People across Scotland have had to come to terms with the impact of Covid-19 on every aspect of our lives. Some have faced and had to deal with the ill health or death of a relative, friend or colleague, everyone with the impact of lockdown and restrictions and a daily life which continues to be different from normal.
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic we have seen incredible examples of individuals and families, public and community services, organisations and businesses coming together to respond, with a spirit of collaboration, resilience, creativity and compassion.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was a key partner in responding to the pandemic and contributed greatly to meeting needs of local communities. SFRS staff are to be commended for stepping up and taking on new roles and adapting to new ways of working.
All organisations need to adapt to their operating context which continually shifts around them, creating new and ever more complex demands on them. This Framework advocates further evolution because the context in which SFRS operates and the challenges that it faces are continuing to evolve.
In addition to the challenges which Covid recovery and EU Exit bring, Scotland is facing changes in our climate, our population and in the expectations the public holds for all public services. While the resultant challenges that Scotland is facing are ever more complex, they also serve to foster opportunities for dynamic public sector organisations like SFRS to flourish.
We are publishing this new Fire and Rescue Framework 10 years on from the Christie Commission - a powerful, inclusive vision which SFRS has embraced in adopting an outcomes-based approach when formulating proposals on the future role of the Service. Its central tenets of empowering, of shared systems that focus on prevention, and of equitable partnerships still hold true but they are yet to be delivered in full. It is more important than ever that we revisit Christie's principles and hold to them as we look to renew.
Fuelled by the ethos of Christie our aspiration is not to produce a 'top down' blueprint for SFRS to strictly adhere to. Indeed, the Service continues to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to creatively deliver the strategic priorities, many of which still hold, set out within the 2016 Fire and Rescue Framework.
Underpinned by Scotland's National Outcomes, the strategic priorities set out within this Framework serve to collaboratively drive forward how the Service can do more for the people of Scotland, while adapting to the changing nature of risks facing communities across the country.
Minister for Community Safety