By building on our successes from previous years and identifying key areas for improvement within our performance we will continue to work closely with colleagues on Prevention and Protection measures to ensure the safety of the communities of Pembrokeshire. Unfortunately emergencies will arise despite our best endeavours necessitating the attendance of the Fire and Rescue Service.
Our operational crews are well-trained and equipped to deal with incidents; have a knowledge of the risks to which they may be exposed and are provided with additional information to complement this. They are committed to providing a service of the highest standard and provide a 24/7 emergency response using a fleet of diverse vehicles. In addition to the expected Fire and Rescue response our crews are highly trained in trauma and emergency care, co-operating with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust to deliver co-responder services in rural locations.
In Pembrokeshire we attended approximately 1810 emergency incidents including fires, road traffic collisions, chemical incidents and animal rescues. The impact of climate change on the type and frequency of weather related events has significantly altered our call profile for the last 12 months with wide-scale flooding and property damage due to tidal and high wind effects becoming areas of increased activity.
We are keen to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of our emergency response and continuously monitor our performance to ensure our exacting standards are met. To meet our goal of continuous improvement the response department will be looking to make the following changes over the next 12 months.
• Improve our Water Rescue and Flooding Response capability by providing additional equipment for the Milford Haven Swift Water Rescue Team and examine the potential for developing the Command’s wading station resources to complement those already operating at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock.
• Amend the manner in which the availability of emergency appliances are managed to improve upon our already excellent emergency response performance statistics.
• Embark on a series of training events to provide our personnel with the most up to date skills to deal with shipping incidents.
• Contribute to the service review of foam firefighting provision to take account of emerging technologies and the move toward green fuels.
• Capture information on the developing renewable / sustainable energy sector to ensure our crews are aware of the risks presented and the measures to take if encountered operationally.
Incident response is always our top priority but is not the only focus for the Service. Prevention of incidents is an important aspect Fire Service work and this prevention involves a variety of partners which includes public sector agencies, private organisations and third sector organisations.
The five main categories our prevention work is based around are:
• Home Safety
• Schools Education
• Road Safety
• Youth Engagement
• Arson Reduction
We take a holistic view of prevention and employ a range of different initiatives in each of the categories to ensure that we reach as many groups of at risk people as possible. We endeavour to raise awareness of safety issues or enable people to access other services that can help make them safer.
Fire Safety Officers undertake inspections of various workplaces within the community (schools, care homes, hospitals, shops, factories etc.), carry out consultations and comment on plans submitted for Building Regulations approval, and supply specialist advice to other agencies such as Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and the Local Authority Licensing and Housing Departments.
Protection and prevention from the effects of fire is achieved by way of enforcement of Fire Safety Legislation, the ‘Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order’, and actively working with partners to reduce the risk and impact of fire by:
• Ensuring fire safety protection is designed into new or materially altered businesses, offices and other commercial buildings. This involves working closely with Building Control and Approved Inspectors to ensure Building Regulation Standards are met for all buildings covered by Fire Safety Legislation.
• Inspection, through Fire Safety Legislation, which sets out employers’ and others’ responsibilities for providing and maintaining a safe environment from fire.
• Education that supports Fire Safety Legislation enforcement and community fire safety initiatives which aim to promote fire safe behaviour.
Key Areas of Activity:
• Conduct a programme of fire safety inspections targeted at higher risk premises.
• Carry out general fire safety inspections, employing a risk assessed approach within the limits of the Service provided by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
• Work closely with Building Control to design-out fire safety risks.
• Reduce the number of unwanted automatic fire alarm signals by way of proactively working with the ‘responsible person’ for the system.
• Reduce the impact of arson on the business community by way of education, inspection and enforcement
• Increase the number of premises fitted with sprinkler systems and automated detectors by working closely with relevant partners.