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Reports from Research Commissioned by the Previous Administration

Volume 546: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2012

Today the Government are publishing the 11th group of reports presenting the findings from research projects commissioned by the previous Administration.

There is a significant backlog of unpublished reports that were produced by the previous Government which we will be publishing in groups themed on a particular topic.

The reports and findings are of general policy interest, but do not relate to forthcoming policy announcements. We are publishing these documents in the interests of transparency and as part of our freedom of information commitment to publish the results of all commissioned research.

The 20 reports published below represent the findings from 17 research projects at a total cost to taxpayers of £1,042,850. These findings cover the topic of fire.

(i) Review of the adequacy and impact of integrated risk management planning in the fire and rescue service—This report, commissioned in 2008, evaluated the adequacy and overall impact of integrated risk management planning on the efficiency of the fire and rescue service and on national fire-related outcomes.

(ii) Asset management in fire and rescue authoritiesThis report evaluated the extent to which fire and rescue authorities manage their property assets to ensure effective service provision and achieve value for money, and to make recommendations for improvement.

(iii) A review of current processes for operational training and development in the fire and rescue serviceThe review was set up to provide part of the evidence base needed to inform the debate about fire and rescue service operational training and development. The project was also to identify good practice for wider dissemination and look for opportunities to improve and strength training for the future.

(iv) Effectiveness of operational interventionGap analysis paperThis report by Qinetiq Ltd identified gaps in the evidence base that may need to be filled in order to develop a computer model to simulate firefighting operations. The report makes suggestions for how these gaps could be filled.

(v) Effectiveness of operational interventionModel development paperThis paper documented the development of a trial computer model to investigate the effectiveness of operational intervention at fire fighting incidents.

(vi) Effectiveness of sprinklers in housing, commercial, public and other buildingsThis research was commissioned in response to concerns and pressure from the sector that the provision of sprinklers represents the most cost-effective way to maintain the downward pressure on fire deaths and associated economic losses.

(vii) Impact of the firefighter awareness campaignThe fire and rescue service has struggled to recruit women for operational firefighter roles. At the time of the study women made up less than 3% of the fire and rescue service’s operational workforce. Research has shown that one of the key reasons why women are not becoming firefighters is the service’s image and the lack of awareness of firefighting as a career for women.

(viii) The development of a centrally held line-by-line fire and rescue service human resource dataThis study was an exploration of the possibility of using a different method for collecting various items of data from the fire and rescue service.

(ix) Lower cost domestic sprinkler (LCDS) systemsEvaluation of small-scale pilot trials in fire and rescue services (incorporating version 10 of the draft DCLG Design Guide)The aim of this report was to record the progress made by fire and rescue services in installing lower cost domestic sprinkler (LCDS) systems as described in version 10 of the draft DCLG Design Guide.

(x) The shape, form and function of operational guidance for the fire and rescue serviceThis report by Greenstreet Berman presented the findings of work carried out to determine the shape, form and function of future operational guidance. A human factors approach was applied to ensure that future operational guidance is: fit for purpose; presented in a style appropriate for the target audience and the context; appropriately organised; and easily accessible.

(xi) Fire investigation reports workshop: Workshop summary reportFire and rescue services undertake fire investigations and complete reports. Many of these reports contain valuable information which could be used nationally to inform practice and fire safety. This is a report of a workshop sponsored by DCLG and Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) to discuss how information from fire investigations could be better used and shared.

(xii) The competencies and skills for incident command: An initial explorationThis report by the Health and Safety Laboratory was the first stage of a larger project to look at incident command in the fire and rescue service. The findings of this first stage provide an examination of the different psychological components of successful incident command as well as the identification of the competencies, skills and personal qualities and attributes required of an incident commander.

(xiii) Comparison of European fire statisticsThis report by Greenstreet Berman Ltd examined the statistics collected by European countries regarding the consequence and incidence of fire. Technical experts in 24 European states responded to an online questionnaire explaining how their country collects fire data. The contractors then contrast different approaches to fire data collection and make suggestions for which countries’ data could be directly compared.

(xiv) Developing a model to estimate the economic cost of Special Service Incidents in EnglandThis report by Entec UK Ltd investigated the possibility of assessing the costs associated with special service incidents in England, with the primary focus being the costs to the fire and rescue service.

(xv) A review of the Fire Kills Fire Safety Education ProgrammeThis report by Greenstreet Berman Ltd contains the results of a project to measure the level of awareness (among community fire safety staff) and use of the Fire Kills fire safety education programme packs within the fire and rescue service. The report contains case studies providing information on the fire safety education carried out by six fire and rescue services and is based on surveys from 2007.

(xvi) Collation and analysis of Fire and Rescue Service expenditure dataThis report by Spikes Cavell and Co provided an overview of the results of a project carried out to provide a better understanding of the size, structure and opportunities within the fire market. The report identified opportunities for collaboration and procurement efficiencies.

Children and young people strategy

(xvii) Informing the development of the fire and rescue service strategy for working with children and young people: consulting with the youth sectorThis report by the National Youth Agency provided the findings of a consultation with the youth sector about the draft children and young people strategy 2010-13. The report is based on the findings from an online survey, a series of semi-structured interviews and a focus group with young people.

(xviii) Evaluation of the children and young people Strategy: 2006-10This report by GfK NOP social research provided an understanding of the awareness and use of the 2006-10 children and young people strategy, as well as suggestions of how the strategy could be improved in the future.

Impact of modernisation on the fire and rescue service

(xix) The impact of modernisation on fire and rescue servicesThis report by Actica Consulting Ltd assessed the impact of the portfolio of change projects initiated by DCLG on fire and rescue services in England. Senior members of staff were interviewed and provided key documents on which the findings and recommendations were based.

(xx) Project planning for fire and resilience directorate projects that impact fire and rescue servicesThis report by Actica Consulting Ltd follows on from the previous report assessing the impact of modernisation on the fire and rescue service. It contains the findings and recommendations of a short study to identify options to co-ordinate demands on fire and rescue service demands.

These reports and findings are of general policy interest, but do not relate to forthcoming policy announcements and are not a reflection of the current Government’s policies and priorities. DCLG is publishing these reports in the interests of transparency.

Copies of these reports are available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website. Copies have been placed in the Library of House.