The Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) has launched its strategy for the development of people management in the UK fire service.
The ‘Fire and Rescue Service, CFOA National HR Strategy’ was drafted in consultation with fire service stakeholders. It followed the introduction of government legislation which made significant changes to the way those stakeholders fulfil their duties.
Karen Palframan, CFOA lead for HR strategic resources, said: “The service must now organise its resources to deliver a service based on risk to their communities. As well as knowing how to operate firefighting and rescue equipment effectively, staff are now developing their skills working with the elderly and other vulnerable groups to prevent fires and other dangerous incidents.
“This includes engaging with partners to identify and support those at risk. This is a major cultural shift for all of us.”
Population shifts, assessment and inspection regimes and other influences such as avian flu, terrorist activity and environmental catastrophes also play a part in the way resources are organised and deployed within the service.
Palframan said: “Building capacity in our people and organisations is crucial to our flexibility to meet the changing needs and expectations of our people and our communities.
“Change is affecting everybody in our services, both full- and part-time personnel, including firefighters, technical support, administrative and control room staff. Our strategies cover retaining and developing these people.”
CFOA is currently working on outline plans to support stakeholders in implementing the HR strategy and assist them in the recruitment, retention and professional development of personnel.