NFCC responds to non-fire incident statistics

The broad range of non-fire incidents attended by England’s firefighters are outlined today in statistics released by the Home Office.

The release provides statistics on overall trends, fatalities and non-fatal casualties in non-fire incidents attended by fire and rescue services (FRSs) in England.

For the first time, further detailed analysis of medical incidents, flooding and water rescues, and incidents including collaboration with other emergency services are included.

FRSs are proportionally now attending as many non-fire incidents as fires. They accounted for 30 per cent of all incidents attended by FRSs in 2017/18, against 30 per cent for fires and 40 per cent for fire false alarms.

Headline findings:

  • FRSs attended 172,493 non-fire incidents in 2017/18, down one per cent on the previous year
  • there were 3,853 fatalities in non-fire incidents in 2017/18, a decrease of 25 per cent (most likely due to a 28 per cent decrease in medical incidents attended by fire services)
  • in 2017/18, FRSs responded to 16,688 flooding and water rescue incidents
  • increases in incidents involving collaboration with other emergency services (eg effecting entry/exit, assisting other agencies, responding to suicide attempts). This follows the introduction of ‘duty to collaborate’ legislation affecting all three emergency services.

Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “What is striking about these figures is the picture they paint of the extremely broad range of incident types attended by our firefighters every day.

“We welcome the inclusion of additional non-fire incidents in the statistics. This information will benefit fire and rescue services’ risk analysis and prevention planning.

“However, we again voice our concern that fire and rescue services are working against a backdrop of 10 years of austerity and a 24 per cent reduction in whole time firefighters.  We look forward to working with Home Office and LGA colleagues on any future comprehensive spending review to consider these matters.”


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