Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Fire & Rescue - LSO David Farries. (Copy attached.)


8.1     Fire and Rescue Service

          LSO David Farries referred to the attendance of observers from Her Majesty’s Fire Service Inspectorate at the meeting of the Board held on 3 June 2016, and advised that their report would be published on 14 February 2017 and would be available on line.   He referred to the production of the SFRS local plan and partnership working with Police Scotland and the Local Authority who had been supportive in making our local plan effective in the community.   He referred to issues resulting from the implementation of the Community Empowerment Act and of the willingness of the SFRS to overcome certain ‘blockers’.  He commented on  challenges within the SFRS budget, structural changes being made and that the capital budget expenditure had been a positive story for the SFRS.    The off station structure review budget was not only a driver for review but would look to provide the best service to refocus and ensure priorities were balanced.   He gave information on the single common duty system which would come into force in April 2017 for the whole of Scotland, communities in the Scottish Borders would see no change, and the new duty system would allow staff to work closely together on a more regular basis.   Members noted the importance of accepting invitations to attend events organised by Police Scotland and the SFRS.


8.2    There had been circulated copies of the SFRS Performance Report covering the period 1 April to 31 December 2016.  In summarising the report, Group Manager A. Girrity advised that with regard to Priority 1: Reduction of Dwelling Fires, the SFRS had attended 69 dwelling fires in comparison to 85 for the same Year to Date (YTD) reporting period last year, this represented a 19% decrease.   Four of these fires had been started deliberately.  Priority 2: Reduction in Fire Fatalities and Casualties, the report noted that there had been 15 fire related casualties in this YTD reporting period, this was an identical figure for the same period last year.   Further analysis showed that three casualties went to hospital for precautionary checks suffering from slight smoke inhalation or burns.   Eleven casualties received first aid at the scene and did not require any further treatment. Priority 3:  There had been 76 deliberate fires in this YTD reporting period, a decrease of 13 in comparison to the same reporting period last year, there was also a 43% decrease in comparison to the previous quarter.   Within these figures, 75% were secondary fires and typically involved refuse, grass, scrub and woodland.   A large number of these secondary fires were likely to be related to anti-social behaviour.     Priority 4: Reduction in Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs) indicated that the SFRS attended 76 RTCs, three less than the same reporting period last year; however there was a slight increase in the previous quarter comparison.   There had been 62 RTC related casualties in this YTD period with six of these being fatalities.   During the YTD period, the SFRS used Hydraulic Rescue Equipment on 20 occasions to extricate casualties.   Information was also presented relating to special service casualties.   Priority 5 related to the Reduction of Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals and it was noted that there had been 637 Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals during this quarter, representing an increase of 20 incidents compared to the same reporting period last year.  


8.3     There had been circulated copies of the report on Prevention and Protection Activities. Group Manager Gourlay advised that 792 home fire safety visits were delivered during this reporting period compared to 697 in the same period last year.  The report provided a breakdown of the delivery by ward area.  Group Manager Gourlay answered questions relating to the design and installation of fire alarms.  It was noted that there was an hourly rate charge for a fire vehicle if the call out was not an emergency






          The meeting adjourned at 11.40 a.m. and reconvened at 11.50 a.m.


Supporting documents:



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