Report highlights work of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service in the community

Firefighter tackling flames with hose

According to the latest performance report, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended just over 8,400 incidents in the last year, with 726 of those incidents being road traffic collisions.

Firefighters attended over 1,600 outdoor fires during 2021 to 2022, a nine per cent decrease compared to the previous year.

The report, titled the Statement of Assurance, for the period April 2021 to March 2022, also highlights prevention work carried out in the local community and how the service supported local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Within the community, the service completed over 3,500 Safe and Well visits during 2021/2022, which included fitting smoke and heat detectors as well as offering individuals advice on fire safety. These were carried out in the homes of the most vulnerable including the elderly and less mobile who may find it harder to escape should a fire occur in their homes.

Other highlights of the report include the service’s delivery of The Prince’s Trust programme, which supported 105 young people, and the introduction of a new Environmental and Sustainability Strategy.

It also details His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) report which rated Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service as ‘Good’ at being effective in understanding and preventing fires and other risks and responding to major and multi-agency incidents. The service was also rated as ‘Good’ in how they make the service affordable now and in the future.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Michelle Hickmott, said: “I am pleased that the report highlights all the work we have carried out and continue to do within our communities to help reduce individuals’ risk of fire in the home and outside the home.

“The report shows how much has been done and what we have yet to do to make sure we are best serving the people of Staffordshire including young people, the elderly and the vulnerable.

“It also highlights how we continue to be called upon to assist with major incidents nationally and details what we as a service are doing to maintain our high standards.

“I’d like to thank all of our firefighters and staff for their continued work and commitment to our communities, especially during these challenging circumstances.”

Whilst the service has reported a 15 per cent decrease in accidental house fires, the number of injuries in these fires has increased by 25 per cent. The service is concerned that this figure may rise further next year if the cost of living crisis leads to people making cuts to their fire safety.

Michelle Hickmott, added: “Whilst we are pleased to see a decrease in house fires it’s deeply concerning that we’ve had more injuries. We’re working hard to identify the most vulnerable members of our communities so we can visit them and make them as safe as possible from fire.

“This winter we are expecting people to look for alternative ways to heat their homes and save energy that could put them at increased risk. We’re launching a new campaign to address this issue called ‘Be Warm. Be Safe’ and we’d urge people to visit our website to get top tips on how to stay safe this winter.”

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: “A key priority in my Fire & Rescue Plan is having a modern, flexible Service, able to prepare for and respond to emerging challenges.

“The work that Fire & Rescue Services do has changed significantly in recent years, and the demands they face are more complex and varied than ever before.

“This report shows the scale and variety of that work, whether that’s responding to incidents, providing opportunities for young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent or carrying out prevention work to keep the most vulnerable in our communities safe.”