The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has today reached out to the people of Scotland for their views on an ambitious vision to help keep communities even safer.
SFRS Board Chair Kirsty Darwent and Chief Officer Martin Blunden unveiled the SFRS Draft Strategic Plan 2019-2022 at the National Training Centre at Cambuslang on Thursday, May 9.
And they called on the public to share their thoughts on the Plan - which will set out the Service’s proposed direction over the next three years – through an associated consultation.
The comprehensive three year Plan includes enhancing partnership working, looking at the current operational footprint and equipping firefighters to respond to new and emerging risks such as severe weather.
Further proposals look to supporting leadership and diversity within the SFRS workforce - and delivering a first class and sustainable, national Service.
Mr Blunden was speaking from the SFRS’ dedicated Safe and Well House, which is used as a partnership hub to share skills and experience to help prevent harm and assist some of the most vulnerable people in our communities to stay safe in the home.
He said: “This is a truly momentous occasion as we continue to lead the way in Scotland’s public sector by proposing to do so much more for communities.
“A huge amount of thought and effort has been invested into drawing up these proposals for how we move forward into the future, to meet new challenges facing Scotland and emerging community risks flowing from population change and climate change.
“We already have an outstanding track record in areas of prevention where we have seen the number of house fires greatly reduce over the decades, and so we are actively looking at what else we can do to assist people - and partnership working is also key to that ambition.”
He added: “We want communities to come on this journey with us, to help us shape our proposals into a comprehensive but flexible plan that meets the very precise needs of a modern Scotland.”
The objectives included in the Draft Strategic Plan 2019-2022 are drawn from data and intelligence on the changing nature of risk within communities - and also the findings from a staff survey and public consultation into proposed Service transformation, both conducted in 2018.
Any feedback provided through this latest consultation will be reviewed to inform the Final Strategic Plan, which will be published in October after it has been approved by the Minister and laid before Parliament.
The SFRS will then develop a flexible three year programme that will include an Annual Operating Plan. This will be published each year and monitored on a quarterly basis by the Board and the Service’s Strategic Leadership Team.
SFRS Chair Dr Darwent said: “This is a very exciting time for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as we embark upon an incredible transformation journey to release our full potential to do so much more for our communities.
“It is imperative that we meet the changing risk profile in Scotland and ensure that our firefighters are trained and equipped to work safely and effectively.
“We also want to drive even greater partnership working where appropriate – all pulling together in the same direction to keep communities safer than ever.
“We pride ourselves on being an open and transparent organisation, and we are therefore delighted to share this Plan with the people of Scotland. That feedback is hugely important to us.”
She added: “I would encourage everyone to take some time to ensure their voice heard - and help us shape our vision for the future.”
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said: “Continual improvement is at the heart of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) three year strategic plan which sets out an ambitious vision to further enhance the service available to communities.
“SFRS are committed to engaging with communities and stakeholders and the public’s voice is absolutely crucial in this process. I would encourage everyone with an interest to engage with the consultation and have their say.”
The consultation will run from Thursday, May 9 to Thursday, July 18 and can be accessed here: https://firescotland.citizenspace.com/planning-and-performance/draft-strategic-plan-2019-22/