Report of the Chief Fire Officer
Craig Parkin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, presented the Service Delivery Performance Update report which summarises the Service’s activity between 1 July and 30 September 2018.
The following points were highlighted:
(a) There were a total of 3,577 incidents in the period, 715 more compared to the same period last year, but the increase cannot wholly be attributed to the hot dry summer. A breakdown of incident types and the comparison with those of the previous year is provided in the report;
(b) On-call availability as increased to an average of 81.89%, which places NFRS near the top of the East Midlands Regional availability rating. However, there are still concerns regarding lower availability of some stations including Retford at 56.60% and Southwell at 40.94%;
(c) An update on the Collingham incident will be provided to members following the meeting;
(d) All Fire and Rescue Services continue to closely watch recommendations resulting from the Grenfell Tower incident. This includes reconsidering the ‘stay put’ advice to residents. Historically, due to building construction, fires should be contained within a compartment. However, this was not the case at Grenfell and fire spread rapidly on the outside of the building. Meetings with partners continue nationally to decide how best to future advise citizens in buildings over 18 metres high;
(e) During 2019 response crews will undertake ‘hazard spotting’ at lower risk sites to help increase capacity of the dedicated Protection Enforcement Team to focus on higher risk premises. Colleagues welcome that the two temporary posts in Fire Prevention and Protection have been made permanent. An update on progress will be reported to a future committee meeting.
Members’ questions were responded to as follows:
(f) With regard to the new crewing arrangements, the transition period is still in the early days at Ashfield and Retford Fire Stations, whole time ridership has increased and sickness levels have reduced. A hybrid approach may be required but management are confident that the objectives can be met.
(g) Where patterns of behaviour, increased risk or incidents occur, a Local Reduction Plan will be put into place to focus on preventing further incidents. This may include additional promotions of smoke alarms, or deterring unsafe behaviours. It is of great concern that following the recent Collingham fire in which three members of the same family sadly died, local crews actively made contacts with residents of the area and to their found that homes in the area did not have operating smoke alarms. As a result the benefit of smoke alarm ownership was promoted in the area;
(h) It is intended that local crews become more active in community partnerships as prevention can save the cost of an incident, both financially and socially ;
(i) Many of the secondary fires can be attributed to the hot dry summer and not necessarily as direct arson, but fire prevention and safety education is still required;
(j) Although not all incidents are recorded within the presented timeframe, the year to date has been very testing and with 11 fatalities already, higher than the average for recent years.
Members of the Committee requested that it be noted that many Fire Authority Members take a consistent interest in the local activity of the Service and community risk factors within constituent wards.
In addition, members of the Committee requested that their thanks are formally forwarded to all Fire Station Crews and Service staff for the valuable work they do, particularly with regard to distressing incidents. Such dedication is much appreciated.
(1) to note the report;
(2) if not submitted to Full Fire Authority, for an a agenda item on the changes and progress at Ashfield and Retford Fire Stations to be submitted to the next meeting;
(3) for the thanks and appreciation of the Committee are forwarded to all Fire Station Crews (and Command Officers) for the valuable work they do, particularly with regard to distressing incidents.