Communication and Engagement

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
  • Complaints
  • School Visits
  • Home Fire Safety Checks
  • Safe & Well / Safer Communities Consultation
  • Automatic Fire Alarm Policy Consultation

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

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 171 completed questionnaires for 2017/18.

Domestic (household) respondents (110 responses):

  • 100% were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their initial telephone contact with the Fire Service.
  • 55% said that the Fire Service arrived at the incident quicker than expected and 37% said that the arrival time was as expected.
  • 100% of respondents were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the service provided at the scene and felt that the Fire Service kept the effects of the incident to a minimum.
  • 90% received fire safety information at the scene, in the form of general safety advice, 52% were offered a Home Fire Safety Check and 45% received an advice booklet.
  • Overall, 100% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with the service received from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service; 96% were very satisfied.

Non-domestic respondents (61 responses):

  • 100% were satisfied with their initial telephone contact with the Fire Service.
  • 48% said that the Fire Service arrived at the incident quicker than expected and 44% said that the arrival time was as expected.
  • 96% of respondents felt West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service kept the effects of the incident to a minimum.
  • 96% of respondents were satisfied or fairly satisfied with the service provided at the scene.
  • 84% received fire safety information at the scene, in the form of general safety advice and 22% received an advice booklet.
  • Overall, 95% of respondents expressed their satisfaction with the service received from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and of these 93% were very satisfied.

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 2017 – 31 March 2018 two completed questionnaires were returned.

Of those who responded to the survey 100% were satisfied with the prompt way their complaint was dealt with; the response to their complaint and how it was handled.

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 2017 to 31 March 2018.

Graphic illustrating these figures

School Visits

Following Fire Safety School visits, that were undertaken by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service between September 2017 to July 2018, an electronic questionnaire was distributed to the school teachers. 82 completed responses were returned and a summary of the results is shown below:

Age Group

  • 100% of the visits were given to the key stage two age group.

Appointments

  • 88% of respondents agreed that the original appointment was kept.  Out of those appointments not kept one was due to a staff shortage, two due to training exercises and one due to a school’s own administrative error.

Length of Visit

  • 97% felt the length of the visit was about right whilst 1% thought it was too short.

Support materials

  • 99% agreed that overall the lesson was appropriate for the age of the class
  • 95% agreed that the visual aid and support materials were appropriate to the lesson and to the age of the class.

Presenting staff

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

Satisfaction

  • Overall, 97% of the respondents were satisfied with the overall Fire Safety School visit, with 86% being very satisfied.

Home Fire Safety Check Visits

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 2017 – 2018 a total of 414 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
  • 99% of respondents agreed the FRS were helpful and 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, helpful and efficient
  • 99% of respondents agreed the FRS staff were informative
  • 99% of respondents felt the advice given by the FRS was understood
  • In 82% 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.

Calderdale District Customer Survey

In April 2018 on behalf of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Calderdale Council carried out an online survey with their Talkback Panel to gauge public opinion of the fire service. 354 questionnaires were returned. The responses are shown below:

Question 1: How important do you feel the fire service contribution is to the community?

Very important to the community Important to the community Not important to the community No real contribution to the community Don’t know
Frequency

282

60 1 4

4

Percentage 80.3% 17.1% 0.3% 1.1%

1.1%

 

Question 2: Are you aware of the different services that the fire service provides? Please tick each of the following services that you were aware are provided by the fire service:

Responses Percentage
Firefighting

352

99.7%

Rescues at road traffic collisions

350

99.2%

Water rescues during floods

338

95.8%

Search and rescue during major incidents and disasters

307

87.0%

Rescues from high places

303

85.8%

Rescues of animals (including domestic and farm animals)

307

87.0%

Fire prevention advice

340

96.3%

Safe & well visits – visits that give fire safety advice and also offer a chance to chat about such things as crime prevention, falls prevention, cold homes, smoking cessation and social isolation

225

63.7%

School fire safety visits

304

86.1%

 

Question 3: From the list of services above, please state which you believe are the most important services offered by the fire service in order of priority – list as many as you think are a priority:

Responses Percentage
Firefighting

293

90.7%

Rescues at road traffic collisions

230

71.2%

Water rescues during floods

166

51.4%

Search and rescue during major incidents and disasters

146

45.5%

Rescues from high places

134

41.5%

Rescues of animals (including domestic and farm animals)

124

38.4%

Fire prevention advice

173

53.6%

Safe & well visits – visits that give fire safety advice and also offer a chance to chat about such things as crime prevention, falls prevention, cold homes, smoking cessation and social isolation

102

31.6%

School fire safety visits

117

36.2%

Miscellaneous/ Non-specific

20

6.2%

 

Question 4: WYFRS carries out a number of activities to help our communities.  This includes working with partner organisations and assisting them by identifying and referring the vulnerable when they are at risk, taking part in neighbourhood forums and helping with local projects.  Would you like to see the fire service take on more community activities?

Frequency

Percentage

Yes, I think that the fire service should have a key role in community activities

217

61.5%

No, the fire service should concentrate on fire and rescue activities

94

26.6%

Don’t know

42

11.9%

 

Question 5: Do you feel that WYFRS is working to make your community safer?

Yes

No

Don’t know

Frequency

275

9

66

Percentage

78.6%

2.6%

18.9%

 

Question 6: Do you feel you have enough information about fire safety to protect yourself, your family and your home?

Yes

No

Don’t know

Frequency

266

50

32

Percentage

76.4%

14.4%

9.2%

 

Question 7: Do you feel safe from fire risk?

Yes

No

Don’t know

Frequency

297

27

27

Percentage

84.6%

7.7%

7.7%

 

Question 8: On the whole, how satisfied are you with the services WYFRS provides?

 

Very satisfied

Satisfied Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied

Don’t know

Frequency

213

109 2 4

20

Percentage

61.2%

31.3% 0.6% 1.1%

5.7%

 

Safe & Well / Safer Communties Strategy Consultation

As part of the new Safer Communities Strategy, a four week public engagement exercise was undertaken from 7 February 2017 to 7 March 2017. The survey asked a series of questions relating to proposed changes to the delivery of our community safety activity.

This was delivered through a number of district engagement events and web based surveys accessed via West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.  An additional social media campaign generated 2,355 engagements over the consultation period. In total 1,949 completed surveys were returned during the consultation period.

Key Survey Responses:

  • 94% of respondents agreed that home visits by WYFRS should prioritise the most vulnerable
  • 96% of respondents agreed that home visits should be free for the most vulnerable
  • 84% of respondents agreed that low risk households with working smoke detectors should receive alternative provision such as online education or posted leaflets
  • 88% of respondents felt that we should train community champions to pass on key safety messages
  • The majority of respondents to the survey agreed that they would be willing to discuss their vulnerability to a number of safety, health and well-being issues such as crime prevention, risk of falls, social isolation, smoking and winter warmth.
  • The majority of respondents agreed with the outcomes West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are trying to achieve

About the respondents:

  • 89% of respondents to the survey indicated that they had a working smoke alarm at home
  • 40% of respondents had received a home visit by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in the last five years
  • 74% of respondents owned their own home, with 10% Private rented, 10% Housing Association and 6% Local Authority owned
  • 59% of respondents were women
  • 73% of respondents were of White British background and 27% of respondents were from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups
  • 17% of respondents have a disability
  • 3% of respondents indicated they were Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT)
  • Age breakdown (16-34 – 12%) (35-54 – 31%) (55-64 – 14%) (65+ 39%

Automatic Fire Alarm Policy Consultation

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%