Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.

Update report detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot Area.  (Copy attached.)



Fire Service Update      

10.0            Mr Matt Acton, Station Manager explained that the purpose of the report circulated was to inform the Cheviot Area Forum on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service activity since the last meeting on 16th September 2015.  The report detailed that during the period of the report there had been 8 House Fires (Domestic premises (fire in cooker); Building Alight x 1 and Grain dryer alight x 4. Occurrences of Fire – Open 4, occurrence of Special Services 6 and 10 unwanted Fire Alarm Signals.  The report explained that within the Local Fire and Rescue Plan 2014-2017 for the Scottish Borders, 5 priorities had been identified: Reduction of Dwelling Fires; Reduction of Fire Casualties and Fatalities; Reduction of Deliberate Fire Setting (Not including Dwellings); Reduction of Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals; and the Reduction in Road Traffic Collisions.  In relation to partnership working, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Community Action Team (CAT) within the Scottish Borders core work centred on the on-going delivery of the SFRS Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) policy.  The team continued to expand its partnership working with the Key agencies including Police Scotland, Health, Social care and Housing in order to focus on members of local communities at High Risk from fire and achieve outcomes in helping to reduce overall numbers of accidental dwelling fires.  Fire raising awareness sessions presented by the team to partner agency practitioners had been and continued to be successful in promoting HFSVs and encouraging agencies to make referrals using the SFRS CSET online booking system.


10.1            Fire preventionand protection activity over recent years had been key to reducing the number of fires, casualties and losses in Scotland thus minimising the economic and social impact of fire on communities.  The seasonal community safety calendar provided the catalyst for a number of initiatives and schemes throughout the calendar year.


10.2            Activity which was ongoing within the Cheviot Ward area included Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staffs in all local stations providing Home Fire Safety Visits all year round.  The visits provided the householder with a home visit, focussing on identifying and reducing the risks of fire in the home. Smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life were provided as part of this free service; Firesharp was an initiative for Primary 6 pupils, providing face-to-face education within local Primary schools on matters of fire risk and prevention; Fire Safety Audits provided a targeted examination of business premises and their relevant documents to ascertain how the premises were being managed regarding fire safety. The enforcement officer also engaged with members of staff to confirm their level of fire safety awareness;  Unwanted Fire Signals were being addressed by phased intervention actions which identified premises which were producing ‘false alarms’, provided guidance on how to reduce a reoccurrence, and could also invoke legislation if occurrences failed to reduce in number.  The SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm was implemented to link into adult and child protection. The introduction of the policy had created closer ties with Social Services within Scottish Borders and ensured those people and families that fire crews identify as at risk were brought to the attention of Social Services and had resulted in joint visits to homes to reduce risk to those occupiers. 


10.3            Community Action Team (CAT) had delivered road safety awareness to secondary schools throughout the Scottish Borders with the support of the local Whole time personnel from Galashiels and Hawick.  The strong partnership with the local Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service and involvement in MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) put the Fire and Rescue Service at the forefront of delivering the agenda of outcome six of the Local Fire Plan. The LALO and Scottish Borders Station Manager for Prevention and Protection were fully involved in all local MARAC processes, attending the monthly conferences and all steering group meetings.  Involvement with the inaugural twelve-month CAADA (Co-ordinated Action against Domestic Abuse) assessment had provided the additional advantage of strengthening the partnership with external stakeholders, in particular Police Scotland, Adult and Child protection services and local housing providers.  Mr Acton advised on the European Restart a Heart Day was a pioneering partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to give communities across Scotland the opportunity to learn life-savings skills,  All 356 of the SFRS’s fire stations recently took delivery of a BHF-donated Call Push Rescue training kit and each station would now act as a base for local people to learn vital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills and potentially save someone’s life if they go into cardiac arrest.  Jedburgh Fire Station opened its doors to the public as part of European Restart Heart Day on 16th October to offer lessons on life saving CPR skills.  The Winter Thematic Action plan focused on portable heater safety; electric blanket safety; safe use of candles and festive safety/fairy lights and decorations.


NOTED the report.

Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details