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West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is responsible for the county’s fire and rescue service, which serves a population of more than two million people spread over almost 800 square miles. Fire cover is provided 24-hours a day, every day of the year. All 999 calls are received by a central control room at our Headquarters in Birkenshaw. Appliances are then mobilised from 48 fire stations. Each front-line fire engine is equipped with state-of-the-art rescue equipment. There is also a fleet of specialist back-up appliances. Firefighters are trained and ready to cope with a range of emergencies, not just fire. These include: road, rail or air crashes, flood, chemical spills and even terrorist attack.

7 July 2016
Yorkshire and Humber
Emergency Services Sector
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, Bradford District Dementia Action Alliance, Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, Wakefield and Five Towns Dementia Action Alliance, Calderdale Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

WYFRS is committed to protecting and supporting vulnerable people. WYFRS personnel frequently work with people in their homes to promote safe practice in relation to fire prevention. WYFRS Safeguarding Policy articulates clear guidelines and good practice for those working with vulnerable people.

The Fire and Rescue National Framework 2012 sets out governmental expectations for the service which includes a duty to prevent fire related incidents and the deaths and injuries associated with them.

WYFRS has the ambition of “making West Yorkshire safer” and aims to “provide an excellent fire and rescue service working in partnership to reduce death, injury, economic loss and contribute to community wellbeing”. To support this WYFRS has 4 strategic priorities. The relevant priority in relation to the Dementia Action Alliance is “to deliver a proactive fire prevention and protection programme.”

WYFRS is actively committed to promoting the wellbeing of vulnerable adults, supporting individuals in their right to lead an independent life. We recognise that individuals with a cognitive impairment, including people with dementia, may have an increased risk of having a fire and being injured if unable to escape in the event of a fire.

Using risk management and local intelligence, the following have contributed towards a significant decrease in accidental dwelling fires:

  • An improved home fire safety check strategy working proactively to identify and target those most at risk and in most need of the service
  • A fire prevention team dedicated to research and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable. This allows officers to provide education and support where it is most needed.
  • Development of partnership working arrangements with relevant organisations to gain access to those with dementia and their carers’ in order to provide appropriate advice and fit smoke detection.

Furthermore, the Protection Department of the Service Delivery Directorate advise on and enforce fire safety measures in buildings where vulnerable people may live such as residential and care homes.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

WYFRS will need to maintain and continue to develop strong and effective partnerships with relevant organisations, both large and small, to ensure that we receive high quality referrals on a regular basis.

All WYFRS employees whose work brings them into contact with vulnerable people have been given training to help them develop a better understanding of dementia and its impact on peoples’ lives. This has allowed them to communicate effectively with people who have dementia and their carers when undertaking a home fire safety check and at incidents. It is vital that this training continues to be offered and updated whenever necessary.  

2. Actions

  • Vulnerable People

    To continue to target the most vulnerable in our community, recognising that individuals with mental health issues and cognitive impairments are at particular risk.

  • Revisit Service

    To continue to offer a revisit service for the most vulnerable to allow WYFRS to address any increase in risk as a result of a deterioration in an individual condition.

  • Identify Best Practice

    To continue to identify best practice and to offer a range of practical interventions aimed at making people safer in their homes.

  • Partners

    To continue to develop and maintain robust links with partner agencies which work with people who have dementia.

  • Raising Awareness

    To continue to raise awareness  of dementia within WYFRS and work with our partners to provide appropriate training to front line staff to help them engage and work with vulnerable people during incidents and at home visits.