Kent Fire & Rescue Service
The context of change

The context of change

In 2010 we introduced a programme called 'Towards 2020'; a package of changes developed in order to meet our future challenges. This programme is designed to help us do our job efficiently whilst dealing with a reduction in funding and a rise in public expectation. Since then we have implemented a number of major changes some of which are listed below: 

  • Completed in 2011 our biggest review of emergency response provision balancing risk, demand and isolation. In 2015 we undertook a second review to take into account the lower number of incidents we now attend and look for opportunities to make efficiency savings
  • Converted the Retained duty system to On-Call, giving guaranteed part-time cover (2011)
  • Restructured senior management, removing the Deputy Chief Officer, Director of Community Safety and Director of Human Resources posts (2011)
  • Developed strategic partnership with Police and Ambulance (2011)
  • Developed operational procedures and guidance to mitigate the impact on the environment of our actions at incidents (2011)
  • Started a review of our Operational Capability (2011) and implemented the outcomes of the first second phases, including procuring and introducing 29 new smaller fire engines, introducing new firefighting tactics and approaches to responding to road traffic collisions, and implementing improved ways of managing information at incidents
  • Relocated our Control to the joint Fire and Police Control Centre at Kent Police HQ (2012)
  • Scrapped the lease car and senior officer car schemes and introduced pool cars (2012)
  • Achieved the level of “Excellent” under the Equality Framework for Fire and Rescue Services (2012)
  • Changed our approach to responding to calls from automatic fire alarms (2012)
  • Reviewed our Project Management arrangements (2013)
  • Reviewed our Corporate Management Board to meet the future needs of the Service (2013)
  • Started in 2013 a programme to build new fire stations. New stations now open include Ash-cum-Ridley and Rochester. We recently completed the redevelopment of the station at Watling Street in Chatham. A project is currently underway to build a new fire station in Ramsgate.
  • Developed and agreed our five primary strategies (2013)
  • Introduced a programme of Lean reviews (2013)
  • Completed a review of the day-crewed system and implemented the proposed changes including a flexible rostering pattern of work (2014)
  • Introduced a Primary Authority Partnership scheme to provide consistent advice for large businesses (2014)
  • Introduced a multi-agency Kent Resilience Team (2014)
  • Introduced a fifth watch (2014)
  • Implemented a new command and control system on the same software used by Kent Police (2015)
  • Created a single Community Safety Team in partnership with Kent Police and Kent County Council to deliver county-wide functions in community safety (2015)
  • Implemented a new HR and payroll system (2015) and a module to manage recruitment online (2017)
  • Introduced a new premises risk management system (2015)
  • Improved welfare arrangements for our firefighters at emergency incidents (2015)
  • Worked with local authority partners to launch the ‘Better Business for All’ initiative in Kent (2015)
  • Replaced diesel fuel tanks at fire stations and added smart technology (2015)
  • Delivered new height vehicles to stations (2015)
  • Completed a review of training (2015) and implemented the outcomes (2016)
  • Completed a review of our IT department and implemented the outcomes (2016)
  • Implemented a flexible rostering pattern of work in Control (2016), and in six wholetime stations (2017)
  • Opened our new Road Safety Experience (2016)
  • Developed and introduced the concept of ‘safe and well’ visits (2016)
  • Completed innovative research into human behaviour in domestic fires (2016)
  • Researched and developed a new approach for the commissioning and delivery of engagement and prevention activities (2016)
  • Enhanced collaboration with the Ambulance Service by sending resources to the most serious medical emergencies (2016) when our resources are closer than the nearest ambulance
  • Completed a review of our Distribution Centre (2016)
  • Completed a review of the Human Resources department (2016)
  • Introduced improved desktop terminal devices and software across the organisation (2017)
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