Figures show crews facing fewer calls

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THETFORD’S firefighters are getting fewer call outs year on year, new statistics have revealed.

The figures, released by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, show that call outs in and around the town have dropped by 22 per cent in the last three years – equalling 172 fewer emergency calls in one year.

False alarms have also plummeted during the period 2009/10 to 2011/2012. Crews were called to 184 fruitless calls in 2009/2010, dropping to 124 in 2011/2012 – almost exactly a third fewer.

Eight of those false alarms made in 2011/2012 were malicious hoax calls.

The figures come as welcome relief for the fire service after Norfolk County Council slashed its budget by 13 per cent – just under £4 million – over the next four years.

Call outs cost the Fire Service £300 an hour on average, with blue-light journeys half as efficient as a normal journey.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire Service said: “Obviously any reduction in the number of incidents we attend is something we welcome.

“Our central aim remains making Norfolk an even safer place to live, work or visit and we continue to work hard in and with our communities to drive down the number of fires across the county.”

Methwold fire crew experienced a similar slide in call outs, with its numbers dropping from 154 in 2009/2010 to 114 in 2011/2012 – a drop of 26 per cent.

False alarms for Methwold went down even further, with a 42 per cent drop.

Both stations’ figures were consistent with a wider trend across Norfolk, with 10,643 call outs in 2009/2010 compared to 8,627 in 2011/2012.