‘Lessons to be learnt’ as Notts fire & rescue service response times above national average

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service says there are ‘lessons to be learnt’ as figures showed their average response time is higher than the national average.

By Anna Whittaker
Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:30 am

England’s average response time, across all brigades, is seven minutes, 37 seconds, while Nottinghamshire’s is nine minutes, 48 seconds.

But Area Manager Mick Sharman, head of response, told Nottinghamshire Fire Authority he was ‘confident to defend’ NFRS’s position because Nottinghamshire is compared with ‘urbanised’ cities such as London and Manchester, which have fewer remote rural areas.

The latest Home Office figures from April 2019-March 2020 show NFRS is above average for total response times and the sub-reporting categories of call handling, crew turnout and drive times.

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The latest Home Office response times figures from April 2019 to March 2020 show Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is above average for the total response times and above average for all three sub reporting categories – call handling, crew turnout and drive times.

Mr Sharman said the report ‘draws attention to Nottinghamshire having a higher than average response time’.

He said: “We are classed as predominantly urban. Our call-handling times are compared with metropolitans like Manchester, which is strange.

“Our turn-out time is slightly above average, but I feel confident to defend that.

“There are still lessons to be learnt and work for us to do.”

He said different services record call times differently, meaning weighing up NFRS performance to the England average ‘is not comparable’.

He said it was better to compare it with Derbyshire and Leicestershire, where response times are between nine and 10 minutes.

A report to the authority said: “It is believed, due to the urban and rural nature of Nottinghamshire, drive times will be above average and when comparing times with other counties of a similar demographics there are no areas of concern.

“Members should be assured officers maintain a commitment to ensure incidents are attended in an average below eight minutes.”

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