In order to make the areas of improvement clear to a lay reader, a narrative is needed that puts the need for improvement into context and explains why each area is relevant and important. The process that was followed in the creation of the narrative was to start with the evidence and then lay out a narrative based upon it. This does make the analysis process difficult to follow though. So, in Fit for the Future, the narrative is presented first and is cross referred to the evidence that supports each element. Accordingly, for each improvement objective:
- 'Where we are now' sets out the high-level narrative that provides an overview of the current situation at strategic level in fire and rescue services. The narrative identifies high level objectives for improvement, as it tells the story. These objectives, when taken together, seek to describe a desired “future state” for all fire and rescue services. The overall focus of this is to deliver better outcomes for the public in all parts of the country in a way that efficiently uses public money. The narrative does not go into specific detail that drives every area of improvement because it would become too unwieldy to be useful. Instead, the evidence that supports each improvement objective is explored more fully in 'Drivers for change'.
- 'Drivers for change' explores the evidence that supports each improvement objective identified in the narrative. It triangulates different sources of evidence to make this as robust as possible. It draws on information from a tool designed to directly support this. An explanation of that tool – the Strategic Improvement Model - can be found at www.ukfrs.com. The datasets and sources are highly detailed and have been the subject of analysis by professionals from the National Employers (England), the LGA and the NFCC. Home Office officials have also made contributions and been involved in the analysis. The sources of information, datasets and analysis outputs are referenced alongside each objective. This section shows that a broad range of existing evidence supports each improvement objective.