Safety in numbers for fire service

The fire service has explained why it sent three crews and engines to a grill fire in Morton Crescent, which was out on their arrival

The fire service has explained why it was necessary to send three fire crews and engines to extinguish a ‘small’ grill fire in Exmouth.

Firefighters and appliances from Exmouth, Middlemoor and Danes Castle, both in Exeter, and the aerial appliance, were called to the Morton Crescent ground floor flat last week following reports a fire had broken out in a cooker.

When the trio of fire crews arrived, they found the grill pan fire had already been extinguished.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said its pre-determined attendance (PDA) policy was to automatically send three appliances to the Morton Crescent flat when 999 was dialled.


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The fire brigade said the PDA had been calculated following a risk assessment of addresses in Exmouth.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Regarding the attendance at the Morton Crescent incident last week, the service’s pre-determined attendance for that address is three appliances and an aerial appliance. This means that when a 999 call is received, that is the number of appliances that will be sent automatically as a first response.

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“The PDA for that address will have been set following a risk assessment and is most likely due to the fact that there are a number of flats in that particular building and the height of some of the buildings in that road.

“It is not uncommon for a building consisting of a number of flats to have a PDA set at that level. We would rather send more appliances than are eventually needed to be on the safe side than not send enough and have to mobilise more following a delay.”

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