all parts of the organisation. Major
users are:

•     Legislative Fire Safety – We have 32 inspecting officers who use a provided vehicle. These
      officers visit sites / workplaces to check compliance with appropriate guidance and legislation.
      Where non-compliance is noted enforcement action is taken.

•     Community Fire Officers – There are 26 personnel who deliver the community safety message
      and use the pool cars regularly. These employees deliver their safety messages to individuals,
      teams and larger groups; in homes, schools, community centres etc.

•     Training Officers – There are 43 training officers. The type and number of training courses and the
      manner training is delivered is ever developing. We continue to deliver as much training as
      possible on fire stations, doing so ensures that appliances are sufficiently crewed and able to
      respond to emergency incidents. Training courses delivered in this way include:

    GTS Decontamination Initial                  Working Safely
    GTS Decontamination Update                   Personal Development Interview Training
    Crew & Watch Manager CFS                     Workplace Assessor Initial
    Managing Comm Safety Develop Program         CBRN Awareness
    I.R.U. Vehicle                               I.R.U. Module A
    MOFFETT Instructor                           I.R.U. Module B
    Moffett Mounty Initial                       I.R.U. Module C
    Pinzgauer Initial                            I.R.U. Module D
    Ranger Familiarisation                       I.R.U. Module E
    U.S.A.R.                                     I.R.U. Specialist Course
    Unimog Refresher                             Audit & Review
    Breaking-In Tools                            Aviation Course
    Retained Fitness                             Discipline & Grievance
    Enforcement & Litigation                     Water Awareness
    Fire Investigation Advanced                  Water Rescue
    Fire Investigation Basic                     Display Screen Assesor
    Fire Prevention General                      Transfer Induction
                                                 Management of Search Operations for Land & Water
    First Aid Initial                            Incidents
    First Aid Refresher                          Search & Rescue Line Access
    Managing Issues In Specialist Rescue         Fire Safety Smoke Control
    Manual Handling                              Road Traffic Collision Instructor
    Marine Firefighting                          Rope Rescue 2 Reassessment
    Rope Rescue 1                                Ass & Dev Centres
    Rope Rescue 2                                COSHH
    Tactical Ship Firefighting                   Managing Safely Refresher
    Water Rescue 1                               NEBOSH Examination
    Water Rescue 2                               B.A. Live Fire
    Hazardous Materials                          Search & Rescue Module 7 (Chainsaw)
    Immediate Life Support                       Interviewing Effectively
    Mass Decon Instructor                        Powered Respirator Protection Suit
    Road Traffic Collision                       Mass Decontamination
    Managing Safely                              High Volume Pump
    Stress Awareness                             Trauma Care
                                                 ICT for Station Based Personnel

                                                                                        Agenda Item #
                                                                                    Report No EFA/#/08
                                                                                            Page 3 of 6

•   Our Officers subject to the Flexible Duty Rota system (FDS) all have operational responsibilities
    and respond to emergency calls in their car. If there are FDS Officer vacancies filled temporarily it
    would be inappropriate to provide a leased vehicle with a minimum three year contract. To
    overcome this we provide a vehicle with emergency lighting and audible warning devices.
    Currently five posts filled in this way.

•   There are occasions when firefighters are not able to fulfil their entire role but are well enough to
    do ‘other’ work. In order to use their time in the most useful way possible they are often asked to
    deliver the community safety message (at schools, workplaces and homes). There are also
    occasions when we need to move personnel between stations and if there is a provided car
    available it used.

•   We have a number of other departments who often need to move around Essex in order to
    complete their work. Examples of these are offered below:

           o   Health & Safety – After accidents and when inspections are required

           o   Audit & Performance – Part of the sections role is to undertake ‘themed’ reviews of
               work completed at stations, commands and other ECFRS sites. There are two
               members of the team that are not subject to the flexible duty system and use provided

           o   Human Resources – We have three business partners who look after a third of the
               service each, supporting managers to deal with all personnel issues. There are also a
               number of other events such as ‘recruitment drives, recruitment tests, interviews,
               discipline hearings, equality & diversity events’ etc. that require the attendance of
               Human Resource personnel.

           o   Property – The majority of the time personnel in property use their own vehicle, but
               there are occasions when they need to transport equipment or do not have a private
               vehicle available to them.

           o   Occupational Health – We have teams that visit ECFRS workplaces and test the
               fitness of our operational personnel. This forms part of the systems that ensure fire-
               fighters are in a condition to perform the functions of an operational officer. They need
               to transport equipment with them and use Ford Connect vans.

           o   Communications – We have communication links with all out sites and most are high
               priority links that manage our mobilising or secondary mobilising mechanisms. To keep
               these systems to a reasonable standard we have a regular maintenance regime.

           o   IT – Every site has an IT provision and they all require updates and maintenance on a
               regular basis.

The bulleted points above offer a fairly comprehensive list of users and uses of the light fleet, but
even this list is not exhaustive. Almost every department deals with all our sites and it is reasonable to
expect at some point that they will need to visit.

Leased Vehicles / Essential User Scheme

The Scheme of Conditions of Service (sixth edition) allows for the introduction of a lease car scheme.
Such a scheme offers us the opportunity to control, to a certain degree, the standard of vehicle that is
chosen. Alternatives such as the essential user scheme are more expensive and do not offer similar
control. An officer on the essential user scheme may choose an inappropriate vehicle (too grand or

                                                                                     Agenda Item #
                                                                                 Report No EFA/#/08
                                                                                         Page 4 of 6

too dilapidated) and provided the MOT is current there is little that the organisation can reasonably

A recent review of the terms and conditions of the lease car scheme is leading to a change in the
amount that ECFRS contributes to the lease. This ECFRS contribution will become directly linked to
the vehicle chosen; it will be reduced with an increase in vehicle value and insurance rating.
The change is designed specifically to:

•   Reduce the carbon footprint
•   Limit the number of ‘prestige’ vehicles chosen
•   Reduce cost
•   Prevent a mass exodus to the essential user scheme which is much more expensive than the
    lease scheme.

Another possible alternative is the County Lease Scheme, which is also more expensive than the
lease scheme in place.

We are considering the provision of a vehicle that has battenburg conspicuity reflective markings and
is permanently fitted with visual and audible warning devices. The vehicle will only be available to
Officers when they are on duty. Whilst there are savings to be gained by using this system we cannot
escape the choice Officers have within the nationally agreed scheme of conditions of service, to opt
for the essential user scheme; the most expensive option for ECFRS.

Vans & Minibuses

We have a number of minibuses in the service and they are used predominantly to transport
personnel at training events, and at some operational incidents. Our use of the vehicles has reduced
significantly over the last few years and it is not expected that we will replace all of them.

Transit vans in the service are used for a variety of purposes:
• Daily delivery of equipment, and internal mail to ECFRS sites.
        – There is a constant need to deliver, replace, collect and move operational equipment
           between sites. This equipment includes breathing apparatus cylinders, hose, and all other
           small gear on appliances.
        – As with all organisations the need to move paperwork between sites is reducing but still
• We have a duty to maintain and test all water hydrants in Essex and we have a team of people
   dedicated to the task all of whom use transit vans as mobile workshops.
• One transit van is used as a Breathing Apparatus Tender. If there is a large incident the vehicle
   can maintain sets used at the incident ground. The vehicle is also used as a mobile workshop;
   testing breathing apparatus sets at the station rather needing them to be sent to the BA
   workshops at Hutton.
• Our fleet of vehicles (including fire appliances) need to be maintained and there are often
   occasions when it is more cost / time effective to send an engineer to the vehicle, rather than
   requiring it to attend workshops. There is also a need to provide out of hours cover. A number of
   the vans are used by engineers from our workshops to deliver this service.
• Community safety has a number of heavy and bulky items (tents, displays etc.). A suitable vehicle
   is required to transport this equipment.

                                                                                           Agenda Item #
                                                                                       Report No EFA/#/08
                                                                                               Page 5 of 6

Financial Implications
The current budgets for Light Fleet are:

Leased Vehicles (£352k ) (if there are 74 leased vehicles at £266/month for 12 months each the
figure should read £236,208 I don’t understand why it does not!)
        – Vehicles are subject to the terms of the lease and currently all contracts run for either 3 or
           4 years

When / If current Officers choose to lease another vehicle at the end of the term of their current lease
ECFRSs contribution of £266 per month will change as shown in the table below:
                                                             ECFRS Contribution (£)
                    Value Of Vehicle (£)
 inclusive of VAT

                    Over 26000              230       220     210      200       190       180        170
    Prices are

                    up to 26000             232       222     212      202       192       182        172
                    up to 25000             234       224     214      204       194       184        174
                    up to 24000             236       226     216      206       196       186        176
                    up to 23000             238       228     218       208      198       188        178
                                            >11        12      13        14       15        16        17<
                                                                  Insurance Group

The table blow shows the potential savings from the introduction of the new lease terms and

                                        Everyone chooses       Everyone chooses         Everyone chooses
                                         exactly the same    cheapest car at lowest    most expensive car
                                       vehicles on renewal         insurance           at highest insurance

Monthly reduction in cost                    £3,752                 £2,128                   £7,296

 Annual reduction in cost                   £45,024                 £25,536                 £87,552

                                                                                                  Agenda Item #
                                                                                              Report No EFA/#/08
                                                                                                      Page 6 of 6

The table below shows the cost of an officer choosing to use the Essential User Scheme against that
of using the lease scheme:

                                                  Lease car                 Essential User
              Purchase / lease costs               £19,152                      N/A
              Maintenance                            N/A                        N/A
              Insurance                            £1,200                       N/A
              Fuel (average mileage
              for current lease cars           (100% of retail)           (Grey Book Rates)
              11648)                               £9,084                      £26,340
              Blue lights & sirens –
              fit                                    £900                         £900
              Blue lights & sirens –
              strip                                  £450                         £450
              Magnetic blue light (1
              off)                                   £650                         £650
              50% of VAT                             £780                          N/A
              Sale of vehicle                         N/A                          N/A
              One Off payment for
              radio fitting                           N/A                        £140
              Annual Lump Sum                         N/A                        £6570
              Cost of 6 year
              provision                            £32,216                      £35,050
              Annualised cost of
              provision                            £5369 *                       £5842

                   * The changes to the lease scheme will bring the costs of the leased
                                vehicle to an average of at least £5024,
                              over £800/yr/vehicle (£800 x 74 = £59,200)

Purchase of light fleet (£110k)
      – There has been little activity in this budget this year
      – We are currently awaiting delivery of 8 cars including 1 Toyota Pruis
      – Spend to date £77k
      – We currently replace our light fleet vehicles after 6 years

List of background documents - Best Value Review of Workshops
Essex Fire Authority reports - None
Proper Officer:         SDO Hill
Contact Officer:        SDO Hill
                        Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, Rayleigh Close, Hutton CM13 1AL
                        01277 222531 Ext no. 6195


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