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Fire service report on busy year

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By Donald Turvill
Dumfries and West
Fire service report on busy year

THE Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has reported that no casualties occurred in Nithsdale as a result of traffic accidents or fires in the year up to March 31.

In its annual performance report to Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Nithsdale Area Committee, the service said it had “performed well” in key priority areas throughout 2019-20.

A slight increase was recorded in the number of incidents attended by crews, up 27 from the previous year to 750, with 43 per cent accounting for accidental dwelling fires, most of which were cooking related incidents.

A 38 per cent drop in attendance at road traffic collisions (RTC) was noted with zero casualties resulting from RTCs or fires, continuing a trend from the previous year in which the number of deaths caused on roads or by fire in Nithsdale more than halved. Furthermore, the service saw a 22 per cent reduction in the number of incidents attended assisting other emergency services.

Highlighting this positive downward trend, the SFRS said it “maintains its focus on reducing RTC incidents and continues to play a lead role in the Road Safety Partnership.”

It added: “Reduction in casualties associated with fire related incidents shows the benefits of the varied preventative work carried out in relation to this incident type.

“Attendance at special service incidents has seen a large decrease, resulting in a large reduction in casualties associated with this incident type.”

However, a slight rise in deliberate fire setting was reported, with a spike in November last year when more than a fifth of incidents occurred. An area of particular concern was North West Dumfries, where 65 per cent of incidents attended were deliberate fires. Responding to these figures, SFRS said: “Through partnership working with Police Scotland and education, the spate of fires witnessed during the summer months were addressed and reduced.”

The report concluded: “Nithsdale area is pleased to report appliance availability in retained duty system stations at an average of 95.35 per cent availability, which is like the previous year.

“This trend is not replicated throughout Scotland and is a credit to those serving in their local communities. SFRS will continue to engage with local employers to try to maintain and secure on call firefighter provisions for the future.

“It should be noted that where appliances are not available, emergency cover is still maintained within Nithsdale communities through alternative cover and standby arrangements.”

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