It’s official – Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is one of the most improved in the country.

The Audit Commission’s comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) report released today (Thursday 31st January) says GFRS, which forms part of Gloucestershire County Council’s Community Safety directorate, is a dynamic service, which stands as the fifth most improved in England.

The Commission’s annual assessment grades fire service’s on their direction of travel and gives them a star rating of one to four.

GRFS is improving well according to its direction of travel and it has a three-star service, which means it is performing well, consistently above minimum requirements.

The report also says number of deaths and injuries from accidental fires in Gloucestershire has reduced and is now one of the lowest in the country.

Gloucestershire’s record of arson attacks has dropped significantly and figures are well below the national average.
The county’s strong emphasis on community safety was also praised by the Audit Commission.
The report says: “Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has a good community safety culture and this is supported by clear structure processes for the management of risk.

“It is performing well in most areas of service delivery, from prevention and protection through to emergency response.
“The service has a wide range of community safety initiatives in place and these are operating well and benefiting the local community.

“Overall it is a dynamic organisation that works well with the County Council.
“Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is becoming the community safety focused organisation that it strives to be and has developed some innovative and dynamic plans to meet the modernisation agenda.”

The Audit Commission’s Comprehensive Performance Assessment  (CPA) is a national assessment measuring how services perform.

The CPA uses a combination of nationally recognised service ratings and an assessment of each service’s capacity to improve, known as a direction of travel.

The star ratings are based on performance across the service and include things like value for money and overall service assessment.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Terry Standing, said: “This assessment is a credit to the hard work of all our staff.

“I am very pleased that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has been recognised as one of the most improved in the country as this reflects the commitment we have put into providing the best service possible.

“The fire service is a key element in providing community safety and working with people in local communities and education the young and old about the dangers of fire and how to stay safe on the roads is one of the most rewarding aspects of our job.

“I am very proud that this was highlighted in the report, but we are not complacent and we will continue to strive for further improvements in the future.”

Gloucestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Will Windsor-Clive said: “This is a very good assessment, which highlights our commitment to community safety and protecting the public.

“This report also proves that we are providing a service which is value for money for council tax payers.  I would like to thank all of the staff for their hard work and commitment in achieving this and we now need to build on this positive assessment as a foundation for the future.”