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Economic and social value of UK Fire and Rescue Services measured in new award-nominated toolkit

A toolkit to determine the economic and social value of the UK Fire and Rescue Services’ prevention, protection and response activities has been created by a team at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, in collaboration with Fire and Rescue subject matter experts from across the UK.

Fire fighters next to a fire engine on scene at night
The tool measures the impact of when the fire service responds compared to likely outcomes if they didn’t attend

The evidence-based methodology, which has now been shortlisted for “Project of the Year” in the annual Excellence in Fire and Emergency awards, has been developed in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).

It allows fire and rescue services to evaluate and understand the benefit and financial impact of their activities, providing support for their community risk management planning and helping to inform their resource allocation.

The project uses data from more than 137,000 severe fire incidents over a three-year period to assess what happens in terms of lives saved and property damage when the fire service responds compared to likely outcomes if they didn’t attend. It also considers the value of prevention and protection activity by each pound spent and Social Return on Investment – exploring the value of these activities for the community.

A digital version of the tool will be released in 2023 to allow services to input their own data to calculate the value of local services.

Michael Hewitt, project lead and principal lecturer in the Department of Economics at Nottingham Business School, said: “This project delivers an evidence base which can be used to inform resource allocation decisions at not just an individual Service level but also a national level.”

Dan Quinn, project executive and assistant chief fire officer at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This ground-breaking piece of work will allow fire and rescue services to show the extent of their contribution to their communities and also provide a clear picture of the value of the Fire Service to the UK economy.”

Economic and Social Value of UK Fire and Rescue Services led by Michael Hewitt and Dr Florian Biermann, Nottingham Business School, with Dr Ian Greatbatch, London Fire Brigade and NFCC, has been published by the National Fire Chiefs Council. To support the launch a video has been produced which provides information about how services can use the methodology. It is available on You Tube at

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    About Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Business School (NBS) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a leader in experiential learning and personalisation of business, management and economics education and research, combining academic excellence with positive impact on people, business and society.  NBS has an unrivalled level of engagement with business, public and voluntary organisations. With more than 8,000 students, NBS is also one of UK’s largest business schools.

    NBS is Quadruple+ Accredited by EQUIS, AACSB, EFMD BA for International Business, which are globally recognised hallmarks of excellence and quality for business education. NBS is also accredited by Small Business Charter, providing support and development for SMEs. The school is also a PRME Champion and held up as an exemplar and beacon by the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is ranked 4th most sustainable university in the world and 1st in the UK for sustainability-themed Education and Research in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Economic and social value of UK Fire and Rescue Services measured in new award-nominated toolkit

Published on 30 November 2022
  • Category: Press office; Research; Nottingham Business School

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