Firefighters called to fewer incidents

FIREFIGHTERS are being called to fewer incidents as new figures reveal East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service reduced the number of shouts it had to attend by more than 10 per cent in the last year.

In 2011/12 the service attended 10,098 incidents, compared to 11,324 in 2010/11.

The success is being put down to a number of reasons, including community safety work being carried out by ESFRS staff, which is helping to reduce road traffic collisions and other incidents.

Des Prichard, ESFRS chief fire officer and chief executive, said, “The fact that the number of incidents we have had to attend in the last year has fallen by such a significant amount is the result of a great deal of hard work by our staff.

“In particular I’d like to thank our Mobilising & Communications Team, our Community Safety Team and safety advisors, and our borough commanders and their crews, for all of their efforts over the last year which have led to this reduction. Our challenge now is to reduce the attendance figures even further over the next year.”

The introduction of new measures to reduce the number of call-outs to automatic fire alarms which then turn out to be false alarms has also played a part.

Factors behind the reduction include the wide range of community safety work and initiatives carried out by fire stations across East Sussex, as well as the service’s Community Safety Team and Community Safety Advisors. Raising awareness of key fire safety advice, especially to more vulnerable members of the community, helps ensure that as many genuine incidents as possible are avoided in the first place.

Alongside the reduction in emerging incidents, the service has worked with site managers where automatic fire alarms are installed to assist them with being more proactive in dealing with any false alarms themselves. The service’s Mobilising & Communications Centre, which receives all 999 emergency fire calls within East Sussex, has also introduced more stringent call-filtering procedures. Again, these are designed to ensure fire crews are not mobilised to confirmed false alarms.

Councillor John Livings, chairman of the East Sussex Fire Authority, said, “It’s pleasing to see the fire authority’s investment in preventative initiatives has resulted in the reduction in incidents attended by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. We are keen to support staff to achieve further reductions in 2012/13.”