Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Views urged on South Yorkshire fire response targets

People in South Yorkshire are being asked whether firefighters should scrap response time targets in emergencies.

It comes after the fire service revealed it had never met its target of reaching 80% of life-threatening incidents within six minutes.

The public are being asked to give their views on three response time target options, with a final decision being made later in the year.

Four consultation sessions are running through May and June.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said one of the options was to have no response time target, "simply a commitment to attending every life-threatening incident as quickly and safely as possible".

Union anger

Other options are to revise the target, likely to be in the nine to 11-minute range or to have a "risk-based target" which would involve "allocating a shorter target time in areas with a higher fire risk".

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has criticised the proposal to scrap target response times.

Speaking in March, John Gilliver from the FBU in South Yorkshire said: "It's terrible - just because the chief fire officer is not meeting his targets, now he's asking the public about whether he can change them."

South Yorkshire's chief fire officer Jamie Courtney said: "Through these public meetings we hope to have open and honest discussions with the people we serve about what they expect from us in terms of a response time and what we can realistically deliver with the resources available."

The drop-in sessions are being followed each day by a public meeting in the evening.

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