Above average rate of fire casualties

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WHILST praised by The Account’s Commission for their effective service, Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade has been told it needs to do more to establish the reasons behind the relatively high casualty figures in the region.

The recent audit by the commission, which was also encouraged by the Services ‘clear focus on preventative work and its innovative approaches working with partner organisations and engaging with communities’, found that although in the past 10 years, the number of fires in the Lothian and Borders area has reduced significantly in line with the national trend, the region has recorded a higher than average rate of casualties.

And the Commission said for the Service’s preventative work to be more effective, it needed to find out the cause of the this.

Responding to the findings, David Millar, Director of Corporate Services, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said: “One of the most notable findings in the report was the relatively high number of casualties in the Service area in comparison with other parts of the country.

“One of the reasons for this may relate to our standard operating procedure in LBFRS in how we deal with people involved in an incident. It is our policy to give anyone who has been rescued or has self-rescued and has suffered slight smoke inhalation or shock, oxygen or first aid at the scene.

“Under our incident recording system guidance, these people would automatically be considered as having received treatment at the scene or having had a precautionary check-up and would move up from being recorded as a non-casualty to a casualty.”

The Commission went on to say the Service has a strong approach to financial management but improvements need to be made in its management of its assets and equipment

Mr Millar added: “As we move towards a single fire and rescue service the focus has shifted towards building a national strategy for the effective management of equipment drawing on best practice from across the Services.”