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Dorset and Wiltshire 2021/22

Effectiveness

How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure?

Last updated 20/01/2023
Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment

We are pleased with the progress that Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has made in its effectiveness. Since our last inspection, the service has published its new CSP 2021–24. It describes how prevention, protection and response activity is resourced to mitigate or reduce the risks and threats the community faces, both now and in the future.

We were impressed with how the service collaborates with its partners. For example, its partnership with utility companies has helped the service to secure 25,000 carbon monoxide detectors and 2,500 wi-fi carbon monoxide detectors over the next 5 years. We have identified this as an innovative practice. We were also pleased to see prevention activities being evaluated so the service understands how effective its work is.

In our last inspection, we identified the service’s on-call availability as an area for improvement. It is encouraging to see that progress has been made in this area. The service has responded well to major incidents and we found it has good arrangements in place to respond in the future.

Although there are many positives in this area, the service should make sure that operational staff have read and understood any urgent risk information or safety flashes.

Questions for Effectiveness

1

How effective is the FRS at understanding the risk of fire and other emergencies?

Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at understanding risk.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.

Each fire and rescue service should identify and assess all foreseeable fire and rescue-related risks that could affect its communities. Arrangements should be put in place through the service’s prevention, protection and response capabilities to prevent or mitigate these risks for the public.

Areas for improvement

The service should ensure that all urgent risk information and safety flashes have been read and understood by staff.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service is good at identifying risk

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has assessed an appropriate range of risks and threats through a thorough integrated risk management planning process. The service has developed a strategic assessment of risk document which is updated every two years. When assessing risk, it considers relevant information collected from a broad range of internal and external sources and datasets. This includes data from the national risk register, census data and information from external organisations.

The service has consulted and undertaken constructive dialogue with communities and other organisations on its IRMP, known as the CSP, which was published in June 2021. The service was unable to hold face-to-face meetings because of the pandemic, but it used social media and contacted community groups through the police and local authorities. This work helps the service understand risks and explain how it plans to mitigate them.

There is an effective community safety plan

After assessing relevant risks, the service has recorded its findings in its easily understood CSP. This plan describes how prevention, protection and response activity is to be effectively resourced to mitigate or reduce the risks and threats the community faces, both now and in the future.

The CSP sets out the service’s main priorities:

  • making safer and healthier choices;
  • protecting you and the environment from harm;
  • being there when the public needs it;
  • making every penny count; and
  • supporting and developing its staff.

The service regularly reports to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority on its performance and progress, which are measured against the priorities outlined in the CSP.

The service gathers, maintains and shares a good range of risk information

The service routinely collects and updates the information it has about the people, places and threats it has identified as being at greatest risk. This includes thatched and heritage properties as the service has the highest number of thatched properties in the UK.

It was encouraging to see that following our last inspection the service has established processes and systems to gather and record up-to-date site-specific risk information (SSRI) and make it readily available to the service’s prevention, protection and response staff. All staff have access to the risk portal on the service’s intranet pages, which display all the SSRI records. This helps them to identify, reduce and mitigate risk effectively. We raised this as an area for improvement in the last inspection and were pleased with the improvements made.

Since our last inspection, the service has introduced a new process to make sure firefighters have good access to relevant and up-to-date risk information about temporary events. This was raised as an area for improvement in the last inspection. Staff now receive an email bulletin that contains information about the temporary event taking place.

Where appropriate, risk information is also given to other organisations such as local authorities and other emergency services.

The service should make sure staff read and understand urgent information

We found that the service sends an email to all operational staff about urgent risk information or safety flashes they must be aware of. The supervisory managers are responsible for making sure staff have read and understood them. But we were disappointed to find that that this doesn’t always happen. Despite processes in place, the service needs to improve the way it monitors that staff have read and understood urgent bulletins, particularly staff on annual leave or returning from absence.

Feedback from operational activity informs the service’s understanding of risk

The service records and communicates risk information effectively. It routinely updates risk assessments and uses feedback from local and national operational activity to inform its planning assumptions. It also shares learning nationally.

Since our last inspection, the service has further developed its operational effectiveness database, which has improved the way it records and disseminates learning from operational activity.

The service has responded positively to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry

During this round of inspections, we sampled how each fire and rescue service has responded to the recommendations and learning from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has responded positively and proactively to learning from this tragedy. The service had assessed the risk of each high-rise building in its service area.

It has carried out a fire safety audit and collected and passed relevant risk information to its prevention, protection and response teams about buildings identified as high risk and all high-rise buildings that have cladding similar to the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower.

2

How effective is the FRS at preventing fires and other risks?

Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at preventing fires and other risks.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Fire and rescue services must promote fire safety, including giving fire safety advice. To identify people at greatest risk from fire, services should work closely with other organisations in the public and voluntary sector, and with the police and ambulance services. They should provide intelligence and risk information with these other organisations when they identify vulnerability or exploitation.

Innovative practice

The service effectively collaborates with its partners

The service has collaborated with SGN (previously Scotia Gas Networks) and Wales and West Utilities. This has helped the service to secure 25,000 carbon monoxide detectors and 2,500 wi-fi carbon monoxide detectors over the next 5 years. In addition, the service has worked effectively with road safety partners who sponsor the service’s road safety activities.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The prevention plan aligns with the community safety plan

The prevention plan is clearly linked to the risks identified in its CSP. The risks identified include:

  • an increase in the number of elderly people requiring specialist support; and
  • the increased strain on the NHS and adult and social care services as the population profile changes.

The service’s teams work well together and with other relevant organisations on prevention, and it shares relevant information when needed. Information is used to adjust planning assumptions and direct activity between the service’s prevention, protection and response functions. For example, following fire safety audits in high-rise premises, the prevention team sent letters to occupants in premises considered higher risk and offered them a safe and well visit.

The service adapted its prevention activities during the pandemic

We considered how the service had adapted its prevention work during our COVID-19 specific inspection in October 2020. At that time, we found it had adapted its public prevention work appropriately. A notable achievement was the creative way in which the prevention team promoted the Government’s main COVID-19 safety messages. For example, it produced several interactive road safety and school training packages for younger children. Since then, we are encouraged to find that the service has continued to develop its virtual resources. We were also pleased to find that all outstanding safe and well visits have been completed.

Prevention activity is prioritised to risk

Prevention activity is clearly prioritised using a risk-based approach towards people most at risk from fire and other emergencies. For example, all safe and well visits are assessed using a triage process to make sure the most vulnerable are prioritised.

The service takes account of a broad range of information and data to target its prevention activity at vulnerable individuals and groups. This includes NHS data, demographic information, vulnerability data from the local authorities and historic incident data. Wholetime operational staff also use the pinpoint tool, which allows them to generate referrals.

It provides a range of interventions that it adapts to the level of risk in its communities. Specialist safe and well advisors complete the highest-risk safe and well visits and wholetime staff address all other risks.

Staff receive the appropriate support in carrying out safe and well visits

Staff told us they have the right skills and confidence to make safe and well visits. These checks cover an appropriate range of hazards that can put vulnerable people at greater risk from fire and other emergencies. The safe and well advisors receive enhanced training and regular continuous professional development. This is further supported by online training packages.

There is a clear quality assurance process in place. Most of the files we sampled showed visits were completed to a good standard, although some wholetime operational staff didn’t record sufficient information about their safe and well visits.

Staff are good at identifying and responding to safeguarding concerns

Staff we interviewed told us about occasions when they had identified safeguarding problems. They told us they feel confident and trained to act appropriately and promptly. The staff we spoke to, including on-call firefighters, were able to tell us what actions they would take when responding to a safeguarding concern. The information is also accessible on the electronic tablets stored on the fire engines.

The service’s collaboration with other organisations is impressive

The service works with a wide range of other organisations, such as South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and local authorities, to prevent fires and other emergencies.

We found good evidence that it routinely refers people at greatest risk to organisations that may be better able to meet their needs. These organisations include social care providers.

The service routinely exchanges information with other public sector organisations about people and groups at greatest risk. It uses the information to challenge planning assumptions and target prevention activity. Arrangements are in place to receive referrals from others such as the British Red Cross and Age UK. The service acts appropriately on the referrals it receives. For example, the referring organisation receives a monthly report detailing the result of each referral it sent. This includes any work undertaken in the premises, such as fitting of smoke detectors.

We were impressed by the way the service works with its partners. The service has collaborated with SGN and Wales and West Utilities. These partnerships have helped the service to secure 25,000 carbon monoxide detectors and 2,500 wi-fi carbon monoxide detectors over the next 5 years. The arrangement helps the service and the utility companies to refer vulnerable people to receive extra, tailored support.

The service has also collaborated with many other organisations. For example, vehicle specialist Arval UK sponsors the service to deliver the Safe Drive Stay Alive campaign to Year 10 pupils.

The service is good at tackling fire-setting behaviour

The service has a range of suitable and effective interventions to target and educate people of different ages who show signs of fire-setting behaviour. This includes a programme aimed at children and young people. We were pleased to see that the level of deliberate fires in the service area was much lower than the England rate.

When appropriate, it routinely shares information with other organisations such as the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, a charity that works with Wiltshire police to provide community security and protect the vulnerable. When they refer arson cases to the service, joint visits take place. The service has a deliberate fire reduction officer and fire-setting advisors who assist the police to support the prosecution of arsonists.

The service is effective at evaluating its prevention activities

In our last inspection, we found the service’s evaluation of its prevention work was an area for improvement. We were pleased to see the service now has good evaluation tools in place. These tools measure how effective its work is, so that the service knows what works and that its communities experience prevention activity that meets their needs. The service evaluates the following prevention activities:

  • safe and well visits;
  • road safety;
  • youth intervention; and
  • education programmes.

Prevention activities take account of feedback from the public, other organisations, and other parts of the service. There is a customer satisfaction survey. For example, following a safe and well visit, a survey checks the visit met the occupants’ expectations and reviews behaviour changes the occupant has made since, such as testing their smoke detector more regularly.

Feedback is used by the service to inform its planning assumptions and amend future activity so it is focused on what the community needs and what works.

In addition, the service has an impressive framework to ensure it offers value for money, which is outlined in the efficiency section of this report.

3

How effective is the FRS at protecting the public through fire regulation?

Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at protecting the public through fire regulation.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

All fire and rescue services should assess fire risks in certain buildings and, when necessary, require building owners to comply with fire safety legislation. Each service decides how many assessments it does each year. But it must have a locally determined, risk-based inspection programme for enforcing the legislation.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

There are good links between the risk-based inspection programme and its community safety plan

The service’s RBIP is clearly linked to the risks it has identified in its CSP.

Staff across the service are involved in this activity, with information effectively exchanged as needed. For example, fire safety inspectors pass on information about evacuation strategies in high rise premises to operational staff. Information is then used to adjust planning assumptions and direct activity between the service’s protection, prevention and response functions. This means resources are properly aligned to risk.

The service adapted its protection activities during the pandemic

We considered how the service had adapted its protection activity during our COVID-19 specific inspection in October 2020. At that time, we found it had adapted its protection work well. Since then, we are encouraged to find the service has returned to face-to-face inspections for its protection work, with appropriate measures in place.

Protection activity is focused on the highest-risk premises

The service’s RBIP is focused on its highest-risk buildings. The service uses a range of data sources and a scoring matrix to identify these premises. The service told us it has identified 527 premises at its highest risk, which includes residential boarding schools and fast-food establishments with sleeping accommodation. We were told that the service is on track to inspect all premises by April 2024.

The audits we reviewed were completed in the timescales the service has set itself. It was encouraging to see that 38 percent of audits result in an assessment that fire safety is unsatisfactory. This is higher than the England rate of 25 percent and indicates that the service is consistently targeting the right premises.

All high-rise premises have been inspected

Audits have been carried out at all high-rise buildings the service has identified as using cladding that is similar to the cladding installed on Grenfell Tower. The service identified 356 high-rise premises in total and we were pleased to find that they have all been inspected. Information gathered during these audits is made available to response teams and control operators, enabling them to respond more effectively in an emergency.

Fire safety audits are completed to a good standard

We reviewed a range of audits of different premises across the service. This included audits as part of the service’s RBIP, after fires at premises where fire safety legislation applies, where enforcement action had been taken and at high-rise, high-risk buildings.

The audits we reviewed were completed to a high standard in a consistent, systematic way, and in line with the service’s policies. Relevant information from the audits is made available to operational teams and control room operators.

The quality assurance process is effective

Quality assurance of protection activity takes place in a proportionate way. At the time of our inspection, an experienced fire safety officer reviewed a fire safety inspector’s audit on a three-month cycle. The inspector receives feedback, a quarterly report is produced and wider learning is shared. The service is further enhancing this process so the line manager will complete the quality assurance check in person with the inspector.

The service has good evaluation tools in place to measure the effectiveness of its activity and to make sure all sections of its communities get appropriate access to the protection services that meet their needs.

The service is good at using its full range of enforcement powers

The service consistently uses its full range of enforcement powers, and when appropriate, prosecutes those who don’t comply with fire safety regulations.

In the year to 31 March 2021, the service issued:

  • 1 alteration notice;
  • 3 enforcement notices; and
  • 6 prohibition notices.

Although the service has only prosecuted once in the last 5 years, from 2016/17 to 2020/21, it has the appropriate resources to investigate alleged fire safety breaches and prosecute when necessary. The service has 24/7 availability to respond to dangerous conditions out of hours.

The service has increased its protection resources

The service has enough qualified protection staff to meet the requirements of the service’s RBIP. Most of its staff have now achieved their Level 4 Diploma in fire safety. This helps the service to provide the range of audit and enforcement activity needed, both now and in the future.

Wholetime operational staff have recently received training in how to carry out fire safety checks in lower-risk premises. They spoke highly of the training they received. They would benefit from the service selecting premises for them to check.

The service aligns staff training with nationally recognised standards. It doesn’t have a fire engineer but has arrangements with neighbouring services to access engineer support when this is needed.

The service works closely with other enforcement organisations

The service works closely with other enforcement agencies to regulate fire safety and routinely exchanges risk information with them. The service has a protocol with some local authorities that provides clarification on which authority uses its powers in certain parts of a premises. The service has built good links with its local authorities and has representation at a monthly care quality monitoring group meeting to share information. The service has carried out joint inspections where necessary. For example, a joint visit was carried out with the police, UK Border Agency and local authority following concerns about a premises.

The service responds to building and licencing consultations in a timely manner

The service responds to all building consultations on time, so consistently meets its statutory responsibility to comment on fire safety arrangements at new and altered buildings. We were pleased to find that in 2020/21, the service responded to almost all building regulations and licensing consultations within the required time frames.

The service continues to work well with businesses

The service proactively works with businesses and other organisations to promote compliance with fire safety legislation. It uses social media and its website to deliver messages about fire safety compliance. It has held seminars to promote the benefits of sprinkler systems. The service has appointed a manager to progress engagement activities with businesses that were carried out before the pandemic, such as safety seminars.

The service has reduced its attendance to automatic fire alarms

An effective risk-based approach is in place to manage the number of unwanted fire signals. The service has a dedicated officer who monitors unwanted fire signals daily and reviews any trends in both Dorset and Wiltshire. The officers decide whether any intervention is required.

The service gets fewer calls because of this work. For the year to 31 March 2021, the proportion of automatic fire alarm activations decreased to 27 percent of all emergency calls received from 35 percent in the previous 12 months. However, this is above the England rate of 18 percent.

Fewer unwanted calls mean that fire engines are available to respond to a genuine incident rather than responding to a false one. It also reduces the risk to the public if fewer fire engines travel at high speed on the roads.

4

How effective is the FRS at responding to fires and other emergencies?

Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at responding to fires and other emergencies.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Fire and rescue services must be able to respond to a range of incidents such as fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies in their area.

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

Response resources are regularly reviewed

The service identifies risks through its CSP. Its fire engines and response staff, as well as its working patterns, are designed and located to help the service respond flexibly to fires and other emergencies with the appropriate resources. For example, the service reviewed its technical rescue capabilities and relocated this where the risks are greater and to improve efficiency.

The service is continually improving its response times

There are no national response standards of performance for the public. But the service has set out its own response standards in its CSP.

The service sends two fire engines to all incidents where people might be sleeping. The first fire engine aims to arrive on average within 10 minutes and the second fire engine on average within 13 minutes. For all other fires, the service aims on average for the first engine to arrive within 10 minutes and the second within 15 minutes. For road traffic collisions, the service aims for the first engine to arrive on average within 15 minutes.

The average response time to dwelling fires in the year to 31 December 2021 was 8 minutes 37 seconds, which is slightly faster than the average for the significantly rural service group. The service would benefit from providing its response performance to the public as it is not easily available on its website.

On-call availability is increasing

To support its response strategy, the service aims to have 78 percent of its fire engines available on all occasions. This is 1 fire engine on each of its 50 fire stations and a second fire engine at each fire station where it has wholetime and on-call firefighters combined. The service consistently meets this standard. It told us that in 2019/20 the service achieved 77.0 percent overall availability and 81.4 percent in 2020/21.

In our previous inspection, we identified that the service should improve the availability of its on-call firefighters. Encouragingly, the availability has improved. In 2019/20 the on-call availability was 73.5 percent, which increased to 78.6 percent in 2020/21. Despite the increased availability, there were 42 failures to mobilise (2.49 per 1,000 incidents) in 2020/21. This is where a crew is requested to attend but can’t, so a further crew is required. This is above the England rate.

Incident commanders were confident in their role

The service has trained incident commanders who are assessed regularly and properly. In 2020/21, 99 percent of incident commanders had been accredited within the preceding 2 years. This helps the service to safely, assertively and effectively manage the whole range of incidents that it could face, from small and routine ones to complex multi-agency incidents.

As part of our inspection, we interviewed incident commanders from across the service. They were familiar with risk assessing, decision-making and recording information at incidents in line with national best practice, as well as the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP).

Control room staff are well integrated into operational response

We are pleased to see control staff integrated into the service’s command, training, exercise, debrief and assurance activity. We were given examples of how fire control staff have been involved in training and major incident exercises with operational staff. We were also pleased to find that control staff were involved in structured debriefs after incidents.

Control room staff can provide fire survival guidance to multiple callers

The service has an effective partnership with Devon and Somerset FRS and Hampshire and Isle of Wight FRS through the Networked Fire Services Partnership (NFSP). All three services share the same mobilising system, which means that, when necessary, they can take emergency calls for each other and mobilise resources.

The control room staff we interviewed are confident they could provide fire survival guidance to many callers simultaneously. This was identified as learning for fire services after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Control has good systems in place to exchange real-time risk information with incident commanders, other responding partners and other supporting fire and rescue services. Maintaining good situational awareness helps the service to communicate effectively with the public, providing them with accurate and tailored advice.

There are good processes in place to manage risk information

We sampled a range of risk information involving short-term and long-term risks, including what is in place for firefighters responding to incidents at high-risk, high-rise buildings and what information is held by fire control.

The information we reviewed was up to date and detailed. It could be easily accessed and understood by staff. Encouragingly, it had been completed with input from the service’s prevention, protection and response functions when appropriate.

The service has invested in demountable risk-information tablets for all fire engines. Staff were extremely positive about these tablets, as they allow them to access a range of information while at an incident. This includes policies and procedures on the service’s intranet pages.

Operational learning is obtained regularly

We identified in our last inspection that the service should make sure it has an effective system for staff to use learning and debriefs from incidents to improve future operational response. We are pleased the service has addressed this. It has further developed its operational effectiveness database, which gathers learning from lower-level incidents to large incidents.

As part of the inspection, we reviewed a range of emergency incidents and training events which included the Wareham Forest fire, the largest in the service area in recent history. We are pleased to see the service routinely follows its policies to assure itself that staff command incidents in line with operational guidance. Internal risk information is updated with the information received. Any operational learning obtained is sent to all operational staff via a monthly bulletin, although staff don’t need to confirm whether they have read or understood the learning.

We are encouraged to see the service is contributing towards, and acting on, learning from other fire and rescue services or operational learning gathered from other emergency services. National information and learning is reported to the operational assurance team, then communicated to the rest of the service.

The public is informed of ongoing incidents

The service has good systems in place to inform the public about ongoing incidents and help keep them safe during and after incidents. The communications team provide 24/7 cover, which helps keep the public informed, and provides media training to staff at station manager level and above. In addition, the team works well with the local resilience forums (LRF) in both Wiltshire and Dorset to provide consistent messages to the public.

5

How effective is the FRS at responding to major and multi-agency incidents?

Good

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is good at responding to major and multi‑agency incidents.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

All fire and rescue services must be able to respond effectively to multi-agency and cross-border incidents. This means working with other fire and rescue services (known as intraoperability) and emergency services (known as interoperability).

We set out our detailed findings below. These are the basis for our judgment of the service’s performance in this area.

The service is well prepared to respond to major and multi-agency incidents

The service has effectively anticipated and considered the reasonably foreseeable risks and threats it may face. These risks are listed in both local and national risk registers as part of its CSP. For example, the service has plans to deal with wildfires and severe weather conditions.

It is also familiar with the significant risks that could be faced by neighbouring fire and rescue services that it might reasonably be asked to respond to in an emergency. Firefighters have access to that risk information.

The service has dealt with major incidents effectively

We reviewed the arrangements the service has in place to respond to different major incidents, including sites covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) regulations and marauding terrorist attacks (MTAs). Although the service doesn’t have a specialist MTA team, it has trained all its operational staff in MTA and aligned its staff to the latest joint operating principles.

We are pleased the service has good arrangements in place to respond to major incidents, which are well understood by staff. As we reported in the COVID-19 inspection, the service responded effectively to its largest fire in recent history at Wareham Forest. This incident lasted over eight weeks. This large-scale incident was attended by more than 1,000 firefighters and used considerable resources across the service.

The service works well with other fire and rescue services in emergencies

The service supports other fire and rescue services responding to emergency incidents. For example, it can mobilise resources to any incidents in the relevant service areas in the NFSP. The service has additional formal arrangements in place with neighbouring services. It is intraoperable with these services and can form part of a multi-agency response.

During the Wareham Forest fire, the service successfully worked with its neighbouring fire and rescue services and the National Fire Chiefs Council, as well as accessing and using national resilience assets, such as high-volume pumps, during this incident.

Cross-border exercises are carried out

Each fire station located near a border must carry out an exercise with bordering fire and rescue services annually. In our previous inspection, we identified as an area for improvement that the service should arrange a programme of cross-border exercises and share the learning. We are pleased to see the service now incorporates this into its training programme.

We were told about cross-border exercises that had taken place. This results in services working together effectively to keep the public safe. We were encouraged to see that feedback from these exercises is used to inform risk information and service plans.

Principles for working effectively with other emergency services are well understood

The incident commanders we interviewed had been trained in and were familiar with JESIP principles for working with other emergency services. This includes online training packages and assessments of the command of an incident to consider how well the principles were adhered to. The service could provide us with strong evidence that it consistently follows these principles.

The service works well with its local resilience forums

The service is a member of two LRFs: Dorset, and Wiltshire and Swindon. The service has good arrangements in place to respond to emergencies with their partners on these forums. These arrangements include joint plans for potential major incidents in places such as Bournemouth Airport.

The service is a valued partner and is an active member of several subgroups. The service takes part in regular training events with other members of the LRFs and uses the learning to develop plans for responding to major and multi-agency incidents. For example, the service is an active member of the South-West Malicious Risks Working Group, which aims to provide the LRFs with a consistent understanding of current terrorism and other malicious risks so response capabilities can be improved.

The service keeps up to date with national learning

The service keeps itself up to date with national operational learning updates from other fire services and joint operational learning from other organisations, such as the police service and ambulance trusts. This learning is used to inform planning assumptions that have been made with other partners.