I had an incredibly enjoyable and informative lunch meeting with Becci Bryant, Chief Fire Officer at Staffordshire Fire & Rescue, and her colleagues Bob Preston, Head of Learning and Development; David Greensmith, Director of Finance, Assets and Resource; and Howard Watts, Director of Prevent and Protect.
We discussed many topics and explored the opportunities and challenges that face her and her team now and in the future.
I was delighted to hear that Staffordshire Fire & Rescue employ almost double the national average of females in their force. This is so important for creating a diverse Service, which provides many benefits in our modern, complex world.
Fire Fighters must now have a multi-faceted skill set, as in many instances they come across a wide and diverse array of people, some of whom are vulnerable. It was interesting to learn that much of their work is based around reducing the risk of fires and advising on how to prevent incidents and accidents occurring in the first place. Around 48 percent of deaths in the home are due to trips, slips and falls, but only eight percent are fire related, which proves educating residents on how to reduce the risk of fire is really working.
I have made a commitment to Becci and her team that I will be a resource to the Fire and Rescue Service during my Shrieval year, and I plan to have a follow up meeting to flesh out how I may help them going forward in the coming months
I am reassured to learn that in Staffordshire, we have a world class, progressive, high quality and efficient Fire and Rescue Service, and I would like to thank Becci and her team for all they do to keep us safe.