West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service has volunteered to be one of three pilot areas to be assessed and graded by government inspectors in spring 2018.
The service, which has 48 stations – including Huddersfield and Dewsbury – will be in the vanguard of the first comprehensive inspections of England’s fire and rescue services in more than 10 years.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) will assess and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of all 45 fire and rescue services in England.
The focus will include how well fire and rescue services prevent, protect against and respond to fires and other emergencies and how well they look after the people who work for the service.
West Yorkshire joins Suffolk and Staffordshire in the pilot project. They will be assessed on the operational service provided to the public, efficiency, and organisational effectiveness.
Assessments by the HMICFRS will be graded ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’. Assessments are designed to enable the public to see how each service’s performance changes over time and in relation to the performance of other services.
HMI Zoë Billingham, who is leading on the inspections, said: “There is a great appetite for an inspection process that will enable fire and rescue services to learn from each other.”