Local Senior Officer David Farries reveals continuing downward trend in fire casualties in Performance Report to the East Lothian Scrutiny Committee at East Lothian Council yesterday (8 June).
There were no fire-related fatalities between January and March 2016.
Historically, East Lothian has had low numbers of casualties from fires and it is pleasing that trend is continuing to reduce. Crews dealt with one fire-related casualty in that period who received first aid treatment and had a working smoke detector in their home.
Local Senior Officer (LSO) David Farries said: “I am pleased with this figure as it is clear that we are getting key safety messages across to the public.”
There is a clear link between fire-related casualties and accidental dwelling fires and that is why we make such a concerted effort in the provision of the Free Home Fire Safety Visits – to reduce the impact of fire within the home and the potential for injury. The figures over the last five years are down from 26 to 9. All the fires in the last quarter occurred in homes protected by smoke detection and this has ensured that they were discovered early. The most important aspect is that less people are becoming casualties of fires in East Lothian.”
SFRS continues to improve its performance with 380 home safety visits delivered this quarter, 125 of these were classed as high risk. As part of these visits fire safety advice is given on a number of home fire safety risk areas; for example leaving cooking unattended, a fire escape plan and testing and maintain smoke detectors.
LSO Farries said: “Partnership working and the delivery of Home Fire Safety Visits are both crucial in helping to reduce the number of accidental dwelling fires.
"We continue to develop our partners in East Lothian Council, Social Work and NHS to ensure those who are most at risk or vulnerable from fire or harm in the home are identified and that appropriate risk reduction measures are put in place. These targeted approaches will continue to develop and improve as we move forward.”
Crews regularly visit houses and provide free Home Fire Safety Visits which helps to reduce the number of casualties and fatalities through early intervention which is instrumental in contributing to safer communities. This partnership approach will contribute to the reduction of the number of casualties particularly from unintentional harm in the home.
To register for a FREE Home Fire Safety Visit call the SFRS Freephone number: 0800 0731 999, or visit the website at www.firescotland.gov.uk
The number of deliberate fires across East Lothian has gone up in this quarter.
There were 58 between 1 January and 31 March 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 when there were 28 deliberate fires.
Nineteen of the fires occurred during February and March in the Musselburgh area and these caused significant concern and damage ranging from vehicle fires and fishing boats to a common storage area in flats. This was largely due to an individual carrying out fire setting in the area.
LSO Farries, said: “As a result of the excellent partnership work undertaken with Police Scotland and East Lothian Council, the individual was reported for the offences.
“We will continue to work with our partner agencies and with groups within the community to help maintain and improve the reduction in deliberate fires.
“Firefighters, along with our partners, work hard to build relationships with the local youths by visiting schools and giving advice on how to avoid getting involved in wilful fire raising and hoax calls.
“It is all about getting the message out there through direct engagement with the public – and we will continue to do so.”
The East Lothian area saw a steady trend in SFRS attendance at both road traffic collisions and special service calls attending 13 collisions during this quarter.
LSO Farries said: “We are part of a multi-agency approach to reducing road traffic collisions and the associated casualties and fatalities. The continued delivery of the Tomorrow’s Driver programme that targets young people is an excellent partnership approach to reducing road traffic collisions.”
Local Senior Officer Farries also informed the committee about SFRS’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest trial at Musselburgh.
LSO Farries said: "A great deal of work has resulted in a unique partnership with Scottish Ambulance Service in providing an enhanced level of service to local communities. It's all about saving lives and improving patient outcomes.
At present, 3,500 people in Scotland have an OHCA every year, with only a four per cent chance of survival. In contrast, in Scandanavian countries, the chances of survival are 34 per cent. The SFRS is working in partnership with a range of stakeholders and key partners, including the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service, to potentially save 1,000 lives by 2020.
LSO Farries said: "Our commitment to the Scottish Government’s Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Strategy is crucial in terms of saving lives, improving patient outcomes and delivering an enhanced service to the communities within East Lothian.”
Anyone can drop into one of our 356 fire stations around Scotland and learn CPR on a specialist training kit provided by the British Heart Foundation. Firefighters can also bring the kit out of the stations to visit local schools or community groups and pass on their expertise.