Major steps have been taken to improve fire service in and around Rugby say Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service

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DESPITE a challenging year, Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue service says it has taken major steps to improve the service.

According to the fire service, significant progress has been made to increase the levels of fire cover and operational response across the county.

This has been achieved by implementing a new duty system, reducing sickness levels and adopting a number of operational response models, which will ensure the service is able to provide a more flexible response to incidents.

In addition, good progress has been made on the delivery of the Integrated Risk Management Plan and steps have already been taken to ensure that the Service is better equipped to handle wider emergency situations, such as complicated rescues and large scale flooding.

During the last year, it has seen a 73% reduction in attendance to automatic fire alarms and a 22% reduction in the total number of dwelling fires we attended, reaching an all time low.

The service has reduced fire deaths in the home down to zero last year and reduced fires in commercial properties by 38%, but we must not be complacent and our community needs to remain vigilant and continue to be safe.

In a bid to target the most vulnerable members of the community, the Fire Authority recently agreed a new approach for delivery of Home Fire Safety Checks and Fire Prevention inspections. This was based on the information presented in mid term review of the IRMP for 2011/12.

Nationally, the service is one of the best performers in reducing the number of accidental dwelling fires and has achieved a reduction on the previous year of 15.9%.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Graeme Smith said: “In the next twelve months we will we will continue to deliver on our vision of ‘protecting the community and making Warwickshire a safer place to live’ by implementing a range of projects. These include completing the Improvement Plan, developing joint working with our partners in Northamptonshire and continuing to focus on vulnerable people in the delivery of our Home Fire Safety Checks and Fire Prevention inspections.

“Clearly, there is much to be proud of and as always I have the commitment and dedication of our workforce to thank for that success. Moving forward, I am confident that we can work with our partners and neighbouring authorities to achieve greater efficiencies and find the solutions needed to maintain our commitment to making Warwickshire a safer place to live, work and visit.”

Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Councillor Richard Hobbs said: “The Service has been through some very challenging times over the past few months and I therefore welcome the significant progress that has been made. We are one of the top performing fire services nationally when it comes to accidental dwelling fires and that is a real credit, not only to the work of our firefighters, but also our residents, who are clearly working with us to keep Warwickshire safe.”

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will be featured on BBC 1, Real Rescues on Wednesday, June 27. The programme will be highlighting how Warwickshire firefighters rescued a family of nine in a house fire in Nuneaton in November 2011.