We think it is right that we focus on you, our customers. We want to put you and your safety at the centre of what we do.
From the work we do we know the devastating consequences a fire, road crash or other emergency can have on individuals and their families. That is why for more than 15 years we have invested in prevention. Through our community safety initiatives we have been very successful at reducing the number of emergency incidents. Over the past ten years, the number of incidents in Kent and Medway has reduced by 50%.
Our Focus on Your SafetyStrategy aims to provide you with the information and skills to prevent you being involved in an emergency in the first place, but also to minimise the impact if such an event happens. The strategy focuses on three types of emergencies:
- Fires in the home or outside
- Road traffic collisions
- Flooding in the home or across broad areas, and incidents involving water
Understanding our communities
In order to achieve our objectives we need to have a good understanding of our communities and the best ways to engage with them. We do this by collecting and analysing data about the incidents we attend, by working in partnership with local authorities to understand local needs, and by undertaking research to understand how people behave before and during fires in their homes. The knowledge gained through all of this work allows us to tailor our community safety activities to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
How we will work
As our financial resources reduce we will need to move to a model that allows us to achieve our goals with less. Although we currently offer community advice to all, we pay special attention to those most at risk in our communities. We believe that we can make a bigger impact by concentrating on these groups. This year we will extend our prevention activities to include 'safe and well' visits to higher-risk people in their homes. During these visits, as well as fire prevention information, we will also offer advice and support around personal safety and health issues, such as dementia. We will work with public health departments and Clinical Commissioning Groups to help higher-risk people live independently in their homes for longer
We also want our firefighters to deliver home safety visits in high risk areas as part of a 'keeping the whole street safe' approach. These visits will incorporate work such as checking access arrangements and that fire hydrants in the road are working effectively.
Our aspirations are that by 2020 there will be zero deaths and far fewer injuries from fires. By the same date, working with our partners, we will aim to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road crashes by 33%, and the number of children killed or seriously injured by 40%, compared with 2004-08. However, we also want to make sure that if a fire, road accident or other emergency happens we can provide the best possible service to you. Details of how we plan to improve the way we respond to emergencies are covered in the Responding to Emergencies Strategy.
Our main challenges
- Overall increase in population in Kent and Medway
- Increase in the number of people over 70 with a related rise in mobility problems and disability
- Increased population suffering from mental health conditions
- Increase in deprivation which is linked with an increased risk of fire and poor living conditions
- Increase in occurrences of domestic abuse and the use of fire as a weapon
- Increase in the number of road traffic collisions and the number of people killed or seriously injured as a result
The full Focus on Your Safety Strategy was approved by the Authority in October 2013.