Overall, we’ve seen a decrease in the total number of incidents we attend over the last ten years, with some upward fluctuations over the last three years.
There was a downturn in 2020/21 due to COVID-19. This was largely attributable to the reduction in road traffic collisions. Over the last five years, total incidents ranged between 6,492 and 7,535.
Fires account for roughly a quarter of the incidents that we respond to and non-fire incidents (we call these special services) a further quarter. Just under half of the incidents we respond to are false alarms. Over the last ten years there’s been an overall downward trend in fires and false alarms but we provide special services across an increasingly wide range of types and this is steadily growing as an overall proportion of our work. Most incidents requiring our attendance occur from around 9am and up to around 10pm.
Number of incidents by incident category (Home Office)
Incident category as a percentage (Home Office)
Number of times each fire engine was called out for each year (NYFRS mobilising system)
|Scarborough (Shift) 2||650||537||688||440||579||2,315|
|Harrogate (Shift) 2||630||461||574||410||519||2,075|
|Scarborough (Shift) 1||560||555||510||442||517||2,067|
|Harrogate (Shift) 1||498||525||489||437||487||1,949|
|Selby (Day Crewed)||391||454||441||452||435||1,738|
|Ripon (Day Crewed)||316||336||374||375||350||1,401|
|Skipton (On-call) 1||289||314||337||264||301||1,204|
|Northallerton (Self Rostering)||231||316||350||281||295||1,178|
|Richmond (Self Rostering)||228||280||278||270||264||1,056|
|Tadcaster (Day Crewed)||195||267||291||295||262||1,048|
|Malton (Day Crewed)||224||256||274||256||253||1,010|
|Whitby (Day Crewed)||211||225||246||209||223||891|
|Robin Hoods Bay (On-call)||54||44||61||45||51||204|
Our fire engines are crewed in a range of ways. We have 7 immediately available fire engines which are crewed on a 24-hour shift basis, 7 fire engines which are immediately available on a daytime but need a crew to respond from home on a night-time (Day Crewed and Self Rostering), and 32 fire engines which need a crew to always respond from home or work, because we are not their primary employer (On-call). We also have 2 volunteer units but these are not included in the table.
The number of times each of our fire engines have been called out can be seen in Table 3. The numbers are greater than the total incidents due to using more than one fire engine for some incidents. Sometimes when we send several fire engines, the first to arrive is the only one needed, and the others are turned back.
This data is taken from our mobilising system. It does not include fire engine movements used to fill geographical gaps:
- stand-by duties – due to fire engines in that area being used at an incident; or
- cover moves – due to fire engines in that area being unavailable for other reasons e.g. crewing deficiencies, training commitments, mechanical failures.
So what does this tell us?
- The risk in each station area is very diverse so the range of incidents each of our crews may have to attend and be able to deal with, is very broad.
- Analysis of our incident attendance tells us that nearly half are responses to false alarms, the majority of which are automatic fire alarms.
- Attending incidents takes our crews away from delivering our full range of services.
- For our priority risks (fire, road, water), fires account for the lowest number of incidents attended which is at odds with public perception of what we mainly respond to.
- We attend a higher proportion of non-fire incidents, such as road traffic collisions.
- Our staff need to be multi-skilled and flexible as fire incidents will be a constant but smaller part of the job.
- We need to continue to reduce risk to prevent incidents from occurring which in turn reduces the need for an emergency response.
- Many of our fire engines attend a relatively low number of incidents, but we need to have them in key locations to cover the expanse of our county because of its size and geography.