THE fire service has revealed how many times it failed to meet its response time in Herefordshire last year.

Responding to a freedom of information request by the Hereford Times, Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said that between April 1 and December 31, 2023, 1,704 incidents occurred in Herefordshire, of which 409 were examined (24 per cent).

However, of of these, 125 did not meet the target response time calculated individually for three time zones of 10, 15 and 20 minutes (31 per cent of the total). 


For time zone one (the most serious incidents), the fire service responded to 158 (71 per cent) in less than 10 minutes, while for time zone two incidents, 91 (65 cent) were responded to within 10 and 15 minutes, and for time zone three, 29 (78 per cent) between 15 and 20 minutes.

Overall, The average response time, the service said, was 11 minutes and 12 seconds. 

Of the 1,704 incidents that took place in the county, the majority (854) were false alarms, while 620 were 'special services' incidents, such attending to crashes, assisting animals, and water rescues. 

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Actual fires occurred 352 times, with 204 classed as primary, 110 as secondary and 38 as chimney.

Last December, the Fire Brigades Union condemned plans to the number of fire engines and on-call firefighters across Hereford and Worcester. 

It led to North Herefordshire MP Sir Bill Wiggin saying that any cuts would put lives and jobs at risk, something the fire service denied would happen. 

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has been approached for comment.