Councillors have approved a new set of response times for South Yorkshire’s fire service.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says it will still aim to attend every single 999 call as quickly as it possibly can, but that having a set of published response times will make it more accountable to local people, helps it to improve its service and bring them in line with most other fire and rescue services around the country.
A national inspection reported that it was undesirable for the service not to have a set of response standards, because it did not allow the service to measure its performance or give the public something in which they could hold the service to account.
The new response time arrangements take into account whether a person’s life is at risk, as well as the level of risk in different parts of the county based on historical incident data and other information.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Kirby said: “Adopting a more risk based approach allows us to ensure we are placing resources in the right places at the right time to best protect the communities we serve. This includes the work we do around preventing fires, protecting buildings and responding to incidents when they do occur.
“We will still aim to get to each emergency as fast as we can, but having a set of response times means we can measure our performance to ensure we are delivering the best possible service to our communities with the resources we have available to us.”
The proposal to introduce response time standards followed consultation with nearly 4,000 local people and a thorough analysis of the different risks faced by the fire service in South Yorkshire.
They form part of the service’s latest draft ‘Integrated Risk Management Plan’. This is a plan which explains the different risks in South Yorkshire how the fire service intends to address them with the resources it has available.