An annual Aberdeenshire survey has highlighted a high level of public satisfaction in fire and rescue services in the region.
The findings were released this week following the publication of the 37th annual survey on community safety conducted with the Aberdeenshire Citizens’ Panel in May 2014, which comprises of 1,200 residents from across Aberdeenshire.
The Panel aims to gauge public opinion on a range of community safety related topics, including the impact of alcohol and drugs, safety on the roads and satisfaction with local policing and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
The results obtained help the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership to review panel members’ feelings about their safety and security and identify issues which require attention in the year ahead.
Questions posed relating to services provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service resulted in an increase in the figures regarding service satisfaction (97%) and residents having smoke alarms in their homes (93%). This was an outcome of an excellent response rate of 76%.
Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout said: “I am delighted to read about the very high levels of satisfaction from those panel members who have contacted the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in the past year, following a period of unprecedented change for the service.
"This is the second year in which the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has excelled in becoming the top public sector agency delivering the best possible public service across Aberdeenshire. The satisfaction rate of 97% is outstanding and all credit goes to staff from across the area, from our firefighters who deliver a service to their communities to our local prevention and protection and training staff."
He added: "Learning about the increased numbers of smoke detectors fitted in Aberdeenshire homes was also a positive outcome, however, the importance of regularly checking them cannot be understated.
"Our free Home Fire Safety Visits are available for all householders and can be requested by contacting us by telephone, text message or on-line and also calling in past your nearest community fire station. Further details can be obtained at www.firescotland.gov.uk
"It is equally important to prompt people to look out for someone they know to be at risk – perhaps an elderly relative, friend of neighbour who may live alone – and advise them of the service.
"While the Fire and Rescue Service, both locally and nationally, has undergone significant structural changes in the past 18 months, our emphasis has, and will continue to be, on working at a local level for a safer Aberdeenshire."
Chairman of the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership, William Munro, said: “Aberdeenshire continues to be a safe place to live and overall we are encouraged by the results of the survey.”
Full results for the 37thth Citizens Panel survey can be found at: http://www.ouraberdeenshire.org.uk/images/CB/ViewpointNewsletterIssue37Final.pdf
The Aberdeenshire Citizens’ Panel is made up of some 1,200 residents across Aberdeenshire who agree to be surveyed every three months on a range of community planning issues.
The Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership comprises Aberdeenshire Council, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, Grampian Police, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Grampian Equality Council, NHS Grampian, the Procurator Fiscal Service, British Transport Police, Crimestoppers UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
The partnership’s key focus is working together to make Aberdeenshire a safer place for all those living in, working in or visiting the area.