Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service team retains Investors in People accreditation for the seventh time

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Fleet Services team has retained an Investors in People accreditation for the seventh time.

The team, which is based Lexden and the Service’s Headquarters, has held the accreditation since 2001 and it is valid for three years. The accreditation shows that it puts its colleagues first and lives the Service’s values.

The team has been praised for its leadership, supportive culture and helping colleagues to improve.

Matthew Parsons, Assistant Engineering Manager, said: “It’s all about creating a team ethic and the accreditation shows that our colleagues are on board. It’s driving us to inspire and empower them.

“They feel valued and they are living our service’s values, which align very closely with the Investors in People’s principles. I’d like to thank the team for their involvement in the process.

“We are looking to make continuous improvements and we’ve got some guidance on how to get an even higher score next time. We improved from last time but we have a saying: ‘excellent today, better tomorrow’.”

Fleet Services has 46 colleagues, including three who have nearly 41 years’ experience. The team’s collective experience is in the region of 700 years and average staff retention is about 20 years.

The team’s experience is being passed on to three apprentices, two doing five-year HGV Technical Engineering courses and one learning about Business Administration.

Matthew said: “They are assigned a mentor and made to feel very welcome. It’s great to have people willing to pass on their knowledge and experience.

“It’s so important in our industry, where engineers are increasingly difficult to recruit and fleet technical skills are very specialist in our industry.”

More than 430 vehicles and 15,000 pieces of equipment are supported by the team of engineers and equipment specialists.

Matthew said: “We need to make sure vehicles are operationally available and get crews to incidents. We need to make sure equipment works and is safe – it could save someone’s life.

“We like to think our expertise is enabling all of our colleagues who use vehicles and equipment to keep the people of Essex safe.”

Fleet Workshops has remained open throughout lockdown, although the team has put resilience measures in place.

What the report says

The Fleet Services team earned particular praise from the Investors in People assessors for:

  • Living the organisation’s values and behaviours
  • Empowering and involving people
  • Structuring work
  • Building Capability
  • Creating sustainable success

What colleagues said

Some of the anonymous quotes from colleagues included in the report included:

“They are people I trust, it’s a great team to work with. They manage situations and are respectful in the way they do it.”

“When I joined, they really made me feel at ease, it’s like a big family. It’s all very professional and very friendly. They have focused on making sure I get the training I need.”

“The training programme is second to none, we get the best possible training from the people who invented the stuff.”

Page last updated 29 July, 2020

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