Avon Fire and Rescue Service has improved, but more work needed

Avon Fire and Rescue Service has made good progress, but more work is needed to improve its overall performance, a new report has found.

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Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2021/22 – Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) judged that Avon Fire and Rescue Service:

  • requires improvement at effectively and efficiently keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks; and
  • requires improvement at looking after its people

HMICFRS said that since its last inspection of Avon Fire and Rescue Service in 2018, the service had made good progress. This includes increasing the number of staff working in fire prevention, responding well to fires and major incidents, and improving support for staff’s mental and physical wellbeing.

In 2018, HMICFRS identified three causes of concern regarding Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s ability to keep the public safe through prevention work, and the way it looks after its staff, which have now been resolved.

However, the inspectorate said further changes are needed – including ensuring all staff have the right training to do their job and updating IT systems.

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire & Rescue Services Wendy Williams said:

“Avon Fire and Rescue Service has made good progress and has addressed the concerns raised by our previous inspection. Its significant investment in protecting the public has paid off, and we are very encouraged that the senior leadership team is now more visible to staff. Its new values and behaviours framework is widely understood and accepted.

“But there are several areas for improvement. The service’s IT infrastructure affects how effectively and flexibly staff can do their jobs. Firefighters need access to up-to- date and useful information about the risks they, or the public, might face in an emergency. The service should also make sure that it learns lessons from emergencies and where necessary improve the way it works.

“Overall, I am very pleased with the progress Avon Fire and Rescue Service has made. The challenge now is for the service to keep up this momentum in making further improvements to make the people of Avon safer.”

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Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2021/22 – Avon Fire and Rescue Service


  • This is the third time HMICFRS has inspected fire and rescue services across England and Wales. The most recent inspections in 2020 considered how each fire and rescue service was responding to the pandemic.
  • Avon Fire and Rescue Service is part of the first tranche of 12 reports to be published for 2021/22. Reports for the remaining fire and rescue services will be published across the next year.
  • Later today we will issue a further press release for the annual State of Fire and Rescue.
  • For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 07836 217 729 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk (e-mail address).