A year of success despite challenging financial climate

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has published its Statement of Assurance and Annual Report for 2018/19. The report details the service’s performance during the last financial year, highlighting its achievements and the challenges it faced.

Chief Fire Officer, Chris Lowther commented:

“The undoubted highlight of the year was Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) grading our Service ‘Good’ across all areas inspected. This achievement can be fairly attributed to all the great people who work for the Service. However, the year has also had its challenges as we continue to operate with finite resources and respond to the changes in the incidents we attend and the impact of austerity measures on the communities we serve.”

The strong prevention nature of the Service’s work also saw the delivery of throwbag training to local waterside businesses. Within a few months of completing their training, staff at the By the River Brew Company in Gateshead saved four people from drowning in the River Tyne.

The Service also recruited whole time firefighters for the first time in almost a decade, and has committed to further recruitment in 2019/20.

Tyne and Wear Fire Authority Chair, Tony Taylor commented:

“Despite a year of success for the Service, it continues to be overshadowed by operating in a challenging financial climate. However, we are committed to informing the debate on how fire and rescue services are funded. We serve one of the most deprived areas in the country, and with deprivation comes increased risk. However, this is not factored into our funding formula. It is issues such as these that we continue to raise in the positive dialogues we have with the Home Office.”

Read the Statement of Assurance and Annual Report 2018-19 in full.