Customer Charter

Our Customer Charter sets out our approach and commitment to customers, their rights and responsibilities and how they can expect to interact with us. These care standards refer equally to our colleagues, partners and suppliers.

The charter is the public expression of our commitment to customers in the following areas:

  • our ethical principles
  • our delivery approach
  • requests for information
  • what we do.


Our commitment to you, as a member of the Devon and Somerset community, is that we will respect and follow the five principles in the Code of Ethics in our service to the public.
Putting our communities first – we will

  • act with empathy, compassion, and respect, caring equally for everyone
  • consider the diverse needs of our communities and tailor our work to best meet peoples’ specific needs
  • understand and evaluate the impact we have on the public’s safety and wellbeing
  • put people at the centre of what we do and how we do it.

Integrity – we will

  • be honest, open, and fair when dealing with everyone
  • respond in plain language without jargon and will do our best to find the right answer and get back to you within a reasonable timescale (or make our correspondence and information easy to understand)
  • never act in an improper way, or in a manner that could create a perception of improper behaviour for personal gain.

Dignity and respect – we will

  • treat people with respect and without discrimination, harassment, or bullying; we actively reject these inappropriate behaviours
  • acknowledge and care about people’s diverse needs so they can access the services they need
  • respect peoples’ right to privacy and confidentiality.

Leadership – we will

  • listen and learn from when we’ve done something well, or not so well
  • continuously improve our performance to better serve our communities. 

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) – We

  • promise no employee, potential employee or service user will receive less favourable treatment because of their: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, sex or sexual orientation
  • stand against all forms of discrimination and behave in a way that celebrates diversity in all its forms, everywhere
  • create equal opportunities, promote equality, foster good relations, and celebrate difference
  • find and remove barriers to people joining or accessing our service.

Delivery approach

What we can do to help each other

We want you to find Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service easy to interact with.

This Customer Charter outlines:

  • your basic rights and responsibilities, and
  • how to give us feedback.

We will help you by:

  • providing a range of ways you can contact us
  • providing some information in alternative formats if you need them (when  asked)
  • providing correct and consistent information
  • providing information that is easy to understand.

You can help us by:

  • treating our staff with courtesy
  • following advice from our officers at incidents as they are there for your safety
  • raising issues with us if our service to you doesn’t meet our or your standard
  • engaging with our consultation efforts to allow your opinion to be heard
  • telling us how you’d like to be contacted.

You have the right to:

Your opinion is important to us

If you are happy or unhappy with our service, there are four ways you can tell us:

  • talk to any of our staff
  • telephone us on 01392 872200
  • use our website to contact us
  • write to us, at Service Headquarters, The Knowle, Clyst St George, Devon EX3 0NW

If a staff member cannot deal with your concern, they will refer it to someone who can.

What we will do

When you interact with us, we aim to achieve the following standards:

Telephone or Microsoft Teams enquiries (non-emergency)

  • Telephone or Teams calls will be answered in a courteous and professional manner
  • Our team and name will be given on answering the call as appropriate
  • If a call has to be transferred, we will endeavour to connect you to the correct person or take a message if the contact is not available
  • We will not intentionally ignore a ringing telephone.

Communication by letter or email

When you have written to us, we will:

  • acknowledge receipt within ten working days and where relevant give a full written response
  • let you know why and when you can expect a full reply, if we are not able to reply within the ten working days
  • carry out all correspondence in line with our values and ethics. All correspondence will be respectful.

When we write to you, we will:

  • state what is being done
  • give name and contact details of person dealing with the issue where appropriate
  • give a timescale for any intended actions
  • use clear language, without any jargon.

Face to face interactions, including on incident ground or visits to properties or businesses

Everyone will be:

  • greeted in a courteous and friendly manner
  • directed to the right person to help them where possible or given the information needed; or
  • given an explanation of why information they have requested is not available at that time, and any details of where or how they can receive further help.