A TOTAL of 15 complaints against local firefighters were upheld last year,  including protests about bad behaviour, driving standards and damage to property.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service officers explained they received 33 complaints, while 102 compliments and donations were received from the public within the last financial year.

The upheld complaints included four over staff behaviour, three driving standards and miscellaneous complaints, and two over a poor response.

Other complaints included two because of damage to property and another couple over strategic, legal or financial decisions.

The fire service apologised and took remedial action for these complaints.

Information governance officer Avril Irish, speaking at today’s (April 24) fire authority audit and standards committee, said: “We always keep a tight handle on any complaints about the service that come into us and this financial year all complaints were acknowledged within three working days.

“Your officers are satisfied that there haven’t been any significant issues to warrant any kind of review of service delivery and that current practices and processes officers feel are fit for purpose and robust.”

She explained that the service receives a lot of correspondence commending firefighters.

“We get some wonderful letters and cards from members of the public who recognise our commitment, dedication and skill of the staff across the counties and this year there is no exception to that,” she said.

“All letters, emails and social media posts are always passed onto the relevant, crew, station or person.”

Conservative chairman Alan Amos said: “This speaks of a very good track record for the service and I hope that compliment is passed on.

“There can’t be many organisations where you get three times as many compliments as complaints and I think that is definitely worth noting and is an incredible record of achievement.

“Our thanks and compliments go to all the staff and officers within the organisation.”

Ms Irish also said that local communities regularly inform the service about fire safety issues.

“Our communities remain vigilant and any concerns about fire safety issues that they have with organisations or individuals they are always very quick to make contact with us.

“The majority of these concerns tend to be about premises, emergency access points or fire safety within a building.

“In all of those cases our community risk team are very quick to assess and allocate resources to make the necessary visits.”