Whilst wholetime pay savings have been achieved through natural wastage, the reduction in staff numbers is underpinned by the variable crewing project. The project includes a review of the wholetime and day-crewed duty systems by exploring and developing crewing options in order to achieve efficiencies in service delivery on the frontline. Reviews are also being carried out across other functions within the service, including Community and Technical Fire Safety and Operational Policy and Resilience.
There are a number of vacancies at some on-call stations, and whilst recruitment is being done on an on-going basis and existing staff are being re-matched to better meet the cover required, it may not be possible to crew these stations to their full establishment during 2014/15. Therefore, other crewing options will be used, including the continuation of annualised hours contracts into the first part of 2014/15 and the introduction of variable hour’s contracts. Details within this year’s Safety Plan, highlight the proposed removal of the resilience pump located at Medway Fire Station.
Service support pay
There have been reviews across all back office functions, most of which have resulted in a reduction to the establishment and a consequent financial saving. This includes Finance, HR, Catering, Facility Management, Corporate Policy, Communications, Property Management and Executive Support.
These are the staff that are co-located at the Fire and Police Control Centre and who manage all emergency call handling for the Authority.