Fire service warned over casualties

28 Mar 2012

Fire services covering Edinburgh and the areas around the Scottish capital have been warned that they need to improve the region's casualty rate.

The area has four casualties for every 10,000 people, the highest in Scotland.

A report by the Accounts Commission, which follows public spending, has also found "no evidence" of Lothian & Borders Fire and Rescue analysing why casualties are so high.

The number of injuries sustained in the catchment area is a third higher than the national average and four times larger Dumfries & Galloway.

The report stated: "Although the absolute numbers are not high, the relative level of casualties compared to other services is high."

Overall, the findings said it was an "effective service with a clear strategic vision" but fatal and non-fatal injuries are a "significant concern".

It added that multiple-occupancy properties, which are known to be high-risk, could have an influence on the findings as half of Scotland's multiple-occupancy homes are within the Lothian and Borders area.

"While the high number of houses of multiple-occupancy is likely to be a factor, the service has not identified the underlying reason for this high level of casualties and has not been able to target preventative work accordingly," the report said.

Going forward, the researchers suggested that more information should be collected about incidents to identify common problems and implement preventative strategies.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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