Fire service criticism 'crossed a boundary'

A public watchdog’s criticism of Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service has ‘crossed a boundary’, a councillor has claimed.

The service was told that improvements were needed in two areas - improving equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and how it carries out inspections of premises – by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in a report published last year.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Baxter told Lincolnshire county councillors that they were well on the way to meeting the targets, and expected good feedback from HMICFRS.

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However, a councillor says that the criticism was diverting crews from protecting people

Councillor Jacqueline Brockway told a meeting of the Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny panel: “HMI have crossed a boundary. I have the highest regard for Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service, who do an amazing job.

“The only thing we should care about are if the firefighters are fit enough to get us out of a burning building. We are asking them to risk their lives on a daily basis. The last thing on their minds when they’re rescuing someone should be EDI.

“HMI needs to be taken to task here. It will get to a point where it is really ridiculous. The fire service is being made to jump through hoops. It’s time for the public sector to tell them to get lost.”

No areas of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were found to be inadequate in the inspection last year.