Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

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FOI / 3846 / 2018 -Smoke Alarm Referrals


Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold this information.

Please see the answers to your request attached in the Excel spreadsheet.


Initial Request:

The recruitment campaign to Dovercourt on call must now be approaching 2 years and from my understanding there has been a net loss of personnel. Also there has been a massive loss of experience with approximately 9 on call still in development. The time is approaching for the full time to be removed. Can I have the stats for the on call appliance availability for May, June, July and August 2018. If the numbers of on call and qualifications are not in place what is the service plan to maintain 24 hr cover with a suitably qualified crews.

Also I have been informed that the average time from referral to fitting for smoke alarms is approximately 12 weeks, could you give me your stats on this matter.

Final Response:

The Dovercourt On-Call recruitment campaign started in April 2017.

Since 01 April 2017, there have been 5 joiners and 5 leavers at Dovercourt, implying the overall employee numbers have remained unchanged.


Of the On Call crew members, 4 (all of whom have joined the Service since April 2017) have progressed to Development, while one firefighter, who joined in May of this year, is still at Trainee stage, as might be expected.


Another on-call new recruit is due to start new recruit training programme in October 2018.


Please find attached an excel spreadsheet for the on call appliance availability as requested.


Each individual request for a Home Safety Visit is prioritised, based on risk, and categorised as High Medium or Low. This means that individuals with a higher risk will be seen sooner than others.

Telephone requests are dealt with immediately at the point of call, with the caller being asked a series of personal and sensitive questions before an appointment date is offered.

The timescale from telephone call to visit is a maximum of 4 weeks depending on the individual circumstances and category the request falls under.

All online and email requests are read and prioritised within 24 hours. The timescale from email request to visit date is a maximum of 12 weeks depending on individual circumstances.

All referrals for visits have a minimum of 2 telephone attempts made in order to secure a visit. If we are unsuccessful in our attempts to contact the resident, a letter is sent advising of our efforts with a request for them to contact us.

Therefore, taking all these circumstances into account, it is difficult to establish an exact waiting time for an individual, as it depends on their risk level and availability.

There are occasions when a Home Safety Visit is requested and conducted within 48 hours, but in other circumstances, the total turnaround time can take up to 12 weeks, depending on the individual circumstances.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be addressed to: Internal Review, Performance & Data Team, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

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