Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Its About Time ..........


Although we appreciate it is sometimes not appropriate to speed read documents or jump to hasty conclusions, sometimes it is necessary.
Below are a few cut and pastes from a document written by the Fire Brigades Union - called "Its About Time".   The full document is available Here - from the FBU reports pages  - we STRONGLY recommend you read the entire document. It's quite an eye opener.

In 2009, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) published a report called Review of Fire and Rescue Service response times: Fire Research Series 1/2009.
The authors of the report used the Fire Service Emergency Cover toolkit (FSEC) to predict the effect of increased response times.

·        13 additional fatalities in dwelling and other building fires each year;
·        possibly 65 additional deaths in road traffic collisions (RTCs); and
·        an £85m increase in other buildings fire damage.

“Deaths offset”
The report expressed no remorse for 13 fire deaths caused by increased attendance times. It showed no suggestion of alarm that a deterioration of performance has left 13 people dead in 2006 (in England) who would not have died in 1996.

Instead, the report concluded that: “Annual dwelling fire fatalities fell by 142 between 1996 and 2006. This suggests that the impact of increased response times on dwelling fire deaths has been more than offset by other factors such as community fire safety, between 1996 and 2006.”

In other words, 13 people might have died in fires who might otherwise have been saved, but it’s as though it doesn’t matter because the primary focus of the fire service, community fire safety, saved 142 people. The net effect is that 129 fewer people die each year.

To the consternation of the FBU, the message sent out by this report is that there is no urgency attached to attending fires, even those where people need rescuing. As long as community fire safety is preventing fires from starting in 11 houses, so their “theory” goes, it doesn’t matter if someone dies when a fire starts in a twelfth house. Their death has been “offset”.

“80% already dead”

why it is now taking longer for fire services to respond to fires and other emergencies. On behalf of CLG, senior official Chris Wormald replied: “Around 80 per cent of fire deaths have already happened at the point at which the fire brigade is called. The actual effect of response times on the death rate is really comparatively small.”

 The postcode lottery
It is important to remember that the difference  between fire cover in cities and that in villages could be explained as the outcome of a reasonably practicable response to the overall risk in each location. However, a person living in a domestic dwelling in one part of the country has every right to expect their 999 call to be treated just as importantly as one from another person in similar accommodation elsewhere.

We could go on  - but it just goes to show we are right........ firecutscostlives.


JMR said...

hell fire - that article is scary - and the proper paper is worse.

Anonymous said...

Interesting it takes longer at night, is that because firemen sleep at night?

Sarah Covell said...

Dunno - but can try and find out for you ....

I would have assumed it was because you have to drive a bit slower in the dark but i am no expert.

Anonymous said...

the turnout times (i.e the time from being alerted of a fire to the fire engine leaving the station) only increases by on average 13 seconds between the day shift and nights...which for your information starts at 7pm and i've never seen a firefighter in bed at that time....