Today (Thursday, May 23) the Scottish Government published its 'Evaluation of police and fire reform year 4: international perspectives' report. Read SFRS Chief Officer Martin Blunden's response below...
Martin Blunden is Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: “We welcome this comprehensive evaluation which provides strong insight into what is described as one of the most ambitious public sector reforms in Scotland for a generation.
“It has been challenging and complex and I would personally like to pay tribute to the first Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Alasdair Hay, and the efforts of our people as they moved to help integrate and then consolidate eight legacies into one national Service.
“This report recognises our commitment to putting in place the necessary operational, governance and financial foundations that will enable us to meet modern risks such as severe weather and a growing elderly population increasingly calling upon our support to stay safe."This has enabled us to now look to our vision to do so much more for the communities of Scotland.
“It is vital that we listen to our people, the public we serve and our partners to ensure they have a voice in shaping future service delivery as we work to navigate a challenging financial environment, and ensure our ongoing efforts enhance both public and firefighter safety.
“We recognise that there still remains areas for improvement.”
He added: “We are presently reaching out to everyone for their thoughts on our Draft Strategic Plan 2019-2022 which set out our Service’s proposed direction over the next three years.
“This Plan includes enhancing partnership working, our current operational footprint, training and equipping firefighters as well as nurturing leadership and diversity within our workforce.
“We already have an outstanding track record in areas of prevention where we have seen the number of house fires greatly reduce over the decades, and so we are actively looking at what else we can do to assist people - and partnership working is also key to that ambition.
“We want communities and partners to come on this journey with us, to help us to shape our proposals into a comprehensive but flexible plan that meets the needs of a modern Scotland.”