HM Fire Service Inspectorate: local area inspection report - Argyll and Bute
2 About The Area
14. Argyll and Bute is the area shaded in blue. It covers an area of around 6,909 km2. The area has the third sparsest population density of the 32 Scottish local authority areas, with an average population density of 13 persons per square kilometre. Argyll and Bute has 23 inhabited islands, more than any other local authority in Scotland, with around 17% of the population living on islands. It has a border with the local authority areas of Highland, Perth and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. In terms of the SFRS organisation structure, Argyll and Bute is within the West SDA.
15. Argyll and Bute is divided into 11 council wards each represented jointly by three elected members.
16. The population of Argyll and Bute at the end of June 2019 was 85,870, making it the 27th highest populated of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland. This is a decrease of 0.5% from 86,260 in 2018. Between 1998 and 2019, the 25 to 44 age group saw the largest percentage decrease (-34.1%). The 65 to 74 age group saw the largest percentage increase (+38.6%). Around 1.6% of the Scottish population reside in Argyll and Bute. The percentage of the population aged 65 and over, at 25.9%, is more than the overall percentage for Scotland of 19.1% in that age band. The ethnicity of the population of Argyll and Bute as at the 2011 census was classified as 98.8% white (Scottish White: Other British White: Irish White: Other) and 0.6 % Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British, with a further 0.6% classing themselves as another ethnic group.
17. There are various operational risks in the area, including roads, railways, harbours and ferry ports; various commercial, industrial, military, and heritage risks.
18. here are 39 fire stations in Argyll and Bute. The locations are shown in Figure 2. Table 1 shows the fire station duty system, the resources based there and incident activity.
|Fire station||Duty system**||Appliances||Activity* 2019/20|
|Appin||Volunteer||Volunteer Support Unit||23|
|Ardfern||Volunteer||Volunteer Support Unit||8|
|Bridge of Orchy||Volunteer||Volunteer Support Unit||7|
|Bunessan||Volunteer||Volunteer Support Unit||12|
|Carradale||Volunteer||Volunteer Support Unit||8|
|Coll||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||0|
|Colonsay||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||11|
|Craignure||VDS||Rapid Response Unit||26|
|Dalmally||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||13|
|Gigha||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||2|
|Helensburgh||Wholetime / RDS||Multi-pump||401|
|Iona||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||47|
|Jura||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||1|
|Kilmeford||VDS||Rapid Response Unit||3|
|Lismore||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||5|
|Lochgoilhead||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||6|
|Luing||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||3|
|Minard||VDS||Rapid Response Unit||7|
|Oban||Wholetime / RDS||Multi-pump, Water Rescue, Height||426|
|Port Charlotte||VDS||Rapid Response Unit||26|
|Port Ellen||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||33|
|Strachur||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||21|
|Tiree||VDS||Volunteer Support Unit||39|
* This is the number of times that an appliance from the fire station attended an incident – it is not an indication of the number of turnouts. The IRS data on which the activity totals are based exclude mobilisations which did not result in a direct incident attendance, for example, stand-by or where the appliance was turned back.
** Wholetime crewed appliances are dual crewed with the exception of height appliances.
19. The SFRS has 471 staff posts in the area. 62 (13%) of the staff identify themselves as female.
20. Table 2 shows the number and type of incidents attended by the SFRS in Argyll and Bute over a period of four years.
|Road traffic collision||79||77||71||60|
|Other non-fire incident||208||228||261||232|
|False alarm (including non-fire false alarm)||972||1,117||1,176||1,201|
Figure 3 below gives a visual reflection of the make-up of incidents within Argyll and Bute for the most recent available statistics, 2019/20.
21. Responding to false alarms represents 65% of all incidents attended by the SFRS in Argyll and Bute in 2019/20. Unwanted fire alarm signals (UFAS) from non-domestic premises made up 663 of these false alarms and therefore comprise 35.8% of all incidents.
22. The incident rates for 2019/20 are shown in Figure 4 benchmarked against the rates for Scotland. In Argyll and Bute the rates per population for primary fires, fire false alarms and non-fire incidents are higher than for Scotland, however, the rate for secondary fires is lower.