Our Plan

Have your say on Our Plan for 2024-2027!

Welcome to the consultation pages for our proposed Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) for 2024 to 2027.

Our CRMP informs you how we work to understand risk in our region and how we plan to evolve to address that risk.

So in this document you will find how we are proposing to improve how we do business and continue to create the safest community.

But we want you, our communities, to shape how we do business so this is your opportunity to feedback on our plans.

So why not read an overview on our CRMP below, or read the full document HERE, and take part in our consultation survey now… before time runs out!

Public Information Sessions

We are hosting public information sessions to discuss our draft Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) 2024-2027.

In this one-hour session, you will hear from the Executive Leadership Team at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service about the 24 proposals we are currently consulting on as part of our CRMP 2024-2027.

They will be held in:

  • Gateshead on Monday 15th January at 6-7pm at the Civic Centre
  • Newcastle on Tuesday 16th January at 6-7pm at the City Library
  • North Tyneside on Tuesday 23rd January at 6-7pm at Wallsend Town Hall
  • South Tyneside on Thursday 25th January at 6-7pm at Jarrow Focus
  • Sunderland on 29th Monday January at 6-7pm at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden

You can sign up for the event via this link. It works on a first come, first served basis as each room has a maximum capacity.

text reading "Have your say on our plan for 2024-27 and a link to the consultation webpage" on a dark blue background alongside an animated image of a male and female firefighter in front of an appliance
An arrow pointing up and a life ring alongside text that says "call outs to water and suicide incidents have increased by 70% in less than 10 years". Below that is an image of a rescue boat and people in the water alongside text reading "so we will introduce a full time water rescue team"
An image of a bridge alongside text saying "rescues at bridges and cliffs have increased fourfold in less than 10 years".. Below that is an image of a harness and the text: "so we are reviewing shift patterns to increase our line rescue resource"
Image of a crowd of people alongside the text "we are committed to investing in our people and their welfare". Below is an image of a firefighter in BA witht he text so we are proposing to buy new state-of-the-art breathing apparatus sets
Image of a group of children alongside text saying we want to invest in engaging with young people and providing positive role models. Below that is an image of a firefighter with a hose and the text that is why we want to increase the number of fire cadet branches from four to five
An image of a high rise building alongside the text a new national building safety regulator has been introduced to ensure high rise premises are compliant with legislation. Below that is an image of a magnifying glass and the text that is why we will be investing in a new dedicated team to inspect our region’s high rise buildings
An image of a flame with two trees within the flame, alongside text sayign over the last decade we HAve seen an increase in the number of wildfires we are responding to. Below that is an image of a fire appliance and the text so we plan to work closer to northumberland fire and rescue to improve our wildfire response
An image of a fire station and the ntext We need to improve our specialist response to ensure we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Below that is an image of a calendar and clock with the text so we plan to make wallsend fire station a day crewing station so we can re-deploy staff to high risk areas, such as water, line and heavy rescue

Check out our explainer video

This video will give you a taster of what our CRMP is all about and the journey we’ve been on since our last plans were released.

We develop our CRMP every three years to meet the changing needs of our community. Previously it was referred to as our Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP).

This plan does not describe everything we will be doing over the next few years.

What this plan does describe though, is the steps we’ve taken to understand risk in Tyne and Wear and the work we’re delivering now and in the future to address it.

Why are we here?

Our overarching vision: ‘Creating the Safest Community’

To achieve this we will deliver the following key  services:

  • PREVENTION – to raise awareness of the risks people face from fire and other types  of emergency. This will focus on those most vulnerable and our focus is on education and early intervention to prevent emergencies from happening.
  • PROTECTION – to promote and enforce fire safety arrangements in buildings that fall within relevant legislation. This is to ensure buildings and occupants are as safe as possible.
  • RESPONSE – to have trained staff ready and able to respond to a variety of emergencies, equipped with the best vehicles and equipment to do their job as effectively as possible.
  • RESILIENCE – to deal with major emergencies that demand significant resources or require support from other services and agencies, whilst continuing to deliver business as usual activity across the service area.

Our first goal will always be to save lives and make people safer. This is what we do every single day, whether it’s responding to 999 calls or carrying out work to prevent emergencies from happening in the first place.

Much of our work goes beyond this though, from improving the life chances of young people and protecting businesses, to helping tackle other issues like antisocial behaviour and healthcare signposting.

Our organisation’s purpose extends therefore to making our communities stronger places for the future.

Who are we?

As a fire and rescue service, we are responsible for delivering a wide range of services to our communities. These are set out clearly in the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.

We also have specific duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Our responsibilities include:

  • Firefighting – Extinguishing fires and protecting life and property in the event of fires
  • Road Traffic Collisions – Protecting and rescuing people from serious harm in the event of a road traffic collision
  • Fire Safety – Promoting fire safety, including provisions taken to prevent fires and means of escape from buildings in the event of fire
  • Civil Emergencies – Response to other civil emergencies, like flooding
  • Special service calls – Rescuing people from water, height or other situations where they are trapped, at risk of harm or generally in need of fire service assistance as well as animals when required.

The Service operates from 17 community fire stations across Tyne and Wear, staffed in several different ways to reflect local risks and demands.

Our stations, staff and fire engines (appliances) are strategically placed across Tyne and Wear to ensure efficient and effective response to fires and other emergencies.

Appliances work across the whole of the Tyne and Wear area and can be mobilised whilst away from their home station. We also have robust arrangements with neighbouring services to enable additional support during major emergencies.

Where are we going?

The Service has a clear vision, strategic goals, and several organisational priorities that drive the work we to do ensure we can protect the people of Tyne and Wear.

Our Service vision is: Creating the Safest Community

Our Service mission statement is: To save life, reduce risk, provide humanitarian services, and protect the environment

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Strategy 2025 (TWFRS 2025) explains how we intend to continue to deliver high quality services that meet the needs of our communities, now and in the future.

Our strategic goals are to achieve:

  • Service Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Looking after our People

If we are successful in delivering our strategic goals then we will succeed in delivering on our mission and vision.

To ensure continuous improvement, drive innovation, and use our resources most effectively, we have set strategic priorities for a five year period:

  • Continuing an All Hazards Approach to Firefighter Safety
  • Improving Inclusion and Diversification
  • Enhancing our use of Digital and Data

Before completion of the TWFRS 2025 work will begin on TWFRS 2030, setting updated strategic goals and priorities to best suit the needs of our communities and ensure we can provide the best and most efficient service possible.

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What people say and why it matters

The population of Tyne and Wear is growing, ageing and changing. The industrial makeup of the area has evolved from largely heavy industry to a more diverse economy.

But we want to make sure that everyone has a voice when it comes to deciding on the delivery of public services, including your fire and rescue service.

That is why we are conducting consultation on this Community Risk Management Plan. It was launched on Tuesday, December 12th, and will remain open until Tuesday, February 6th.

You can take part in the electronic survey HERE but you can also provide feedback by emailing CRMP2024-27@twfire.gov.uk

Our proposals for 2024-2027

In our Community Risk Management Plan we are presenting a number of proposals to how we plan to do business in the next three financial years.

This is an exciting time for the Service and the plan demonstrates how we are continuing to invest in the Service to mitigate risk and keep communities safe.

Our proposals have been categorised into our five areas of business:

  • People
  • Prevention
  • Protection
  • Response
  • Resilience

Each proposal is informed by data and intelligence, but we also want your views. These proposals are the focus of our consultation survey and we feel they are the best way for us to invest our resources in 2024 to 2027.

Below is a summary of each set of proposals.

People

Why are we investing in our people?

To ensure our workplace is an inclusive, positive and safe culture where everyone is valued, and to ensure we are reflective of the communities we serve.

How do we currently invest in our people?

Inclusion is one of our three strategic priorities.

  • Our People and Organisational Development Strategy helps drive positive culture change.
  • Our Code of Conduct and Ethics and Service values are at the heart of everything we do.
  • Our leaders are positive role models who hold themselves, and others, accountable.
  • In 2023 we commissioned an independent cultural review, which will help shape improvements within the Service.
  • We proactively encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds for all roles in the Service.

How are we proposing to invest in our people to mitigate risk in 2024-2027?

  • Identify and buy new, state of the art, breathing apparatus sets to replace current models.
  • Further improve our operational facilities at our Training Centre in Washington, to enhance firefighter safety and support national training – and become a centre of excellence.
  • Continue to diversify our workforce at all levels, to ensure we reflect our whole community, by:
    • Enhancing use of data to better target our audience;
    • Introducing measurable targets;
    • Raise greater awareness of wider FRS roles within minority communities.
  • Improve inclusion by enhancing our understanding of how different learning styles and neurodiversity can affect development and engagement.
  • Improve how we collate and use feedback from staff, stakeholders and the community, using a variety of mechanisms, including surveys; the 2023 cultural review; HMICFRS; and consultation, to continuously engage with staff and improve services and employee experience.
  • Continue to develop key partnerships within the region.
  • Enhance our engagement strategy and materials based on feedback from the community.
Prevention

Why are we focusing on Prevention?

Preventing emergencies from happening in the first place through safety, education and engagement with our communities is the most effective way to save lives.

How do we currently invest in our Prevention work?

As we have made clear in our CRMP, we use data, intelligence and analysis to target our resources to those most at risk.

Our Prevention work is focused on 4 areas:

  • Safety in the Home
  • Safeguarding vulnerable people
  • Community Engagement
  • Youth Engagement, Education and Diversionary Activities

What are our proposals for future improvements in Prevention activities?

  • Enhance our intelligence led approach to continue to improve our understanding of risk and vulnerability and target our resources effectively;
  • Improve data sharing arrangements with partner agencies, to identify those most at risk;
  • Increase the number of Fire Cadets branches from 4 to 5, covering each of the 5 local authority areas in Tyne and Wear;
  • Explore opportunities to develop a new Safety Education Centre
  • Learn from our experiences, through feedback and evaluation, to continuously improve our prevention work
Protection

Why is our Protection work so important?

There are approximately 32,000 commercial premises within Tyne and Wear and it is our role to support compliance with fire safety legislation and mitigate any risk to communities.

How do we currently deliver our Protection work?

To identify our priorities our Risk Based Inspection Programme (RBIP) takes into account both risk and compliance of a premises.

The RBIP is continually monitored and data analysed utilising nine variables, including fires, injuries, Fire Safety Enforcement including Prohibition (PN’s) and Enforcement Notices (EN’s), and levels of risk and compliance within the premises to set the inspection frequencies.

In addition to commercial premises we also cover domestic dwellings in multi-occupied premises such as blocks of flats and it is this area which, following the Grenfell tragedy, has seen the greatest legislative changes in recent years and therefore is a primary focus for us.

Our primary focus remains education within the community, supplemented by enforcement as and when appropriate.

What are our proposals for future investment in our protection work?

We will continue to enhance safety in the commercial built environment ensuring those responsible for such premises are compliant with the required legislation by:

  • Review our RBIP to ensure we’re targeting risk effectively.
  • Increase frontline staff training in line with the national competency framework for fire regulators, to enable an increase in resources for inspection.
  • From April 2024 a new inspection team will look to support the Building Safety Regulator (BSR) which will be led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The BSR team will focus on High Rise Residential Buildings across the region although the scope of this may change over time.

The RBIP will be supported by a ‘hot strike’ methodology long used by operational staff following a fire. The department will look to use this method following the serving of Prohibition Notices to engage and educate the local community of a potential known risk within the area. It is known that in general the built environment in the surrounding community is often similar and therefore there is a likelihood of others being at risk in these properties.

Response

Why is it important to evolve our Response?

Demand on the fire and rescue service has evolved over the years and we continue to respond to a wide range of complex incidents, whether that be rescuing those in crisis, flooding, wildfire or a large scale road traffic collision. These demands will continue to evolve and we must adapt as we move forward.

How do we currently deliver an effective Response to emergencies?

We continuously review risk, demand and performance to ensure our resources are in the right place, and that we are providing an efficient use of money.

We have previously evolved our approach to improve service delivery, namely:

  • Introduced an additional fire appliance to our fleet.
  • Primary staffed the Service’s two Aerial Ladder Platforms (ALPs).
  • Amended the shift arrangements at two of our 17 fire stations.

We are continuing to invest in new appliances, equipment and kit to meet the changing demands on our Service and ensure the safety of our staff.

Our response to emergencies remain among the fastest in the country with an average response time of 5 minutes 44 seconds in 2022/23.

What are our proposals to evolve our operational response?

  • Introduce a Day Crewing Shift System at Wallsend Community Fire Station and reinvest the released resources efficiently and effectively by:
    • Increasing our water rescue capability by having a fire boat and water rescue available at all times.
    • Increasing our availability and resilience to respond to line rescue incidents, building collapses and large vehicle crashes.
  • Introduce a response standard, to help us monitor our performance and report back to the public.
  • Continue to improve and develop our operational training facilities to support national learning (Grenfell tower, Manchester Arena).
  • Review, update and implement a new mobilising system.
Resilience

Why is our Resilience work so important?

As a Category 1 responder we need to have robust plans in place to deal with major emergencies and disruptions whilst continuing to deliver our critical services. Nearly all serious emergencies require a ‘multi-agency’ response and so, by working with our partner agencies in Tyne and Wear, we can respond with the right mix of skills, expertise, and equipment to deal with the risks we expect to face.

How are we investing in Resilience at this time?

We currently provide a number of specialist capabilities, both personnel and resources, which enhance our ability to respond within the community and nationally to large scale or critical incidents.

We currently host a number of National Resilience assets, including:

  • Urban Search and Rescue capability
  • Mass Decontamination capability
  • Marauding Terrorist Attack response capability
  • Hazmats Detection, Identification and Monitoring capability
  • High Volume Pumping capability
  • Swift Water Rescue Team and Flood Response capability
  • Canine Search Unit capability
  • Various Tactical Advisor Capability

What are our proposals to enhance our Operational and National Response?

  • Introducing an Enhanced Logistics Support (ELS) asset which will enhance our capability to coordinate the deployment of multiple resources.
  • Increase our collaborative training with blue light partners at our dedicated training centre which houses our Urban Search and Rescue complex.
  • Increase our collaboration with Northumberland FRS to enable an improved response to wildfire incidents.
  • Enhance our Marauding Terrorist Attack capability by working in partnership with National Resilience.
  • Further develop our response and training to COMAH sites

Please find below links to our proposed Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) 2024-2027 and the Consultation Survey.

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For more information about our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP), or about our Consultation, please email CRMP2024-27@twfire.gov.uk or contact us by post at Corporate Communications, TWFRS Headquarters, Nissan Way, Washington, Tyne and Wear, SR5 3QY.