Communication and Engagement

Member of staff talking to a member of the public

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority regularly engages with the communities of West Yorkshire in order to give local people the opportunity to tell us what they think about the services provided. This information helps us to provide better and more responsive services.

We have carried out a number of surveys as follows:

  • Quality of Service
  • Automatic Fire Alarm (AFA) Policy Consultation
  • Complaints
  • School Visits
  • Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSCs)

The information relating to each of these surveys is given by clicking on the relevant tab below.

Also our Customer Service Guide, which can be viewed via the link below, gives information on how services are delivered and how they can be accessed.

Customer Service Guide (1176.53kb) (PDF Document - Opens in a new window)

Quality of Service

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) feels it is essential to analyse and publicise satisfaction levels for the full range of customers for all the main areas of our service.

One of the ways through which these views are obtained is the Quality of Service Survey. Each month, a questionnaire is sent to a 10% random selection of the incidents attended in the previous month. The questionnaire is sent out by WYFRS but is returned directly to an independent research company via freepost. The returned questionnaires are processed and the information obtained is analysed with a feedback report sent to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

We include in our measurement of satisfaction specific questions relating to:

  • The initial contact made with the Fire Service
  • Timeliness of our attendance
  • Service provided at the scene
  • Information and advice given
  • Overall satisfaction with the quality of customer service

Below is a summary of performance results for West Yorkshire from the independent research company relating to 234 completed questionnaires for 2012/13.

Domestic (household) respondents (137 responses):

  • 99% were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their initial telephone contact with the Fire Service.
  • 57% said that the Fire Service arrived at the incident quicker than expected and 37% said that the arrival time was as expected.
  • 99% of respondents were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the service provided at the scene and 100% felt that the Fire Service kept the effects of the incident to a minimum.
  • 96% received fire safety information at the scene, in the form of general safety advice, 68% were offered a Home Fire Safety Check and 49% received an advice booklet.
  • Overall, 98% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with the service received from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service; 95% were very satisfied.

Non-domestic respondents (97 responses):

  • 98% were satisfied with their initial telephone contact with the Fire Service, with 84% being very satisfied.
  • 30% said that the Fire Service arrived at the incident quicker than expected and 63% said that the arrival time was as expected.
  • 99% of respondents felt West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service kept the effects of the incident to a minimum.
  • 99% of respondents were satisfied with the service provided at the scene, with 89% being very satisfied.
  • 84% received fire safety information at the scene, in the form of general safety advice and 26% received an advice booklet.
  • Overall, 99% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with the service received from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and of these 86% were very satisfied.

AFA Policy

Since the start of the Automatic Fire Alarm Policy in December 2011 there has been a reduction in attendances by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) to unwanted fire calls of more than 42%.  However, WYFRS currently still attend over 3,600 false calls from automatic fire alarms each year as a result of faulty apparatus or poor management.  This accounts for 16% of total fire calls. 

A consultation was carried out between 1 June and 31 August 2013 with letters sent out to 1,357 local and national businesses across the county asking their views on charging for attendances at these calls.  The majority of those who responded to the consultation process thought that the introduction of a policy for charging would not benefit businesses or the occupants’ safety.

The main point of the consultation was to drive down false alarms.  By doing this WYFRS will be able to provide an effective system of control and ensure the service operates efficiently enabling an achievement in value for money through better management of its resources.

The first date for recording the number of false alarms will be on 1 April 2014.  The cost recovery will be based on a set charge, currently £350.  This fee will be charged to the person responsible for the premises and not the Alarm Receiving Centre.  

Survey Questions and Responses

Q. Within which business sector category does your organisation sit?

This question was answered by all participants with the main respondents being:

General Public (20%); Patient Care (14%) and 'Other' (17%). 

The remaining respondents were are follows:

Alarm Receiving Centre (9%); Manufacturing (8%); Retail (8%); Education (8%); Office (8%); Care Home (4%); Hotel and Leisure (3%) and Trade Association (1%)

 

Q. If West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) introduce a charge for attending repeat false alarms do you think the cost to business will be offset by the benefit to society?

Responses: Yes 36%,   No 64%

 

Q. At present WYFRS incur the cost for attending false alarms, if a policy is introduced to make a charge, who should receive the charge?

Responses:  Alarm Receiving Centre 13%,   Organisation Responsible 87% 

 

Q. Do you think the introduction of a charging policy will improve the safety of occupants by ensuring systems are managed appropriately?

Responses:   Yes 38%   No 62% 

 

Q. How many calls would you consider to be persistent in a 12 month period? 

Responses:   3 Calls 22%,   6 Calls 26%,   9 Calls 13%,   12 Calls 18%,   >12 Calls 22%

 

Q. If charging is introduced how many months’ notice should businesses receive prior to its implementation?

Responses:   3 Months 16%,   6 Months 25%,   9 Months 9%,   12 Months 26%,   >12 Months 25%

 

Q. The current hourly charge for a fire appliance is £350 excluding VAT, should a charge be made for each appliance that attends or should there be a set charge per false alarm? 

Responses:   Set charge 70%,   Charge per appliance 30% 

 

Q. Do you think we should introduce, as part of a charging policy, a process that allows those who receive a charge to make an appeal against it, if they believe it has been issued incorrectly? 

Responses:   Yes 94%,   No 6% 

 

Q. Is it likely that businesses will remove the link from the fire alarm to the Alarm Receiving Centre by taking their alarms ‘off line’ in order to avoid calling out the Fire Service and receiving a charge? 

Responses:   Yes 84%,   No 16% 

 

Q. Do you think employees or members of the public will be put at risk due to actions which may be taken to avoid a charge? 

Responses:   Yes 84%,   No 16%

 

 

 

Complaints

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is committed to continuously improving the service it provides to the public and local communities, although there are occurrences when expectations have not been fulfilled and this has resulted in a complaint being received. All complaints are investigated and dealt with in accordance with our Complaints Policy.

Following a full investigation into any complaint, a questionnaire is sent to the complainant asking for feedback on the way the matter was dealt with and a measure of their satisfaction with the process.

From 1 April 2012 - 31 March 2013 seven completed questionnaires were returned. A summary of the feedback is shown below:

Initial contact

Five of the seven respondents (71%) agreed that the person dealing with the complaint was polite and easy to contact. While four respondents (57%) felt they were friendly and helpful.

How the complaint was dealt with

Six of the seven respondents (85%) were satisfied with the speed in which the complaint was dealt with, five (71%) satisfied with the response received and with the way in which the complaint was handled. Two were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

Compliments and complaints comparison

Below is a graph showing the levels of compliments and complaints received by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service since 2002/03 with a total of complaints received for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013.

(Graphic illustrating these figures) (104.76kb) (PDF Document - Opens in a new window)

School Visits

Following Fire Safety School visits, that were undertaken by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service between September 2012 to July 2013, a survey questionnaire was distributed to the school teachers. 173 completed responses were returned and a summary of the results is shown below:

Age Group

  • 99% of the visits were given to the key stage two age group.
  • 100% of respondents felt the information was well communicated

Ease of arrangements

  • 95% of respondents agreed that the arrangements for the visit were easy to make.

Lesson delivery

  • 100% agreed that the overall lesson was appropriate for the age group of the class and felt that the information was well communicated.

Support materials

  • 100% agreed that the visual aid and support materials were appropriate to the lesson and the age of the class and agreed that these were helpful.

Presenting staff

  • 100% agreed that the presenters engaged with the group and agreed that they were approachable.
  • 99% also agreed that the presenters were both professional and agreed that they were well informed.

Pupil engagement

  • 100% agreed that the pupils were interested in the visit and understood what they were being taught.
  • 100% agreed that the pupils could remember afterwards what they had been taught and that the message was well communicated to the class.

Satisfaction

  • Overall, 99% of the respondents were satisfied with the overall Fire Safety School visit, with 85% being very satisfied.

HFSCs

In order to monitor performance, a follow up survey is sent out to a sample of residents who have had a Home Fire Safety Check (HFSC).

In the year 2012 - 2013 a total of 481 completed responses were returned and a summary of the results is shown below:

Initial Contact

  • 100% of respondents agreed the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) during initial contact were polite and helpful.
  • 99% of respondents agreed the FRS were efficient.
  • 98% of respondents agreed the FRS were informative.

The Home Fire Safety Check Visit

  • 100% of respondents agreed the FRS staff who visited the home were polite and informative.
  • 99% of respondents agreed the FRS staff were efficient and helpful.
  • 100% of respondents felt the advice given by the FRS was useful and 99% agreed that it was easy to understand.
  • In 71% of visits, new smoke alarms were fitted into the resident’s home.

Overall Service

Taking everything into account, 99% of respondents were satisfied with the HFSC service, of whom, 95% were very satisfied.