Fire service failed to meet 10-minute target on nearly 300 call-outs in 2017 - The Leamington Observer

Fire service failed to meet 10-minute target on nearly 300 call-outs in 2017

Leamington Editorial 31st Jan, 2018   0

FIRE chiefs have reassured residents they were working to keep them safe after it emerged hundreds of lives had been put at risk by incidents not being attended on time.

Between April and November last year Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service received some 2,300 calls, which they aim to reach within ten minutes.

But crews failed to meet the target on 292 call-outs. In 234 cases the incident was so severe a second fire engine was needed.

Deputy chief fire officer Rob Moyney said the service aimed to respond to three-quarters of all calls within ten minutes – a target it narrowly missed in 2017.

He told the Observer: “We aim to respond to life risk incidents as quickly as possible and maintaining a ten minute response time on 75 per cent of occasions continues to be a priority for us.

“Of all the incidents we attend we are currently achieving this 69 per cent of the time, although we do recognise our attendance is sometimes seconds over the target, we also acknowledge that we need to continue to work harder to do better.”

The service says failing to reach life threatening incidents on time was mainly down to blazes in rural parts of the county.

Some of the delays were blamed on lack of available fire crews.

Mr Moyney said: “There are times we receive limited information on an incident location and due to the rural geography and motorway incidents they are often hard to reach.

“The service also has a significant number of on-call stations where the availability of staff varies as our retained firefighters juggle their primary work, family commitments and their fire and rescue role.”

But fire chiefs say they are working to meet targets while coping with a ‘sudden increase’ in the number of young drivers involved in car crashes in the north of the county.

Mr Moyney added: “We would like to reassure the public we have already begun to take steps in targeting our resources more effectively.

“As an example, we have recently introduced a dedicated group of firefighters who can move around the county to meet any staffing shortfalls or an increase in demand, this will ensure that we have more people on call for when we need them the most.

“While we set ourselves challenging targets, there are occasions where circumstances prevent us from achieving them, however, we will continue to work as hard as we can to make Warwickshire the safest it can be.”

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