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Hampshire Fire & Rescue Pioneer New Technology

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Hampshire News | Hampshire Fire & Rescue Pioneer New Technology | Andover & VillagesA ground-breaking tool has been devised to help shape the fire chiefs of the future.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) are the first in the UK to adopt the method which is championed by the private sector.

The Leadership Judgement Indicator (LJI) is already being used across the world by blue chip companies.

However, HFRS and the creators of the online tool Formula 4 Leadership (F4L) have worked together to create a model that would work for the fire service.

As a situational judgement test the LJI will be used for self-reflection and improvement and will be available to all levels of commander from crew managers to the chief.

The test will generate 16 scenarios and firefighters will be scored to show what style of leadership they adopt and when their judgement, and subsequent actions, could be improved.

They will be evaluated against the decisions of a sample group made up of firefighters from across the county and beyond.

Station Manager Glenn Bowyer, who is in charge of the project, said: “The development of this tool is just another example of HFRS being a learning organisation that is always striving to be better.

“This gives people the chance to recognise their strengths and work on their weaknesses – it is about getting everyone to meet their full potential.

“This tool will help develop the leaders of the future and prepare them to deal with modern challenges.”

The pioneering Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) LJI will encompass new priorities becoming increasing important in the modern era.

These include collaboration with blue light partners, recognising the importance of developing staff and improving the service through innovation.

Co-founder and director of F4L Bob Wheeler said: "We were excited to work with such an innovative organisation to create a fire service specific version of the LJI.

"Giving people decisions to make based around their daily roles will make the test more relatable and bring the scenarios to life."

The tool was developed with contributions from more than 200 firefighters across 18 organisations, both men and women, between the ages of 27 and 62.

Assistant Chief Officer Andy Bowers said: “Leadership is an essential skill for our personnel at every level in the organisation and we are constantly seeking ways to improve this.

“The opportunity to work closely with F4L to create a fire service specific tool was a very positive experience and has enabled us to jointly develop an even more effective leadership development programme.

“We have used the tool for all of our senior and middle managers, who run the service on a day to day basis, and who also make risk critical life or death decisions at emergency incidents.

“We are confident that using the LJI will make our leaders even better, and help us achieve our aim of being the best fire and rescue service that we can be.”