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> Putting our strategy into practice

We are continuing to implement positive changes that will help to improve resourcing, employee relations, talent management and the well-being of our people.

This section will be regularly updated with the latest news on a wide range of projects that are being carried out within the Service as we continue to work towards our vision of making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes the safest areas in England in which to live, work and travel while optimising the contribution and well-being of our people.

Below you will find all the latest news. You can select a specific key area by clicking on one the buttons. Every key area is broken down into categories with articles that highlight the work being carried out to support our People Strategy.

> Latest news

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  • Employee Relations
  • Resourcing
  • Talent Management
  • Well-being

Bucks Fire v Thames Valley Police

Monday 22nd June 2017 saw the return of the annual Bucks Fire v Thames Valley Police charity football match. A community charity event designed to raise much needed funds for the following four charities: The FireFighters Charity Thames Valley Police Benevolent Fund Milton Keynes Dons...

Letter of thanks to Beaconsfield Crews

Last Tuesday Beaconsfield Blue Watch hosted the local Beaver Group and assisted with the children gaining their "Safety Activity Badge" Evening Carl A huge Thank You to you and Ant for hosting the 4th Beaconsfield Beavers (and a few cubs and Klingons) last night. We all thought...

2017 Service Awards For Excellence (SAFE) launched

Every year Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service presents Service Awards for Excellence (SAFE Awards).   Staff, along with the communities of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, have the opportunity to nominate firefighters, staff members, stations, departments or initiatives for recognition which have made the greatest contribution to improve the...

Operational crew visit Thames Valley Fire Control

On Wednesday the 19th of April 2017, Beaconsfield Fire station On-Call unit visited Thames Valley Fire Control to meet the control operators and get a better idea of how emergency calls are taken and the services assets are mobilised across all three counties (Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and...

Work experience placement pays Beaconsfield White watch a visit.

White Watch Beaconsfield led by Crew Commander Andrew Holtzhausen, showed a new work experience placement student (Ashley), the water rescue unit. The duty crew talked through the water rescue equipment, procedures and gave Ashley a practical demonstration of its capabilities which Ashley thoroughly enjoyed. This was a great insight for...

Operational collaboration training

  The 2016 -17 cycle of operational validation exercises has now been completed with approximately 250 members of staff undertaking breathing apparatus and incident command assessments. Utilising the fantastic facilities at the Fire Service College our operational training department In order to improve the realism of scenarios...

How to contribute to the People Strategy

Our People Strategy demonstrates how Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority (BMKFA) will create the environment to optimise the engagement, commitment and professionalism of all our people to achieve the Authority’s Vision, Aims, Priorities and Objectives that are set out in the Public Safety and...

Youth inclusion project hits Aylesbury Fire Station

New health and wellbeing initiative will provide evidence based outcomes. In February the new BFRS scheme which aims to set the format for future youth health and wellbeing related engagement programmes called Embers launched. Building on the success of the successful Buckingham station initiative Team Fire HOSE, the Embers...

HEAT and training design team

HEAT (Hub of Education and Training) We have enjoyed the benefit of blending an understanding of fire service operations with modern web design by utilising the graphic, marketing, and IT skills of one particular operational employee. By simply harnessing the interests of our staff, we can...

Learning outside the classroom award

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has shown itself to be at the top of the class for educational visits by being awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC). Our Community Safety Officer, Oliver Franklin said “Being awarded...

Chairmans award 2016

Terry has given outstanding service to our communities since the early seventies, in numerous operational roles across the county, before retiring a couple of years ago from his operational career as Group Commander to continue in a non-operational role, supporting his colleagues as the services...

UKRO Rescue Challenge 2016

From 8th - 10th September, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service hosted the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) 2016 Rescue Challenge. The UKRO Rescue Challenge is an annual UK-wide event where more than 50 teams of professional firefighters from fire and rescue services across the UK compete against one another in...

Learningpool Live Awards 2016

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service walked away from the Learningpool Live Awards 2016 with two awards!   Most Innovative eLearning Sean Brannon and Paul Whidborne were instrumental in winning this award for BFRS. Their dedication and commitment to innovation of the LMS has lead to increased efficiency, better...

Community health and well-being

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service are increasingly being seen by partners as positive and progressive allies in the drive to improve health and well-being amongst our communities. The Fire Service has created a prevention agenda which has driven down incident numbers successfully over the past decade...

Regular consultation with employees

Regular consultation with employees The Authority believes in giving employees a voice in the business and recognises that effective consultation and information exchange are essential to fully engage employees in the business and its strategic objectives and to develop a commitment to change. To facilitate effective...

Revised pay policy

Revised pay policy The Authority strives to provide a modern employment proposition to support demand. A revised Pay Policy Statement 2016/2017 has been approved by the full Authority and recognises that new employees may be employed on terms and conditions outside of the Grey Book. The...

Make people accountable

Performance appraisals The performance appraisal includes an objective setting process. The Corporate Plan has key objectives and should be used to support the alignment of personal objectives with the corporate strategy. This way each employee can see how their objectives are aligned. Throughout the year it is...

Joint Consultation Forum

Joint Consultation Forum The Joint Consultation Forum plays an important role in informing and consulting employees, but the organisation will continue to use a range of other established communication and consultation tools to gauge employee opinions and to disseminate information (such as the weekly team briefings,...

Build a culture of trust

Senior Management Board - manager workshops During 2015, the Senior Management Board (SMB) implemented a series of manager workshops. These workshops were designed to create a more informed workforce, improve communications and encourage ideas for innovation. The workshops cascaded through the organisation, ultimately ensuring all employees...

Shadowing

A new culture of shadowing has been promoted by the Senior Management Board and is an initiative allowing any member of staff to experience the service from a different angle. This initiative has been very successful with employees from all areas of the service shadowing...

BFRS a smoke free zone

As of 1 May 2013, Our organisation became a smoke-free Service. This means that smoking is not tolerated on any of the Fire Authority’s premises (including the fire ground and training venues) by any employees including temporary staff, Fire Authority Members, visitors, contractors and any...

Prepare for change

 Securing a stable financial future The CFO is working hard at a political level to secure a long term financial forecast. However, a range of scenarios have been modelled to effectively prepare for different financial positions.   Planning to our budget This table from the Medium Term Financial Plan...

Develop flexible working practices

Marlow Fire Station alternative crewing model One of the work streams of the area reviews and on-call improvement projects is to explore a more flexible approach to crewing arrangements at on-call fire stations. Marlow Fire station has been identified to pilot a flexible crewing system where staff...

Provide alternative working

Prevention is better than cure The Authority has published a fitness procedure for all operational staff and is committed to establishing a positive, well-being culture throughout the whole Service.  The procedure also encourages support services employees to be involved, as keeping fit and healthy throughout your...

Explore collaboration

In June 2015 the Fire Authority signed off a Memorandum of Understanding with Royal Berkshire and Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Services. The purpose of the MOU is to commit each fire and rescue service to look at collaboration within the Thames Valley as a first...

Assist with the future

Reduced numbers of incidents Over the last decade (between 2002/03 to 2012/13) there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of fire related incidents and consequent deaths and injuries across the country.   2002/03 – 2012/13 England Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fires (table 3a) 63% 54% Non-fatal fire casualties (table 3g) 54% 68% Deaths (table 3e) 35% Too...

CFOA ageing workforce research participation

There has been a lot of research around how we can adapt to support an ageing operational workforce in the future. This is why our People Strategy clearly sets out our intention to refocus and ensure older Fire-fighters are fully utilised throughout their careers. Our Head...

Buckingham dementia-friendly alliance

A dementia-friendly community is one that continually works to improve social inclusion and quality of life for people with dementia and one that involves the whole community working together. Over the coming months employees at Buckingham Fire Station are planning to talk to as many small...

Leadership and management

The leadership and management programmes continue to provide an enhanced knowledge of managerial processes, techniques and skills for our future managers. Additionally, this year a commitment from Senior Management Board (SMB) is to open every programme, with discussion around the importance of a shared organisational direction...

Acceleration programmes for our best performing staff

The Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority (BMFKA) is committed to offering internal staff the first opportunity for development and progression. We are in the process of looking into acceleration programmes for those members of staff who are demonstrating the potential to develop themselves further and...

Development centres for support services staff

Following feedback from the consultation of the People Strategy, a decision was taken to implement a development centre for support services staff. The technical element applied for operational staff will not apply, however the managerial sections do cross over and there is also an opportunity...

Development opportunities through temporary promotions

A number of employees have been given opportunities for further development through temporary positions. Once an employee has demonstrated their potential and has committed to the whole development process, they can be considered for a temporary position, if available. This gives an opportunity to stretch...

Development centres

It important that we are well equipped to identify those who have the desire and ability to take on new skills and responsibilities. This is needed to take us forward for the future. Our revised development centre process, introduced in 2013, follows a modular approach as...

Further develop the performance appraisal system

Promotion of the performance management process and the importance of completing appraisals was undertaken via communications with the Leadership Group, the Director of People and Organisational Development Blogs and during the engagement programme rolled out to all managers within the organisation. Appraisals were also covered during...

Training, learning and development framework

The Training, Learning & Development Framework details how to prepare all employees to carry out their roles effectively and safely. It has been designed to address core skills in line with station and departmental skills profiles, as well as issues identified from station risk profiles, to meet...

Performance relating to pay and development centres

Our performance appraisal process now links to reward and recognition. A decision on remuneration regarding Additional Responsibility Allowance (ARA), honorarium, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and incremental pay increases can now be made as part of this process. If a manager wishes to consider an ARA they should complete...

Long Service Awards

On Friday 30th September over 70 people were invited to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to our Service during 2016. 21 of which were invited to be awarded their Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. Recognising each individual for their dedication and commitment to...

Critical incident stress debriefing (CISD)

By the very nature of the Fire Service’s work personnel are at risk of exposure to potentially distressing events. Physical, emotional and psychological reactions to these events are normal (and not always negative).  On the majority of occasions people will be able to manage their...

Welfare Officer

The Authority employ a Welfare Officer who has a key role in identifying any employee who may need help and assistance. The Welfare Officer maintains a link with employees through any period of difficult circumstances or absence and uses their expertise to advise, signpost relevant...

eLearning stress modules

Stress awareness When we feel stress, we are experiencing the body's reaction to a challenging situation. We have evolved over millennia to meet a challenge, or a threat, by either fighting it or running from it. This reaction is commonly known as the 'fight or flight'...

Blue light programme

The best way to handle an emergency? Stop it happening in the first place. Being in the Fire Service, we know this better than anyone, and it goes for your mental health too. We know that by learning some simple ways to cope better with the stresses...

Employee assistance programme

The PAM Assist employee assistance programme is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for all employees and their family members. The advisors are available to offer professional and discreet advice on family matters, debt, relationships, health and benefits and tax credits. The service...

PAM newsletter

Our Occupational Health provider is People Assett Management (PAM) Their role is to provide support to both employees and managers, in an advisory capacity and act as ‘the competent person’ in all health related procedures that the Service adheres to. PAM produce 'Compass' A health and wellbeing...