Our performance

From the front line to the Fire and Rescue Authority, we monitor and evaluate our performance so that we can learn from our shortcomings, celebrate our successes, and continue to improve our protection, prevention and response services.

We collect and analyse data from our activity to produce information to help our leaders and managers make decisions. Across Devon and Somerset, these decisions directly influence the effectiveness and efficiency with which we operate, and guide and look after the people who provide our services to you.

On this page, you will find reported information on topics like the number of incidents we’ve attended, and how we’re doing against our improvement targets. If you would like further information, you can find out how to contact us on our Freedom of Information page.

We use different systems to measure this data.

  • Vision. This is the system that our control operators use when they answer a call to identify where an incident is, and to make sure that we send the right people and equipment to help.
  • Gartan. This is the system that our firefighters use to let us know when they are available to respond to incidents. It's linked to our Vision mobilising system so that our control operators can identify which resources can be sent to an incident.

Measuring our response to incidents

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We understand how important it is that we provide an efficient and effective response to incidents, and we aim to arrive on scene as quickly and safely as possible.

Our Emergency Response Standards (ERS) allow us to monitor how often we arrive within our target attendance time to dwelling fires and Road Traffic Collisions (RTC).

Our aim is for an appliance to attend dwelling fire incidents within 10 minutes of the emergency call being answered, and RTCs within 15 minutes.

The rural nature of our service area means this isn’t always going to be possible, so our target is to achieve the ERS for at least 75% of eligible incidents.

Incident data in this measure is sourced from the Vision mobilising system, and the incident type based on our understanding at the time that call was received and resources assigned.

Current performance can be seen below (higher numbers are better).

Dwelling fires
Target 75%
July 2021

74% (1% below target)

April to July 2021 74.8% (0.2% below target)

Road traffic collisions

Target 75%
July 2021

74.2% (0.8% below target)

April to July 2021 78.4% (3.4% above target)

There are many things that can affect how long it takes us to arrive at an incident. Three elements that we can directly influence are as follows.

1. Availability of our resources

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We have 13 wholetime fire engines that are crewed 24/7 and 99 on-call (including volunteer) fire engines that are crewed by people that live or work in the local community and respond to a fire station when alerted by their pager. Despite the commitment of our on-call and voluntary personnel, maintaining the availability of these fire engines can be a challenge.

To make sure that we are mitigating incident risk effectively, we aim to keep 98% of 56 risk critical fire engines available and 85% of the remaining 66 fire engines available at all times.

Availability data is sourced from the Gartan availability system.

Current performance can be seen below (higher numbers are better).

 

Risk critical pump availability
Target 98%
July 2021

93.6% (4.4% below target)

April to July 2021 96.2% (1.8% below target)

 

Standard pump availability
Target 85%
July 2021

73.2% (11.8% below target)

April to July 2021 79.0% (6.0% below target)

2. Call handling time

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This is the duration from when we answer an emergency call to when we establish where the incident is and assign the right resources. Our target is to achieve an average (median) call handling time of 50 seconds or better.

Data for this measure is sourced from the Vision mobilisation system.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Call handling time
Target 50 seconds
July 2021

52 seconds (4.0% below target)

April to July 2021 52 seconds (4.0% below target)

3. Turnout time

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This is the duration from when our Fire Control operatives alert resources to attend an incident, to when those resources notify Fire Control that they are mobile to the incident.  

We measure wholetime and on-call turnout times separately as our wholetime crews are generally on station or close to their appliance when they are alerted, while on-call personnel usually need to respond to the station first.

Data for this measure is sourced from the Vision mobilisation system.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Wholetime turnout time
Target 90 seconds
July 2021

83 seconds (7.8% above target)

April to July 2021 85 seconds (5.6% above target)

 

On-call turnout time
Target 300 seconds
July 2021

300 seconds 

April to July 2021

290 seconds (3.3% above target)

Monitoring incident rates and outcomes

Monitoring incident rates and outcomes (for example, were there any casualties) helps us to understand if the things we do to prevent emergencies are working. It also enables us to evaluate whether we are responding effectively when an incident does occur, to minimise the severity of the outcome.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our incident profile has changed so we have taken the decision to monitor incidents based on a five-year average, to try and smooth out this effect. We can assume that figures will return to pre-pandemic levels, however long-term behavioural changes resulting from the pandemic and their impact on incident levels are yet to be understood.

The incident data in this section is sourced from the Home Office National Incident Recording System.

Incident-based measures

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Our incident-based measures are calculated using a rate per 100,000 population. This allows us to compare our performance against other fire and rescue services. An example of how we calculate this can be seen below.

Incident-based measures calculation
Number of incidents attended  
divided by x 100,000
population figure  

Dwelling fires

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“Dwelling fires are fires in properties that are a place of residence, for example places occupied by households such as houses and flats, excluding hotels or hostels and residential institutions. Dwellings also include non-permanent structures used solely as a dwelling, such as houseboats and caravans.” – gov.uk: fire-statistics-definitions.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better). 

 

Rate of dwelling fires per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 6.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 54.08 

Compared to target rate 1.0% lower
Status Succeeding

 

Dwelling fire fatalities

This measure includes people that died as a direct result of a dwelling fire.

Current performance can be seen below (lower number are better).

 

Rate of dwelling fire fatalities per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 20.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 0.40 

Compared to target rate 8.7% higher
Status Near target

 

Dwelling fire hospitalisations

This measure includes people that were injured because of a dwelling fire and required treatment at hospital, whether as an outpatient or inpatient.

Current performance can be seen below (lower number are better).

 

Rate of non-domestic fires per 10,000 rateable premises (rolling five-year average)
Target 3.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 4.40 

Compared to target rate 2.2% higher 
Status Near target

Non-domestic fires

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Non-domestic fires are “fires in other residential or non-residential buildings. Other (institutional) residential buildings include properties such as hostels, hotels or bed and breakfasts, nursing or care homes, student halls of residence and so on. Non-residential buildings include properties such as offices, shops, factories, warehouses, restaurants, public buildings and religious buildings.” – gov.uk: fire-statistics-definitions.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of non-domestic fires per 10,000 rateable premises (rolling five-year average)
Target 6.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 63.93

Compared to target rate 0.3% higher 
Status Near target

 

Non-domestic fire fatalities

This measure includes people that died because of a non-domestic fire.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of non-domestic fire fatalities per 10,000 rateable premises (rolling five-year average)
Target 20.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 0.14

Compared to target rate 0.0% 
Status Succeeding

 

Non-domestic fire hospitalisations

This measure includes people that were injured because of a non-domestic fire and required treatment at hospital, whether as an outpatient or inpatient.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of non-domestic fire hospitalisations per 10,000 rateable premises (rolling five-year average)
Target 3.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 1.24

Compared to target rate 10.4% lower
Status Succeeding

Other fires

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Other fires are fires in either primary** road vehicles, primary outdoor locations, or fires in non-primary outdoor locations that have casualties or five or more pumping appliances attending.

Outdoor primary locations include aircraft, boats, trains and outdoor structures such as post or telephone boxes, bridges, tunnels etc.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of other fires per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 3.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 46.46

Compared to target rate 2.1% lower
Status Succeeding

 

Other fire fatalities

This measure includes people that died because of an “other fire”.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of other fire fatalities per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 20.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 0.11

Compared to target rate 0.0%
Status Succeeding

 

Other fire hospitalisations

This measure includes people that were injured because of an “other fire” and required treatment at hospital, whether as an outpatient or inpatient.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of other fire hospitalisations per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 15.0% reduction over three years
As at of 31 July 2021

Average rate 0.59

Compared to target rate 2.4% lower
Status Succeeding

 

** “Primary fires are generally more serious fires that harm people or cause damage to property. Primary fires are defined as fires that cause damage by fire, heat or smoke and meet at least one of the following conditions: any fire that occurred in a (non-derelict) building, vehicle or (some) outdoor structures, any fire involving fatalities, casualties or rescues, any fire attended by five or more pumping appliances.” – gov.uk: fire-statistics-definitions.

Secondary fires

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“Secondary fires are generally small outdoor fires, not involving people or property. These include refuse fires, grassland fires and fires in derelict buildings or vehicles unless these fires involved casualties or rescues, or five or more pumping appliances attended, in which case they become primary other outdoor fires.” - gov.uk: fire-statistics-definitions.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of secondary fires per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 2.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 92.14

Compared to target rate 0.0% difference
Status Succeeding

Deliberate fires

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“Deliberate fires include those where the motive for the fire was ‘thought to be’ or ‘suspected to be’ deliberate. This includes fires to an individual’s own property, others’ property or property of an unknown owner. Despite deliberate fire records including arson, deliberate fires are not the same as arson. Arson is defined under the Criminal Damage Act of 1971 as ‘an act of attempting to destroy or damage property, and/or in doing so, to endanger life’.” - gov.uk: fire-statistics-definitions

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of other fire hospitalisations per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 2.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 80.24

Compared to target rate 2.0% lower
Status Succeeding

Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs)

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RTCs attended including those that resulted in fire.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of RTCs per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 2.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 51.73

Compared to target rate 3.9% lower
Status Succeeding

Unwanted fire alarm signals in non-domestic premises

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Unwanted fire alarm signals are incidents that we attend where an automatic alarm has activated due to a cause other than fire. For example, poor maintenance, system fault and more.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of non-domestic unwanted fire alarm signals per 10,000 rateable premises 
Target 2.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 216.81

Compared to target rate 1.3% higher
Status Near target

Unwanted fire alarm signals in dwellings

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Unwanted fire alarm signals are incidents that we attend where an automatic alarm has activated due to a cause other than fire. For example, poor maintenance, system fault and so on.

Current performance can be seen below (lower numbers are better).

 

Rate of dwelling unwanted fire alarm signals per 100,000 population (rolling five-year average)
Target 2.0% reduction over three years
As of 31 July 2021

Average rate 126.61

Compared to target rate 0.6% higher
Status Near target

Status explanations

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Succeeding – on or better than target.
Near target – less than ten percent away from meeting the target.