Fire service to review its response to road traffic collisions

A review of Suffolk Fire and Rescue's road traffic collision response is to take place. Picture: NIC

A review of Suffolk Fire and Rescue's road traffic collision response is to take place. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Suffolk’s fire service is to review its response to road traffic collisions, it has been confirmed.

People in Suffolk were invited to take part in a consultation on Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's risk management plan, with the latest plan signed off by Suffolk County Council's cabinet last week.

Among the measures agreed were a review of how the fire service responds to road traffic collisions amid declining numbers.

According to the fire service's data, it attended 311 collisions in 2017/18 compared to the 479 yearly average it responded to between 1994 and 1998.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "Now that the IRMP [integrated risk management plan] has been unanimously approved by cabinet, each of the five proposals will be developed into projects over the next three years.

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"Some of these projects have now begun, such as how the service responds to road traffic collisions.

"Our priority is, and always has been, to keep Suffolk's residents and firefighters safe.

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"We will continue to do this, while looking into how we can make further improvements following the recent public consultation."

The review will focus on the level of response the service provides, the demand on Suffolk's 999 services, the equipment taken to callouts, the training given to firefighters and fresh challenges.

It is understood the review will include analysis of data, conversations with frontline firefighters and discussions with police and ambulance service partners.

Currently, the service has a requirement to attend collisions within 13 minutes on at least 80% of occasions.

It is one of five areas the service is reviewing as a result of the plan.

Among the other key areas the service is reviewing is its shift patterns for firefighters - including on-call and reserve provision - and a review of its response to automatic fire alarms.

In 2017/18, 45% of all calls in 2017/18 were false alarms according to latest data, prompting the service to assess whether to reduce its response to automatic alarms or impose tougher sanctions on owners whose property is a persistent false alarm issue.

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