Praise for fire safety and quick reaction times in Cleveland

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Firefighters have been praised for quick reaction times and the high number of fire safety checks carried out across the area.

Fire chiefs have said a drop in the number of house fires and an increase in the number of home safety visits means figures show people are ‘49% less likely to have a fire in the home if you live in Cleveland’ then elsewhere in England.

A presentation to the Cleveland Fire Authority Audit and Governance Committee showed the work carried out in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton from April to October this year.

Figures show the fire service is exceeding its targets for quick response times to incidents.

Firefighters aim to deal with calls within 100 seconds and on average they are dealt with in 86 seconds, and a total of 92% of calls are dealt with in two minutes.

They also aim to have the first appliance at the scene within seven minutes, and on average it takes four minutes and 50 seconds to get there and 98% get there within the first 10 minutes

The target is also to get the second appliance to the scene within 10 minutes, but the average for the Cleveland team is six minutes and 47 seconds.

Tim Graham, head of risk performance, said: “The more time we save in attending incidents means the more time we get dealing with the incidents.

“There is a finite length of time before it could result in a fatality and every second counts.”

Meanwhile figures showed 10, 607 home safety visits were carried out by firefighters, which involved checking and fitting smoke alarms.

This included nearly 2,000 more detailed ‘safe and well visits’ where the brigade joins forces with health partners to signpost where additional support may be needed.

Off the back of this 333 people were referred for help preventing further hazards, including support from dementia support organisations and services to stop smoking and alcohol advice.

On average out of every one million homes nationally, 10,356 receive fire safety checks, but figures for Cleveland Fire Brigade equate to 32,347 out of every million homes being checked.

Steve Johnson, Cleveland area manager, protection and prevention, said: “This is one of of our passions.

“You are 49% less likely to have a fire in the home if you live in Cleveland than anywhere else in England. That is an achievement we should all be proud of.”

Karen Winter, director of corporate services, said: “It is a position Cleveland Fire Brigade has held for many years.

“It’s tremendous work we have put in, I have not seen anything like it, it’s wonderful.”

Coun Mike Young, Hartlepool Borough Council representative on the committee, said: “It is really good to see.

“For me I have seen first hand the help they have given one of my friends and it was really fantastic to see the support they gave.

“They gave lots of advice and literature about fire safety and what to do.

“It was impressive to see and it was really, really great work.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service