Although we are always available to respond when a fire or other emergency occurs, response alone will only minimally reduce their impact. When a fire breaks out it often spreads so quickly that by the time the Fire and Rescue Service arrives it is already too late. The same can be said for Road Traffic Collisions, once the collision has occurred the damage has been done. The most effective way of protecting people from the effects of accidents and emergencies is to prevent the incidents happening in the first place.
We therefore focus on providing safety information and delivering educational programs to members of our communities to raise their awareness of risk and reduce the number of incidents that occur.
To help us achieve this, we work closely with our partners such as the Police, Social Services, Local Authorities, Social Housing providers and a range of third sector organisations, sharing information and resources to help ensure we help those most at risk.
Our preventative activities are based upon the type of incidents we attended from which we can identify what represents risk to our communities.
The five main categories are:
• Home Fire Safety
• Schools Education
• Road Safety
• Youth Engagement
To be effective, each of these categories must be approached in a way that reflects the needs of the vulnerable group, to help achieve this we have developed a range of initiatives designed to best deliver our messages and make people more safety conscious.
Key Areas of Activity
Undertake an inspection programme of Business or Commercial premises. This will be based on the level of identified or perceived ‘risk’ at the premises. Resources will be targeted and directed in the first instance at ‘Higher risk’ premises, followed by those identified as ‘Medium’ and ‘Low’ risk.
Promote, enhance and increase the number of premises, both Commercial and Domestic, fitted with Sprinkler Systems, other suitable Fire Suppression Systems and appropriate Fire Alarm and Detection Systems, achieving this aim by, working closely with partners, applying relevant guidance and enforcing current legislation.
Reducing the number of unwanted automatic fire alarm signals, by working proactively with the ‘Responsible Person’ for the ‘system’ installed at the premises.
Reduce the impact and mitigate the effects of arson on the business community, accomplishing this aim via a programme of education, inspection or auditing and enforcement.
Working closely with Building Control regulators to ensure that appropriate fire safety measures are incorporated into the ‘as built’ environment. Designing-out fire safety risks at the earliest opportunity.
Although our primary aim is to prevent fires and other emergencies from occurring through our prevention and protection activities, it is inevitable that emergency situations will develop, despite our best efforts. We will therefore continue to provide the highest quality of service to our communities by ensuring that our operational personnel receive the very highest quality of training, that they are equipped to deal with all emergency incidents to which they may be called upon to respond, and that they have a thorough knowledge of the risks to which they may be exposed.
In Swansea we attend on average around 3298 incidents a year including property fires, wildfires, road traffic collisions, floods, animal rescues and other emergencies.
To deal with this demand, our highly skilled firefighters provide “round the clock” emergency cover, responding to incidents in one or more of our seven front-line fire appliances, equipped with the latest equipment and supported by a number of specialist vehicles.
We monitor our performance continuously and are committed to improving efficiency and effectiveness wherever we can.
Some of the improvements planned for the next 12 months are:
• Maintain current response times.
• Maintain the number and type of emergency vehicles available to respond to incidents.
• Allow us to better protect the community through greater prevention and protection whilst maintaining current response standards.
• To improve our operational equipment, resource management and specialist training to ensure our crews have the knowledge and technical skills necessary to manage Special Service type Call activity (eg Rescues, Flooding etc.).