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Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group

30th Meeting of the
Fire & Rescue Statistics User Group
held on
15th October 2010 1.30 pm in
Eland House, Victoria St, SW1


Ms S Pantry

Fire Information Group

Ms K Bosley

Scottish Government

Mr R Gazzard


Mr G Sayer

Communities and Local Government

Mr J Gamble

Communities and Local Government

Mr A Paish

World Centre for Fire Statistics

1. Chair's Introduction

Kirsty Bosley kindly agreed to chair the meeting in absence of Simon Hunt (FRSUG members should be aware that Simon is on secondment to the Scottish Government based in Edinburgh) who was attending the Fire Futures launch meeting at the Fire Service College.

2. Apologies

Cath Reynolds

Communities & Local Government

Mike Coull

Historic Scotland

Mr S Hunt


Mr P Woods

Fire Protection Association

Mr D Rae

Fire Service College

Ms Lindsay Bennison

Scottish Government

Ms Claire Davis

Welsh Assembly Government

Mr M Rowan

London FRS

Mr D Smith

Fire Industry Association

Mr D Davis


Mr S Emery

English Heritage

Ms S Williams

Communities and Local Government

3. Minutes of the 29th Meeting

The minutes of the 29th Meeting were accepted with minor amendments as an accurate record of the meeting.

4. Matters Arising

Actions from the last meeting have been updated as above.

The meeting agreed to remove outstanding actions from June 2008 and October 2009 that had either been actioned or overtaken by events.

Rob Gazzard gave feedback on his presentation to the Fire Conference in Harrogate in June 2010. He thanked David Davis for his organising efforts.

The meeting agreed that the next meeting should include an agenda item dealing with the nomination of a Vice Chair.

5. Fire Futures (Knowledge Management)

Gavin Sayer gave an overview of the remit of the Fire Futures review.

The Fire Futures strategic review would develop a range of robust future strategy options for the Fire and Rescue Service and make recommendations to Ministers for how these should be taken forward.

Key issues are likely to include the following, although CLG will take our lead from the Sector itself in terms of the issues which need to be explored and the options that should be pursued:

  • The current and future remit and strategic priorities for the FRS over the short, medium and longer term.
  • The current and future delivery model for the Service, taking account of the work that the sector is already leading on decentralisation, and considering how this can be taken further to drive increased localism.
  • The efficiency of the Service and how this can be further improved to enhance value for money.
  • The respective roles and responsibilities of central Government and local partners including consideration of the future role of a national framework.
  • Implication of all of the above for the FRS workforce and for the future structure and governance of the Service.

It was anticipated that the Fire Futures review would report by December 2010.

Action: J Gamble to check if the Fire Futures Survey has been circulated to the FRSUG

6. IRS review and development

Gavin Sayer reported that Greenstreet Berman had completed their review of the Incident Recording System. FRS experience using IRS had driven the content of the review. The results had been posted to the IRS Community of Practice web forum. The future development of IRS would be guided by this useful research - subject to the wider financial outlook. The speed of form processing was the most significant issue for FRS users.

Provisional fire data for 2009/10 was published in August 2010. Fire Statistics UK 2008 would be published in November 2010.

7. FRS Annual Returns

Gavin Sayer reported that CLG was conducting a review into the FRS annual statistical returns including: fire safety audits; staffing numbers; health and safety; vehicle incidents; CFS inputs and operational statistics. The localism perspective of CLG meant that less data would be required centrally. There would be a burden reduction on FRS from around 80 to 20 statistical tables. Consultation was going on until mid November 2010.

Action: Gavin Sayer agreed to send the review link to the FRSUG

8. European Statistics

A draft report form Greenstreet Berman was anticipated shortly. Rob Gazzard indicated that he would be keen to take a look at the report to see how the issue of forest fires was regarded.

9. Scottish Data Review

Work has begun on the Scottish Data Review. More information will be forthcoming at future meetings.

10. SFRAU performance indicators

Draft performance indicators are in development in Scotland. These will include fires and road traffic collisions. There may be primary and secondary indicators. The WFSC would appreciate an opportunity to comment on the methodology to be used in estimating the various elements of the economic cost of fire.

11. Review of the key areas of the work plan

The meeting agreed that the six original elements of the work plan had now been either completed or overtaken by events.

i) Dissemination Activities

Sheila Pantry reported back on discussions with the British Library on behalf of the Fire Information Group. Using the British Library database facility (first half hour free; then £87.00 per hour) should resolve problems raised by the loss of public access to the Fire Service College.

The meeting approved Sheila Pantry's proposal that the FRSUG website should be linked to the FIG website.

The Group agreed that after each meeting a brief press release should be issued, but headed "Information Note", not "Press Release".

Action: J Gamble to remove this item from future work plan agenda items

ii) UK Wild Fire Statistics Report

Rob Gazzard referred FRSUG members to his wild fire IRMP paper. The paper treats the problem of wild fires holistically - seeking to inform risk assessment ad fire prevention policy and guidance. The Group noted with great interest Rob Gazzard's proposal to add to IRMPs a project to increase the effectiveness of wildfire risk management within the IRMP process, and wished him well with his endeavour.

Action: Rob Gazzard agreed to update the FRSUG on progress

12. Any Other Business

  1. Tony Paish noted the EC project in progress on the health effects of flame retardant products - including in furniture. This may have an impact on the UK furniture fire regulations.
  2. Rob Gazzard noted that DEFRA had included wild fire within its Climate Change Action Plan 2010 and Risk Assessment project (CCRA). He would keep FRSUG advised of its progress.

13. Date of Next Meeting

Date of the next meeting: February 2011; Location - London