Economic and social value of UK Fire and Rescue Services measured in new award-nominated toolkit

A toolkit to determine the economic and social value of the UK Fire and Rescue Services’ prevention, protection and response activities has been created by a team at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University in collaboration with Fire and Rescue subject matter experts from across the UK.

The evidence-based methodology has now been shortlisted for “Project of the Year” in the annual Excellence in Fire and Emergency awards, organised by FIRE magazine publisher, Fire Knowledge. The methodology has been developed in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).

It allows fire and rescue services to evaluate and understand the benefit and financial impact of their activities, providing support for their community risk management planning and helping to inform their resource allocation.

The project uses data from more than 137,000 severe fire incidents over a three-year period to assess what happens in terms of lives saved and property damage when the fire service responds compared to likely outcomes if they didn’t attend. It also considers the value of prevention and protection activity by each pound spent and Social Return on Investment – exploring the value of these activities for the community.

A digital version of the tool will be released in 2023 to allow services to input their own data to calculate the value of local services.

Michael Hewitt, Project Lead and Principal Lecturer in Department of Economics at Nottingham Business School, said: “This project delivers an evidence base which can be used to inform resource allocation decisions at not just an individual Service level but also a national level.”

Dan Quinn, Project Executive and Assistant Chief Fire Officer, from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This ground-breaking piece of work will allow fire and rescue services to show the extent of their contribution to their communities and also provide a clear picture of the value of the Fire Service to the UK economy.”

Economic and Social Value of UK Fire and Rescue Services led by Michael Hewitt and Dr Florian Biermann, Nottingham Business School, with Dr Ian Greatbatch, London Fire Brigade and NFCC, has been published by the National Fire Chiefs Council. To support the launch a video has been produced which provides information about how services can use the methodology. It is available on YouTube.

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