NIFRS In 2011/12 With 43,062 Emergency Calls Received

The Northern Ireland Fire Brigade has obviously had some challenging times in the past, dealing with the troubles over several decades has put them in harms way on far too many occasions. Yet it is a sign of their dedication and the belief of being a public service by responding to the majority of incidents in quick time without much thought to the dangers that lay in wait for them.

The services which the Fire Brigade can provide both in Northern Ireland and the wider area of the UK are some of the most wide ranging in the world. With professionalism which their training bears down on society every time they answer a 999 call. During the period 2011/12, there were 43,062 emergency calls received into the regional control centre, answered by approximately thirty five staff who ascertain the nature of the call and what response is actually required - if any at all.

It is these vital staff in the control room who can relay information gathered and suggest appropriate measures before the fire engine has even left its station. The more details a commander and his fire men and women have on route, the more prepared they will be upon arrival. Of those 43,061 calls, more than half and 27,150 were attended to. This in an area covered by sixty eight fire stations across 5,500 miles of land. Including ships and yachts docked on rivers, and the waterways and ports of Northern Ireland.

The breakdown of these figures is none surprising but when reading through the list it is clear that there has to be an advancement in technology to cut down on the amount of false alarms which get triggered. A false alarm, whether malicious or an accident takes times away from real fires and emergencies and arriving a few seconds at a scene of a fire or an emergency can save a life. There were over 10,000 false alarms in the country, of which the fire brigade are automatically called to attend by contract.

However only 770 were malicious but both these numbers are far too high. Real fires accounted for half of call outs in 2011/12. 3,289 major fires and 8,365 secondary fires with 1,465 chimney fires. Fires were not the only emergencies however. Due to the nature of the equipment a fire engine carries, the service can also help release people from cars involved in road traffic accidents. And attend chemical spills, problems with elevators being stuck and incidents which require a professional body to make an area safe, like a building collapse or tree partly falling down.

Of these incidents in which there were 1,972 specialist services the make up included traffic collisions (576), person release (225), lift incidents (126), make-safe incidents (184), animal rescues (180), chemical incidents (72), effecting entry (166), flooding (123) and other incidents (320) with 827 uncategorised events.