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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

24th Meeting
of the
Fire & Rescue Statistics User Group
held on
12 February 2008 at 10:30 am
Eland House, London, Room LMR7 ABC


Mr. S. Hunt

CFOA Chairman

Mr. A. Paish

World Fire Statistics Centre

Mr. S. Emery

English Heritage

Mr. M. Coull

Grampian FRS

Mr. M. Rowan

London FRS

Mr. I. Gough


Mr. R. Gazzard

Forestry Commission representing the English Wildfire Forum.

Mr. D. Sugg

Communities and Local Government

Mrs. S. Pantry

Fire Information Group

Mr. S Robbins

Communities and Local Government

Ms. S. Wright, Secretary

Communities and Local Government






Samantha to send round the latest FRD organogram, for information. A draft has been created but is not yet ready for circulation.







Darren Sugg is to obtain contact details for Graham Ellacote's replacement. Contacts are now Wilf Butler or Bill Parlour of ASFP.



Simon to enquire about status /activities of the Metropolitan FRS Statistics Group. Mitchell Rowan confirmed that a Group exists and at the next meeting will ask if there is a potential link to FRSUG. Mitchell to forward a list of representatives to Simon Hunt.



Tony Paish to contact CTIF regarding potential engagement with FRSUG (see letter from Essex FRS). Tony emailed Dr. Peter Wagner but received no reply. Tony Paish to write to Denis Davis to say that the Group would like to improve contact and propose a way forward.




Sheila Pantry to create, host and maintain the FRSUG website as agreed.



Samantha Wright to send electronic documents to Sheila for uploading onto the Site.



Samantha Wright to send Rob Gazzard's presentation to the Group.



Simon Hunt to encourage ABI to provide a representative to attend future FRSUG meetings.



All Members to express interest in any of the six areas of the Work plan to Samantha Wright giving a brief explanation of what they can bring to the group - See minute item 8.



Samantha Wright to look for electronic version of 'currently available statistics' document.



Stephen Robbins to ask Kirsty Bosley if there is the capacity for someone to keep the above document up to date. Samantha to circulate to the Group for comment once document updated.



Simon Hunt to ask Catherine Levin for permission to send out documents and minutes from the EU Fire Safety Network meetings to the FRSUG.



Samantha Wright to arrange the next meeting for Tuesday 15 April. Due to unforeseen circumstances the next meeting will now be held on the 2nd April.


1 Chair's Introduction

1.1 Simon Hunt, Chair, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Brief introductions from each Member were given.

2 Apologies


Mr. R. Thilthorpe



Mr. D. Beverley



Mr. D. Smith



Mr. M. Robinson

Communities & Local Government


Mr. D. Rae

Fire Service College


Ms. K. Bosley

Communities & Local Government (Mr. S. Robbins attended on behalf)

3 Minutes of the 23rd Meeting


3.1 Minor comments received from Tony Paish. (These have been incorporated and minutes of the 23rd meeting resent to the Group together with these minutes).

3.2 Pg 2, 4.8, they were fitted in risk-rooms only but were still relatively expensive.

4 Matters Arising

4.1 Actions from the last meeting have been updated.

5 Update on IRS progress

5.1 Darren Sugg gave a brief update on the Incident Recording System. This electronic system has been created for all UK FRSs who are to be using it by March 2009 and will collect information on all incidents attended by the UK FRSs.

5.2 Warwickshire FRS went live using the IRS on 1 October 2007. Several more FRSs are currently in training and should be using the IRS from 1 April 2008.

5.3 A FRS Circular was recently released. It contains information on how to implement the system, training and Q&A.

5.4 There will be a review held annually to determine any changes to the system. The group, which has yet to be formed, will consist of representatives from each stakeholder group. FRSUG would have the opportunity to contribute to the review process.

5.5 A train-the-trainer system is on place where a select group from each FRS are trained to use the IRS. They then train individual members on-station as required.

5.6 Sheila Pantry asked whether definitions of terms used in the IRS had been produced. Darren confirmed that a glossary and comprehensive question by question guidance was available online and as a PDF download.

5.7 Tony Paish asked how and when the UK statistics would be affected. Darren suggested quite quickly. From quarter four 2007 we will have one quarter's worth of data from Warwickshire FRS. The IRS and FDR systems will run in parallel until March 2009 when the IRS will become the sole method of data capture. When each FRS comes to use the IRS they must cease using the FDR system across all Stations. There may be some discontinuity as there are a few differences between the two systems, but in terms of dwelling fires etc the definitions and processes for collecting are the same.
CLG can also now publish non-fire incidents, meaning a more comprehensive series of data.

6 FRSUG website discussion

6.1 Sheila Pantry had spoken with Anne Hayes in FPA to discuss their recent offer to host and maintain the FRSUG website. Unfortunately, due to other commitments within the FPA team, they have had to withdraw the offer. A few years ago Sheila's company looked at producing a website and hosting it on the FIG website. It was agreed that this idea should be looked at again to get the FRSUG website up and running as soon as possible. Sheila offered to host and maintain the site at no cost to the Group. This offer was accepted by the Group.

6.2 Samantha is to send electronic documents to Sheila for uploading onto the Site.

7 Introduction to Wildfire Statistics

7.1 Rob Gazzard, a new member of the Group, gave a presentation on 'An Introduction to Wildfire Statistics'. This presentation has been sent to all members with these minutes.

7.2 Sheila Pantry asked about statistical information from other countries. Rob confirmed that these are sent to their appropriate bodies but there is a joint research unit in the European Commission.

7.3 Tony Paish asked if coverage includes Northern Ireland. Rob said that the document has been written so organisations can come on board if they wish, but is not mandatory. The document provides a framework for them to work within and is useful for consistencies in terminology and quality assurance.

7.4 Rob hoped that there will be opportunities to join the IRS annual review team to identify necessary changes to guidance. There may be opportunities to add to the IRS to make the data collection more complete.

7.5 As the FRSs will be providing this new information, they may require further training to understand, for example, landscapes and the differences between heath land, scrubland and forests to enable input of more accurate data.

8 Development of a workplan for the Group

8.1 Six areas to form a work plan were defined and agreed during the meeting and are as follows:

  • Rob Gazard's UK Wildfire Statistics Report - also to review any of Rob's wildfire documents.
  • FRSUG website - to create, update and maintain.
  • Currently Available Statistics spreadsheet - to update and maintain.
  • Data Sharing Group - reflection upon other bodies who collect statistics in their own right, plus liaise with other statistics collection forums.
  • IRS Review Group - a subgroup of the FRSUG to look into IRS changes and IRMP statistics.
  • Dissemination Activities - to promote the FRSUG and its activities.

8.2 Members are to express interest in becoming involved or taking the lead in any of the above areas and a brief explanation of why and what they can bring to the group to Samantha Wright. Progress updates from each area will be reported on at future FRSUG meetings.

8.3 Tony Paish suggested taking advantage of the Statistics User Forum to obtain contacts for other User Groups with similar or an overlap of statistical interests.

9 Development of data sharing protocols for the Group

9.1 This was discussed and the Group agreed for the development of data sharing protocols to become an area of the Group's work plan.

10 Any other business

10.1 Steve Emery asked whether there was any data available to analyse the effectiveness of fireground command and control over the last ten years, i.e. sectioning and cordoning etc. and see whether it has worked in reducing fire fighter deaths and injuries at the fireground and whether it is actually the most effective system. It was suggested that this was outside the Group's remit and that as this was an area for Mark Smitherman's National Health and Safety Group that the FRSUG would not pursue this request further.

10.2 Sheila Pantry suggested the FRSUG hold a seminar later in the year to discuss our work and findings. If it was felt that there was not a big enough audience we could apply to be part of the FSC Conference to be held on 12 and 13 November 2008 in Moreton In Marsh. The deadline top apply is 11 April and presenters will be selected 20 June. The Group agreed it was a good idea but that it may be better to have a Seminar or attend a conference next year once the working groups are more established and we can talk about what we have accomplished. This will form part of the work plan item 'Dissemination Activities'. It may be possible to do a 'Poster' for the FSC Conference to boost the profile of the FRSUG but a member of the Group would need to be available for the two days to field questions.

10.3 Tony Paish asked if anyone had attended an EU Fire Safety Network meeting recently. Simon confirmed that he had in December 2007. Tony asked whether it was possible to have sight of the minutes and relevant documentation from the meetings, particularly the Report on Statistics produced by Member Countries. Simon Hunt is to ask Catherine Levin for permission to send out documents and minutes from the EU Fire Safety Network meetings to the FRSUG.

11 Date and location of Next Meeting (25th)

Wednesday 2nd April 2008; 10.30 - 13.00
Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London
Room 2/E8