Praise for fire service efficiency

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The Independent Online
Praise for fire service efficiency

Fire brigades are among the most consistently outstanding services provided by local government, according to figures published yesterday.

A report on the performances of police forces and fire brigades published by the Audit Commission, the public spending watchdog, says that on average fire brigades met nationally-set target times for responding to calls 95 per cent of the time in 1994/95, a 1 per cent increase on the previous year.

"By this measure, the fire service is one of the most consistently high- performing services in local government, with almost all brigades achieving national standards for at least nine out of 10 calls," the report says.

Oxfordshire achieved the best figure, 99.5 per cent, with the worst figure of 81.2 per cent being recorded by Suffolk. However Cleveland, which last year returned the worst figure, this year failed to provide the relevant statistic at all and said the figures were flawed.

The report also noted with concern a 7 per cent increase in the number of false alarm calls, which incurred some pounds 40m expenditure responding to them.