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June saw the Joint Control Centre at Service Headquarters as the venue for a Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attack (MTFA) exercise which involved police, ambulance service and other multi-agency partners. This was another excellent opportunity to test our capabilities if a large-scale or Major Incident were to occur and how partner agencies would work together to deliver a successful resolution.
We also held our Service Awards Ceremony on June 15 at Aintree Racecourse where I had the privilege of presenting Long Service and Good Conduct medals to our staff who had served for more than 20 years. The awards ceremony also included the presentation of Attendance Certificates for staff. These certificates are awarded to staff who have not been absent for 15 and 25 years respectively. Like the Long Service and Good Conduct medal, these attendance certificates demonstrate a significant commitment to the Service and are a fantastic achievement. There was also a special award from the RSPCA for some of our staff following the rescue of a horse which will be covered in detail in the July edition of Hot News.
As part of our ongoing engagement, a new Portal area has been created and launched in May. It has been created as a central point for staff and managers to access all of the results, reports and updates relating to the staff survey which took place in the summer of 2014. It can
be found by clicking on the Think People logo on the Portal home page, found below Message of the Day.
As a direct response to the survey, we (both staff and managers) have developed a set of staff engagement commitments, which are intended to tackle some of the issues raised in the survey and during the resulting focus groups. Those commitments can also be found on the Portal page.
It is the intention that the Portal page will be used for regular updates on progress made with our commitments. More information and resources to help with staff engagement will also be made available there.
There is a dedicated email address, which can be found on the page, for staff and managers to provide feedback on their engagement experience as well as a means to request information or support with staff engagement. Please feel free to engage through this forum.
As part of that engagement, the Deputy Chief and I will commence another round of PO briefings immediately following the Emergency Budget in July. We already have a reasonable indication of the scale of financial challenge we will face over the next two years and by then will be in a position to explain the options we will have to consider in order to make what we believe will be unprecedented savings.
Finally and on a more upbeat note, on June 17 we saw four of our staff leaving for Romania to deliver two much needed fire appliances to the country as part of Operation Sabre - I am sure you will join me in wishing the team a safe journey.
If you want to you can even follow their exploits on twitter via @OperationSabre .
Dan Stephens
Chief Fire Officer

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