NI Fire & Rescue Service
Category: Thank you Date: 7th September 2017
In my last blog post I talked about the importance of having the right Vision, Mission and Values, so that what we aspire to, what we do and what shapes our behaviours are clearly understood by all NIFRS employees. Our Vision, Mission and Values serve as our common goal and approach as we deliver our fire and rescue service to the public on a daily basis.
In this blog I want to give you some practical examples of how, over the summer months, I saw our Vision, Mission and Values come to life as we responded to a variety of operational incidents during a busy summer. From the heat of gorse fires in May and bonfires in July to the flooding in late August, I am proud to say that through it all Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service was there to respond and to help ‘Protect Our Community’ – our current Vision Statement.
Every July/August we find ourselves in a delicate situation, carefully balancing our role with how we work with local communities and other agencies during this sensitive time. This year, what I saw was the collective effort of so many NIFRS staff, at all levels and across operational and support staff, getting on with the job and ‘protecting our community’.
To deliver a fire and rescue service and work in partnership with others to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community is our current Mission Statement, which captures all the hard work that was done across our organisation this summer. Take for example the recent flooding in the North West, where Crews were out on the ground in the wind and pouring rain in the middle of the night to rescue people and help keep them safe. We also worked with a range of partner agencies across local and central government in the strategic response to the flooding and offered our assistance where we could with the clean-up and recovery operation. This to me was the living embodiment of our Vision and Mission.
Our current Values are People, Leadership, Teamwork, Integrity, Diversity, Communication, Partnership and Excellence. This summer I saw the actions of our staff, going above and beyond the call of duty and in doing so reflecting these Values. Without you, our people, without leadership, teamwork and partnership we simply could not function as an organisation. Wholetime and Retained Crews working side by side at incidents, Regional Control Centre personnel keeping in close contact with those on the ground while also answering 999 calls, Manual Technicians providing vital on the ground support for our Firefighters, Transport staff keeping appliances on the run and ready to respond, Stores staff providing PPE and other equipment, Flexi Officers coming in when off-duty to help cope with the pressure, these are just some of the many ways that we live these values every day.
Despite it being a busy summer from an operational perspective, ‘business as usual’ activity continued behind the scenes – HR continued to work through the Wholetime Recruitment process, Finance continued to manage our budget and to ensure we all received our pay slips at the end of every week/month, Corporate Communications continued to update the media and public on what we are doing through social media and PR; Prevention and Protection continued with their Fire Safety activities in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire with a specific focus on High Rise Accommodation; Capital Projects worked away on plans for our new Learning and Development Centre and Logistics Support Centre; our Learning and Development Centre continued to deliver our summer programme of training; our Administrative staff continued to provide on-going vital support to help ensure that our organisation continues to function and operate efficiently.
So whether you are a Firefighter, an Officer, Regional Control Centre or Support Staff every day we work together, as a team, to Protect Our Community. This hard work and effort does not go unnoticed, nor do the long hours and the pressure of the job. I am personally so grateful and proud that we have such a dedicated and professional staff who live out our Vision, Mission and Values every day in serving the people of Northern Ireland.
Thank you, to each and every one of you, for your contribution and for serving NIFRS with such distinction over recent months.
Chief Fire & Rescue Officer