Firefighters from Stratford are benefitting from a newly refurbished station which aims to support the introduction of a new duty system, Day Crewing Plus.
The improvements to the station include six new bedrooms with en-suite facilities, a refurbished kitchen and mess room, a small family room; a disabled toilet, a drying room, laundry room, locker room, an extra shower on the first floor and a new recreation room on the first floor.
The new duty system, Day Crewing Plus, not only ensures that the Service maintains an immediate emergency response to residents 24 hours a day, but it will also deliver efficiencies and provide firefighters with a flexible duty system which is managed on a self rostering basis. This means that crews can sign up to work shifts that are more suitable to them.
Those working to the new system will work 24 hours on station; carrying out normal working duties from 8am until 8pm. Once that shift is complete, they will then be on stand-by at night at the station from 8pm until 8am the next morning. The shift system means that crews can be on station for up to four days.
This system is already in use at 17 other Fire and Rescue Services across the UK, and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has introduced it at both Stratford and Alcester. The main benefits of the new system include:
• Maintenance of current response standards – 1st appliance in 10 minutes and 2nd appliance within 15 minutes to life risk incidents
• Year on year efficiency savings of around £350K per station
• Increased productivity with 12 hour shifts
• Self rostering shifts providing staff with greater flexibility
Talking about the refurbishment, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Andy Hickmott said:
“We are delighted that the improvements to the station have been completed and the crew have an excellent base from which to serve the community.
“Since the introduction of the new system at Stratford, the culture has changed and firefighters now work with crew members from across the station, instead of just one watch. This has helped to develop stronger working relationships and has even helped firefighters to share different working practises and techniques. Absenteeism due to sickness has also reduced, which means to date, the new system has been a real success.”
Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for Community Safety, Councillor John Horner said:
“The refurbishment of Stratford Fire Station marks the completion of the first of a number of improvements we are making as part of a county wide transformation programme. The station has been brought up to date to provide a great working environment for our firefighters and I look forward to seeing the benefits that brings.”
Cllr Phillip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added:
“This is a major refurbishment of a whole-time fire station and it will enable the firefighters that work there, to be more comfortable. The Service has spent around £350,000 of capital funding, which shows our commitment to making sure working conditions for our employees are fit for a modern duty system”.
For more information on Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, log onto www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue