National award for university and fire service link-up

An innovative partnership which has contributed to a reduction in the number of incidents attended by firefighters across Nottinghamshire has earned a top national award.

An innovative partnership which has contributed to a reduction in the number of incidents attended by firefighters across Nottinghamshire has earned a top national award.

Representatives from Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the Knowledge Transfer Partnership's Best of the Best ceremony in London to receive the Research Council UK Societal Benefit Award.

The Best of the Best Awards, run by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, aim to celebrate the stand-out successes of the year's KTP projects. KTPs help organisations improve their competitiveness and productivity through the use of the knowledge, technology and skills found in academic institutions.

The partnership, involving the University’s Emergency Services Research Unit, aimed to develop and apply research and evaluation methods, which could be used to guide and measure the impact of the Service's community safety work.

The project ran from 2010 to 2012 and has included gathering and analysing information from partners and NFRS itself, resulting in a more targeted approach by the Service to the way it delivers community safety awareness initiatives and interventions.

A new Evaluation Officer post was created at the end of the project to ensure that progress in this area continues, with areas of best practice being shared with other UK fire and rescue services and their partners.

"With reduced call-outs also come lowered staff health risks and a safer community," said Vivienne Brunsden, the Head of Nottingham Trent University's Emergency Services Research Unit, based in the School of Social Sciences.

She said: "Although we set our standards very high for this project, these have been exceeded beyond all expectation. This partnership has significantly and sustainably changed the fire service's operations with regard to community safety.

"The Service's new evaluation procedure allows it to use public funds more effectively, using evidence-based decisions to maximise performance for the public's safety and leading to major societal benefit at minimum cost."

Although we set our standards very high for this project, these have been exceeded beyond all expectation.

Vivienne Brunsden, Nottingham Trent University

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service's Engagement and Partnerships Manager, Chris Hooper, said: "By engaging with the KTP, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service was able to develop an evidence- led and evaluated approach to Community Safety. The process helped the Service to target those most at risk in a more efficient manner, while measuring the effectiveness of our interventions in order to produce the best outcomes for our community."

A range of wider benefits have also developed via the partnership, which involved other academic schools within the University. These included opportunities around collaborative research, fire service staff assisting with teaching on specialist modules, and students being given the chance to visit fire service headquarters.

Finalists in the Best of the Best Awards came from the commercial world and publicly funded organisations, and were engaged in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals and healthcare to high-value manufacturing and environmental technologies.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership was supported by Nottingham Trent University's Research Grant Capture Team.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Dave Rogers, Head of Communications, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8782, or via email.

    For more on Nottingham Trent University's Emergency Services Research Unit

    For more on the Knowledge Transfer Partnership's Best of the Best Awards

    For more information about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at Nottingham Trent University please contact Sadaf Hussein, Grant Capture Co-Ordinator, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8173 or via email.

    KTP or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships ktp online is Europe's leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance.  The UK- wide programme is overseen by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations.

National award for university and fire service link-up

Published on 24 November 2014
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Social Sciences

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