Hampshire Fire Department receives fewer calls for fires but more for accidents | News

Hampshire firefighters demonstrate process of carving up car to remove trapped passengers after crash

Author: Local Democracy Reporter – David GeorgePosted 20 minutes ago

FIRE FIGHTERS spend less time dealing with fires and more time dealing with traffic accidents and rescue operations.

A report presented to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Board of Directors showed the department received fewer fire calls in the first half of this fiscal year (April- September 2021) than for the same period last year.

Unlike 2,218 fire calls – 461 fewer than the same period last year – there were 4,605 ​​calls for special services, which included traffic collisions, elevator releases and assistance by ambulance, up 8% compared to 2020.

Deputy Fire Chief Shantha Dickinson told board members that while there have been fewer incidents year over year, the Covid-19 pandemic has played an important role by skewing the figures somewhat.

“We are still in an abnormal period at the moment,” she said.

“Incidents have increased from the previous six months, but we noted that the fluctuation was reflected in the easing of lockdown periods.

“We have seen a reduction in fires primarily influenced by a reduction in primary and secondary grass fires. ”

Pending the results of two coroner’s verdicts, between April and September this year, no one has died in Hampshire as a result of a fire.

But there were 64 victims, of which 60% were men.

Along with the increase in incidents, the demand for co-responder fire stations has also increased, with Portchester, Horndean and Romsey stations highlighted.

But firefighters’ response time to emergencies has also increased, the report added.

Average critical response time increased six seconds from the previous six months.

However, the deputy fire chief explained that the ‘pingemia’ earlier this year – where the NHS told millions to self-isolate – hampered staff levels.

Ms Dickinson said: “We compared that to lower overall availability and higher levels of absence.

“We have constant monitoring of absences – at the moment, we have 13 absences related to Covid, either of those affected or of self-isolated people.

“Resilience measures have been put in place, such as staff working from home, to protect the workforce, and we have a degradation plan for critical frontline services.”

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