We're now part of the York & North Yorkshire Combined Authority

2 – Introduction of emergency response principles

We are formalising how we respond appropriately, quickly and safely to emergencies so that you know what you can expect from us.


  • Because of the nature of our area and where our stations are located, we have established these response principles rather than a single response standard (a publicly stated target time to respond to an emergency).
  • Our response principles reinforce our commitment to mobilising our resources with the correct strength, at speed, and safely:
    • Strength: mobilising the correct level of resources (fire engines, equipment and personnel) for the incident type.
    • Speed: arriving at the incident as quickly as we can from the point of being alerted to it. This includes the call handling, crew turn out, and drive time.
    • Safely: responding as safely as we can by following our ‘drive to arrive’ policy. We tailor our response speed to the type of incident to which we are responding.
  • We will monitor our response times across fire, road and water incidents against our stated response principles, considering which are in response to a threat to life or property.

Why are we proposing this?

  • Our Community Risk Profile identifies our main risks as fire, road and water so it is important that we monitor our response times against these risks, especially those where the consequences might be more severe.
  • The nature of our county in terms of its size and road network, coupled with a diverse range of duty systems across our fire engines, makes it difficult for us to determine a meaningful, single response standard to share with the public which is why we have designed these principles.
  • Measuring against a single response standard would be meaningless to the public – whether we could reach you within that time would depend heavily on how far from or close to our stations you are because our station areas do not significantly overlap.
  • Our aspiration is to provide specific response standards by the different duty systems we use (full-time shift/full-time day crewed/On-call) and distance from our stations, as this will also shape where we focus our prevention and protection work to reduce risk. However, at this point we need to learn more about our data and any nuances created by our duty systems and geographical area. Therefore, we do not currently intend to implement a standard.