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CIFS Review Results Announced

The MHA has announced the results of an organisational review recently conducted on the Fire Service.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has announced the results of an organisational review recently conducted on the Cayman Islands Fire Service.

A press conference was held today (Wednesday, 7 February 2018) to present the review findings and explain the approach that will be taken to enhance services and ensure overall effectiveness.

In June 2017, the Ministry commissioned consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to undertake the review, to help develop an appropriate standard of operations for the domestic division of the CIFS, and to reshape the department's overall organisational structure.

“The Government and the Ministry welcomed the results of this comprehensive review; and we support and look forward to the implementation of the transformation and restructuring required, which will allow the CIFS to continue its progress towards becoming a world-class Fire Service,” Minister for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers said.

The increase in budget approved by the Legislative Assembly for 2018 and 2019 will enable the Ministry to address the issues identified in the report.

Through this initiative, the Ministry of Home Affairs will continue to build on the strengths of the CIFS by ensuring resources and other support is required to ensure that all essential functions are carried out per established best practice.

During the review process, Fire Service personnel at all levels were given an opportunity to offer their feedback through a confidential survey and face-to-face interviews, to which 60% of the workforce responded. Several stakeholder engagement meetings were also held with allied agencies.

The review highlighted four main areas to be addressed and a roadmap for implementation, with specific activities and timeframes for completion, ranging from six months to two years was provided.

"We are committed to supporting the Chief Fire Officer and all fire personnel in the development of a premier Fire Service,” Chief Officer for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr. Dax Basdeo says. “The implementation plan developed as a result of the organisational review will play a vital role in facilitating that process."

The Chief Officer explains that the first objective will be the implementation of the United Kingdom National Occupational Standards. The Fire Service is committed to using these standards as a reference point when reviewing and developing qualifications for domestic operations. While the standard is already in use for aerodrome operations, incorporating the standard into domestic operations will provide clarity on training needs and build capability for the agency.

Another key area of focus is developing a talent strategy for the Fire Service. This aspect of the plan will deal with issues such as recruitment, succession planning and performance management. It is the aspect of the plan that will address the individual development of existing fire officers and will therefore take the longest time to fully implement.

The third area of focus will further evaluate the Fire Service’s processes and procedures. While somewhat linked to the implementation of the operational standards, this aspect of the plan looks at the administrative systems in place with the goal to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

Finally, the fourth main stream of work highlighted in the review, and which is already underway, is the improvement of Fire Service facilities. The review indicates necessary repairs, upgrades and replacements of facilities and equipment to ensure all essential functions of the Fire Service are carried out per established best practice.

“As a key first responder agency, it is crucial that the fire service is structured to meet its mandate, and I would like to thank the Ministry for taking the necessary steps to ensure we have the plan and the tools needed,” Chief Fire Officer David Hails states. “We are committed to using these results to build on our strengths and improve our weaknesses in order to achieve the status of a world-class Fire Service.”

For further information contact: Jamie Hicks