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Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services Covid-19 inspection of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has received a positive Covid-19 inspection report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), particularly acknowledging the Service for the increased availability of on-call firefighters, improved response times, for prioritising staff wellbeing and for the additional support given to the community during the first phase of the pandemic.

In October 2020 inspectors from HMICFRS carried out a Covid-19 inspection of the Service at the request of the Home Secretary as part of a national Covid-19 inspection programme to see how fire and rescue services were responding to the pandemic.  The inspection focused on preparedness, how the statutory functions of prevention, protection and response were being carried out, staff health, safety and wellbeing, how fire and rescue services have worked with partners, use of resources, governance and looking to the future.

Councillor Kevin Buttery, Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority for Derbyshire said: “Like every public sector organisation the fire and rescue service has had to continue working to provide an effective service to the communities they serve throughout the pandemic.

“As Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority I have been both proud and assured to see how quickly Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service adapted to the fast pace of the impacts of the global pandemic, putting in place Covid secure practices that safeguarded staff and the communities we serve, while ensuring the Service could continue to provide an effective emergency response.

“As we look beyond the pandemic it is important that we continue to consider the HMICFRS report findings and carry the lessons learned into the future.”

Speaking on receipt of the HMICFRS Covid-19 inspection report, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Gavin Tomlinson said: “Covid-19 has without doubt been the single most impactful event on the work of the fire and rescue service.

“Never did I expect to experience in my lifetime a global pandemic that would have such a significant impact on the delivery of our services. 

“The pandemic has caused and continues to require a fast paced response as we adapt to new information, adjusting our practices to ensure we can continue to provide an effective and efficient emergency service to the people of Derbyshire.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic we have had an agreed set of strategic priorities that have underpinned all of our decision making and allowed us to focus our response to Covid-19.

“We committed to:

  • proactively protecting our communities to limit the spread of Covid-19,
  • ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our staff in the pursuance of their duties,
  • maintaining an effective Emergency Response with a commitment to responding to all incidents
  • maintaining essential Preparedness activity - continuing to prepare, train and exercise against foreseeable risk with a focus on core competencies
  • protecting our communities from fire
  • ensure effective business continuity, procurement and recovery arrangements were in place throughout the Service
  • planning, preparing and responding to the situation as it evolved

“I believe all of these strategic priorities are evident throughout the HMICFRS report, but do acknowledge that there are lessons to be learned which of course we will take on board as we continue to adapt and evolve with the ongoing situation.

“Our staff have been simply outstanding and I must acknowledge each and every one of them who has continued to deliver what I believe remains a first class fire and rescue service to the communities of Derbyshire as we continue not only as a fire and rescue service, but alongside all of our LRF partners to Make Derbyshire Safer Together.”


DFRS will continue to monitor and review all of the practices and procedures it has in place to support the delivery of its core statutory duties, both in line with national guidance from the National Fire Chief Council (NFCC) and current government advice, guidance and information.  As committed to by the Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority and the Chief Fire Officer, the Service will carry all of the lessons learned into the future as we continue to deliver an efficient and effective fire and rescue service.


You can read the full HMICFRS report for DFRS here