Surrey Fire and Rescue Service implements its Making Surrey Safer Plan this week which will see significantly more resources dedicated to preventing emergencies.
A detailed risk analysis using data from 999 calls over the past 5 years and intelligence about the areas of highest risk in Surrey showed that the service had additional resources available at night and needed to put more into prevention and protection work.
This was backed up by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services’ inspection in 2018 which reported that the service’s response to incidents was inefficient and it wasn’t undertaking enough activity to save lives by preventing emergencies happening in the first place.
The new ways of working from Wednesday 1 April 2020 will see some changes to how Guildford, Fordbridge, Camberley and Woking fire stations are crewed at night. There will be one fire engine and crew available 24 hours a day in these areas. From 7pm to 7am if a second fire engine is required, it may come from a neighbouring fire station.
In Haslemere and Walton, the fire and rescue cover will increase. There will be one fire engine and crew available during the day from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, instead of five as there is now. From 7pm to 7am on-call firefighters will respond.
Dan Quin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer said: “We know that those people most likely to die in fires are vulnerable. Therefore, we want to significantly increase the number of Safe and Well Visits we carry out to help prevent fires from starting and to ensure that people in high risk groups are better prepared if they do.
We also know that 80% of businesses never recover after a fire. We will be working more closely with business owners and managers to protect their staff and their premises from fire.
These changes have been externally verified and endorsed by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. We will introduce the changes carefully, using an assured process to make sure they deliver the outcomes we need in Surrey.
We would also like to reassure residents that we have extensive business continuity plans in place which are constantly being revised in relation to COVID-19. This includes monitoring our staffing numbers and vehicles 24/7 to ensure we provide emergency cover.”
Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire & Resilience said: “The Making Surrey Safer changes will modernise the service and significantly improve our prevention activities which help keep people safe at home, in the community and at work. This is particularly important for Surrey’s vulnerable residents. We will continue to provide our vital emergency service when you need us.”
Following extensive research, we are also changing how we report response times more accurately and show how the service is performing. This aligns our reporting with HMICFRS, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the Home Office reporting, so that we can better benchmark our performance against other fire and rescue services.