Shropshire fire service misses own 'very challenging' targets

Shropshire's fire brigade missed its own "very challenging" response time and fire containment targets over the summer, according to a report.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to send a fully-crewed fire engine to an emergency within 15 minutes and confine fire and heat damage to its room of origin.

It achieved the time target on 86.8 per cent of occasions and the containment target on 85.2 per cent between April and August 2019 – 2.2 and four percentage points respectively below the “very challenging” targets it set itself.

The brigade achieved its targets in five other areas.

In a report for a fire authority committee, chief fire officer Rod Hammerton and his deputy Andy Johnson write: “As noted by members when this year’s targets were set, meeting them is expected to be very challenging, but the service has made a good start.

“The service is seeing improved performance over last year, resulting in it predicting that it is currently on track to meet five of the seven service delivery annual targets.

Slight improvement

“Two targets the service is currently predicting it may not meet relate to ‘response time’ and ‘fires confined to room of origin’.”

The first of those targets, agreed by the authority at the start of the year, says: “The first fire engine will arrive at an emergency incident with at least four firefighters within 15 minutes on 89 per cent of occasions in 2019-20.”

The report authors note the actual performance, 86.8 per cent, is nonetheless “a slight improvement on the same period last year”.

The second target says: “Fire and heat damage emanating from accidental fires in domestic dwellings and regulated business will be confined to the room of origin on not less than 89.5 per cent of occasions.”

Officers Hammerton and Johnson note that the actual rate was 85.2 per cent.

They write: “Although the measure is currently short of the annual target, with the peak of the agricultural fires typically occurring during June and July, it is likely that this level of performance will improve during the remainder of the year, possibly resulting in the target ultimately being met.”

Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority’s standards, audit and peformance committee will discuss the report when it meets on Wednesday, September 18.

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