'Report shows how modernisation of the fire service and how it’s governed is long overdue'
The APCC’s Lead on Fire - Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis – comments on HMICFRS’ Fire and Rescue Services COVID-19 response inspection report.
Mr Ellis said: “I would also praise the many conscientious and dedicated fire and rescue services, which have really stepped up to the plate and wasted no time in doing everything they could to help the public, NHS and other emergency services colleagues through these dreadful and very challenging times.
“But the HMICFRS has, quite rightly, highlighted the fact that the pandemic has shone a light on the need for urgent and swift modernisation of the service and some of its outdated practices, which are now serving to hinder not help.
“The failure at a national level last week to agree how firefighters can continue to support their communities through this awful time and indeed help with the vaccination programme, does nobody any credit. I would hope this will be resolved with haste.
“I know it’s not a true reflection of how people feel on the ground and does not show their very real desire to help in any way they can, which many of them have been doing in a variety of ways for months.
“This situation is an indication of how modernisation of the service and how it’s governed is long overdue. I have seen real signs of progress and the willingness to change. This now needs to happen without delay for the benefit of all the very committed individuals, who dedicate their lives to serving the public in fire and rescue services across the country every day.”