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Brigade smashes safety targets

West Yorkshire has smashed the ambitious district-based targets it set itself for reducing fires and other emergencies.
The number of turnouts in 2011/12 were:

  • Leeds 10,593 (3 per cent better than target)
  • Bradford 7,951 (2.1 per cent btt)
  • Kirklees 4,914 (8.8 per cent btt)
  • Wakefield 4,093 (4.8 per cent btt)
  • Calderdale 2,541 (2 per cent btt)

All districts recorded a fall in arson and there was a general pattern of fewer house fires and fire deaths and injuries. Well over 45,000 free home fire safety checks were carried out.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Craig McIntosh explained that 2011/12 had been the first year that districts had been given risk reduction targets in an attempt to tailor work to local circumstances. This approach was reflected in individual station targets. “Obviously, what may be high risk in Bradford may not be mirrored in Huddersfield or Wetherby so we wanted to focus our activity on what would make a difference locally. I’m glad to say that overall this seems to be working and much more effective working relationships are already being formed on the ground with other agencies such as neighbourhood policing teams and councils. “Achievements across all five districts in reducing risk has had an impact on the service’s headline performance: fewer fires result in fewer casualties and pleasingly 2011/12 saw the lowest number ever of five accidental domestic fire deaths. This is five more than we would like as each represents a tragedy, but we are delivering lower numbers year on year and this demonstrates that our risk reduction work is making the people of West Yorkshire safer.” Mr. McIntosh said that the targets would be refreshed every year to make sure they were still relevant and stretching.