Our emergency response standards

How we ensure we have the right firefighters and fire appliances at the right place, at the right time and delivering the right standards of response.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service responds to about 10,000 emergency calls each year and attends 5,000 emergency incidents.

Of the 5,000 emergency incidents approximately:

  • 1700 were fires
  • 320 were serious road traffic collisions.

Our approach to emergency response is to ensure we have the right firefighters and fire appliances at the right place, at the right time and delivering the right standards of response to emergencies.

When we respond we will:

  • Send the right number of fire appliances and firefighters to deal with the emergency.
  • Ensure our firefighters are safe by being professionally trained.
  • Make sure our fire appliances, operational and personal protective equipment is the best we can provide.
  • Improve the range of emergencies that we can deal with by introducing new emergency capabilities that reflect local risks. These include water rescue, high reach appliances, animal rescue, specialist rescue, rescue from height and other innovative new equipment and appliances.
  • Ensure we have effective 'over the county border' arrangements and can respond effectively to larger regional and national events outside of Suffolk.

The government record and publish incident response times for different Fire and Rescue Services.

How we set our response standards

Prior to 2004, targets for response times to fires and other emergencies were based on a prescriptive framework of national standards. 

Since 2004, fire services have been provided with the freedom to manage their own emergency response standards. This led to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service reviewing response standards in 2010/11, resulting in standards which better reflect the needs of Suffolk. 

It is important to note that whilst the response standards are now measured in a different way, there has been no substantial change to the standards of performance of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service. 

The new standards are modelled against the existing fire stations, fire appliances and firefighters across Suffolk.

Performance StandardTarget2014/152015/162016/17

Standard 1

The Service will endeavour to attend all property fires within 11 minutes from alerting the first fire appliance.

This is to be achieved on a minimum of 80% of all occasions.

80% 63.98% 72.74% 70.25%

Standard 2

The Service will endeavour to attend all property fires within 16 minutes from alerting the second fire appliance attending the same incident.

This is to be achieved on a minimum of 80% of all occasions.

80% 71.56% 77.27% 76.83%

Standard 3

The Service will endeavour to attend all road traffic collisions within 13 minutes from alerting the first fire appliance.

This is to be achieved on a minimum of 80% of all occasions.

80% 75.74% 71.84% 72.03%

Figures correct on 31 October 2017.