Firefighters in Tyne and Wear have shaved vital seconds off the time it takes them to reach serious incidents by getting ready before a call-out.
A pre-alert system was introduced for responders almost two years ago to give crews a heads up of suspected blazes.
Firefighters are alerted as soon as a 999 call is answered.
Under national response standards, crews are supposed to be dispatched within a minute of being notified of the most serious incidents and arrive six minutes later.
The average response time to "primary fires" among English fire brigades in 2019-20 was eight minutes and 43 seconds, making the Tyne and Wear Fire service the fastest in the country, with an average response time of six minutes 29 seconds.
Quote Message: If a 999 call comes in from an area, firefighters are being alerted to that while the caller is still on the call, so they’re in the pre-alert phase ready to deploy." from Phil Clark TWFRS
If a 999 call comes in from an area, firefighters are being alerted to that while the caller is still on the call, so they’re in the pre-alert phase ready to deploy."
Happy Valentine's Day ending for lost wedding ring
A man who lost his wedding ring while dropping off cardboard at a recycling centre in North Shields has thanked the workers who managed to find it.
James Ross noticed his wedding band was missing on Valentine's Day while emptying his cardboard waste into a container.
The 38-year-old, who alerted staff when he realised it was gone, said: “It wasn’t what it cost – it was laser engraved with my wife’s handwriting and the date we got married in 2009. It was irreplaceable."
Twenty minutes later, one of the four members of staff who'd been searching for it, found it in a puddle of mud under at 10ft (3m) pile of waste.
North Tyneside CouncilCopyright: North Tyneside Council
Plant operator, Jordan Cooper, 22, who found it said: “When we realised what had happened, we were all happy to help in the search, especially as it was Valentine’s Day."
North Tyneside councilCopyright: North Tyneside council
Quote Message: Suddenly, there it was. The ring was caked in rubbish and grime, but it was amazing to have it back. The staff were life-savers." from James Ross
Suddenly, there it was. The ring was caked in rubbish and grime, but it was amazing to have it back. The staff were life-savers."
Concerns for 'vulnerable man' missing for fortnight
Police say they are growing "increasingly concerned" about a vulnerable Gateshead man who has been missing for more than two weeks.
25, was first reported missing on 1 February after failing to turn up
for a medical appointment. Inquiries at his
home address in the Rooksleigh area of Winlaton failed to locate him and Jordan
has failed to pick up his prescription medication, Northumbria Police said.
His last movements
were caught on CCTV at a shop at Gateshead Interchange at about 11:00 GMT on 1 February. He is known to visit Winlaton, Ryton, Rowlands Gill, Gateshead town centre and Newcastle city
Family handoutCopyright: Family handout
Det Ch Insp Angela Hufton said: “We are growing increasingly concerned for Jordan’s welfare, particularly considering the bitterly cold weather we’ve had in recent weeks.
“We have had some reported sightings of Jordan off the back of our public appeals but we have so far been unable to track his whereabouts. Searches are continuing today and we are still confident we can locate Jordan alive and well, but time is critical."
Mr Patterson is described as white, 5ft 10in (1.8m) tall, of medium build with short dark hair and facial hair. He is known to often wear dark clothing, in particular hoodies with the hood up and a black coat.