Emergency Response Standards
Using our fire risk maps we have divided the County into small geographical area, which are allocated a rating of Very High, High, Medium or Low risk, based on the previous incidents of fires, deaths and injuries, predictive risk data, as well as a measure of demographic risk. These are reviewed on an annual basis.
The attendance times are measured from the moment the call is connected to our mobilising centre to the time the fire engine arrives at the incident. The risk ratings are as the table below.
Many factors affect how long it can take us to reach an incident.
We live and work in a beautiful county, with some areas far from towns and on narrow or even single track lanes.
Sometimes a caller is not sure of the location, or there is an incomplete address.
Where we have retained crews, we allow them four minutes to stop what they are doing and travel to their station by car or foot or bike – if it is a busy time of day, they may struggle to get through the traffic to their station, as they aren’t allowed to use lights or horns in their own car and must abide by all the usual rules of the road for a private driver.
The nearest station may be not available, either due to a lack of crew, or being busy elsewhere. Another crew may have to be sent from a further distance.
Some times people don’t park with thought and we can’t get through the narrow gaps remaining. A level crossing may be down so we need to go a different route if we can.
We have always acknowledged that in some areas, due to the remote location, we simply cannot reach the incident in the performance time.
The overwhelming majority of our emergency incidents are attended within our target times - the average time for a 1st Fire engine in attendance at a critical fire was under 9 minutes. We won’t always be able to meet the standards we set, but we always respond to every emergency incident as quickly as we can. Below is an example of how our times are measured.