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Dorset Fire And Rescue Rated Excellent


3:19pm 30th November 2012

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service is the first in the South West to be rated excellent.

National Independent assessors spent three days in Dorset looking at how the fire and rescue service works and how it delivers services to people in the county.

Weymouth's new Community Safety Centre in Radipole Lane was also described as an initiative of national importance.

Among the features that contributed to the 'excellent' level awarded to the authority were:
- A clear vision and direction for the organisation driven by positive leadership from elected members and officers
- Services are shaped as a result of information about changing community needs
- Effective working with partners
- Innovative ways of communicating and engaging hard to reach groups
- Effective use of community volunteers

Councillor Rebecca Knox Chair of Dorset Fire Authority said: "The rating of our performance on equality issues as excellent is a reflection of our commitment to put the needs of Dorset people at the heart of what we do.

"We have been working hard to strengthen links with all the local communities, to provide equality of opportunity and to tackle disadvantage. However, we recognise that 'equality is a journey, not a destination' and we will continue to work to improve the way that we provide local services".

Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter said: "I would like to pay tribute to all staff, not just those who contributed to this assessment, but to everyone working for the authority for their continuing commitment to diversity issues and to making Dorset a safer place for everyone. I am privileged and proud to be part of Dorset Fire and Rescue Service."

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