FIFE Fire and Rescue Service have released their annual performance report.
In the last year accidental dwelling fires have decreased by over 5% and the numbers of casualties resulting from fire incidents have decreased by over 12% and by a significant 57% over five years.
These figures, which are statutory performance indicators used by each fire and rescue service as a benchmark, confirm Fife Fire and Rescue Service as one of the top performing Services in the country, with the lowest casualty numbers for four out of the last 5 years across Scotland.
Last year there were 20 incidents which unfortunately resulted in 20 casualties and 3 fatalities and there were 235 accidental dwelling fires last year with the most common causes being:
- Cooking – other cooking 39.27%
- Combustible articles too close to heat source (or fire) 11.34%
- Cooking – chip pan/deep fat fryer 9.72%
- Fault in equipment or appliance 6.88%
- Careless handling – due to careless disposal 6.07%
Alex Smart, Group manager Performance and Governance said ”Like all public services we strive for continuous improvement and this year has proved exceptional in terms of the key headline indicators which are those with the most significant impact for the communities of Fife. These results give us confidence that we have a solid foundation from which to progress into the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the coming year”.
Fife Fire and Rescue Service continue to provide proactive services to the community to prevent fires and injuries.
The Service carried out 5,290 Home Fire Safety Risk Assessments on domestic properties within Fife during which 5987 long life smoke detectors were fitted free of charge.
In addition to this service they also provide HFSRA for patients on oxygen therapy and for persons at risk.
Since November 2010 the Service in partnership with Fife Council Social Work has been installing Wi-Fi smoke detection equipment for the Deaf/Hard of hearing community of Fife and since December 2010 the Service along with the Fife Cares team has been fitting radio enabled smoke detection equipment in Telecare premises which enables people to live with greater independence and safety in their own homes.
In addition to dwelling fires and fire casualties, the service continues to exceed their targets in other sectors including secondary fires, which include rubbish, grass etc, which are 15% down on last year and wilful fire raising which are 42% down over the last 5 years.
Steven Michie, Station Manager in Community Safety said it is very encouraging to all staff involved that FFRS continue to reduce fire activity in key performance areas.
All staff throughout the service are committed to reducing the impact of fire related activity within our communities.
A number of initiatives and campaigns have an influenced these results. For example, initiatives undertaken for youth engagement and youth diversionary activities include a comprehensive schools programme delivered by dedicated schools officers in conjunction with operational fire crews which reaches all school pupils at different levels to reinforce the dangers of making hoax calls and deliberate fire setting. FFRS youth engagement team have successfully delivered the DiversiFIRE project which engages young people to raise their awareness with the aim of reducing anti social behaviour, in particular wilful fire raising, secondary fires and hoax calls. Last year, 67 young people completed the project. These along with a number of local initiatives undertaken by local fire crews all contribute to deliver this success”.
Another area we are particularly encouraged by is the reduction in the number of hoax calls. This year we received 113 hoax calls from members of the public which represents a 13% reduction in the last year and a 28% reduction over the last 5 years.
The Service continues to take this issue very seriously and proactively investigates every hoax call made and we work in partnership with Fife Constabulary and the telephone subscribers to identify the people responsible. We also have an education program whereby all primary school children in Fife are told of the dangers and the implications of making hoax calls. We have successfully produced a DVD using local actors and locations to highlight the dangers of making hoax calls, the DVD is now used to reinforce the message to all S1 pupils.
Chief Fire Officer Neil McFarlane said “All personnel in the service have a ‘can do’ attitude to their work, their professionalism and commitment ensures the Service remains a highly credible resource in driving down risk, all staff have to be commended in their achievements and more importantly, in their contribution towards our aim of making our communities safe”.