South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue - Working For a Safer South Yorkshire

People urged to have their say on response times

01 May 2013

People in South Yorkshire are being urged to have their say on how quickly the fire service should aim to get to them in an emergency as part of a public consultation on response times.

Four public meetings and drop-in sessions will be held by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) in May and June, with anyone attending offered a free home safety check and the fitting of free smoke alarms.

The fire service is reviewing its current response time target of reaching 80% of life-threatening incidents within six minutes.

This target has proven impossible to achieve since it was set in 2006, and Government funding cuts mean SYFR is unlikely to ever reach the target in the future.

The meeting details are:



Time of drop-in session

Time of public meeting

Tue 14 May

Rotherham Market, Effingham Street (drop-in session)

All Saints Centre, Vicarage Lane, Rotherham, S65 1AA (public meeting)




Wed 29 May

The Core, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW (drop-in session at the Alhambra Centre)



Thu 30 May

Voluntary Action Sheffield, The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW



Tue 4 Jun

The Mansion House, High Street, Doncaster, DN1 1BN



As part of the consultation, three response time options have been put forward for public feedback:

1.       No response time target – simply a commitment to attending every life-threatening incident as quickly and as safely as possible

2.       A revised countywide target – likely to be in the 9-11 minute range

3.       A risk-based target – allocating a shorter target time in areas with a higher fire risk, and a longer target time in areas of lower risk

Chief Fire Officer Jamie Courtney said: “Through these public meetings we hope to have open and honest discussions with the people we serve about what they expect from us in terms of a response time and what we can realistically deliver with the resources available.

“We haven’t put forward a preference for any of the options and it’s extremely important that we get the views of as many people as possible as part of the decision-making process.

“We want to be clear that, whatever the target, we will always attend every life-threatening incident as quickly and as safely as we can.”

At the end of the consultation period in June, all responses will be analysed. A draft Operational Plan will be submitted to the Fire Authority for approval in the autumn.

A consultation document has been produced which gives more details about the issues involved.

The fire service has also produced a 50 Ways We've Saved Booklet, which outlines how SYFR has made 'back office' savings to try to protect frontline resources.

How can I respond?

The easiest way to give us your feedback is to click here and complete the five questions in our survey .


·         Write to: Operational Plan Consultation, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield, S1 3FG. A feedback form can be found in the consultation document, or

·         E-mail: