Concerns about Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s performance

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) needs to make urgent improvements, the fire inspectorate has found.

Get the report

Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2023/25 – Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has graded Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s performance across 11 areas and found the service was ‘adequate’ in one area, ‘requires improvement’ in nine areas and ‘inadequate’ in one area.

HMICFRS said that the service hasn’t done enough to address areas for improvement since its last inspection, such as failing to provide staff with clear direction to enable them to prioritise work according to risk.

The inspectorate also found that Buckinghamshire FRS is overly reliant on neighbouring fire and rescue services for emergency response, meaning that the service being provided to the public is not as good as it should be.

His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Roy Wilsher said:

“I have concerns about the performance of Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks.

“The service has made some improvements since our 2021 inspection, but we were disappointed to see that it hasn’t made enough progress in more areas.

“We recognise that it has faced challenges over recent years, including the capacity to change, although there is a clear commitment from staff in the service to improve.

“Given the nature of some of the problems we have identified, we will keep in close contact with the service to monitor its progress in addressing areas for improvement, causes of concern and associated recommendations.”

Get the report

Effectiveness, efficiency and people 2023/25 – Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service


  1. For further information, please contact the HMICFRS Press Office on 0300 071 6781 or
  2. This inspection contains our third assessment of the service’s effectiveness and efficiency, and how well it looks after its people. We have measured the service against 11 areas and given a grade for each.
  3. We haven’t given separate grades for effectiveness, efficiency and people as we did previously. This is to encourage the service to consider our inspection findings as a whole and not focus on just one area.
  4. We have expanded our previous four-tier system of judgements to five. These changes mean that it isn’t possible to make direct comparisons between grades awarded in this round of inspections with those from previous years.
  5. A reduction in grade, particularly from good to adequate, doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been a reduction in performance, unless we say so in the report.
  6. Read more information about the 2023-25 assessment framework for fire and rescue service inspections.