Info Sharing 180CFOA’s lead for Data Integration and Research has called for the fire and rescue service to develop a manifesto for information sharing in order to build on lessons learnt at an event hosted by London Fire Brigade HQ as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science.

The conference this Monday [9 Nov] saw representatives of 23 out of 46 English fire and rescue services come together with academics from leading UK universities to consider the question: 'How do you talk to people if they don’t exist?'

Subscribe to December/January's FIRE for a full event report

In his opening remarks as chair Hampshire FRS DCFO Neil Odin said "there is a huge need for us to make sense of data" suggesting that FRS need to know why they want data before going out to collaboratively collate especially as the Service becomes ever-more considered a health asset.

His comments were echoed by CFOA's data sharing lead Shantha Dickinson who spoke about the Association's Integrated Data and Research Programme who highlighted the importance of collaborating on data about vulnerable data to improve both prevention and protection.

She went on to highlight the success of the project so far in combining Ordnance Survey data with health reports to target responses to specific postcode areas in Hampshire but warned that the next step of scaling and sharing the pilot without individual FRS 'losing' their own take on the data was key.

Andy Mobbs from London Fire Brigade and Philip Usher from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service added further FRS perspective by looking at how to make sense
of large datasets among the rest of the data that fire and rescue services have to hand. As part of their talk, they also launched a new data concept called
DemograFIRE at the seminar - for more information follow @gispip on Twitter.

Using the DemograFIRE, Intelligence Manager Usher highlighted how risk can vary over a person's lifecycle with students 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a kitchen fire in low-income housing than the rest of the population but as they progress from graduating through to higher economic groupings this risk will fall to nearly zero. By contrast, those born into low income housing will likely see their risk of being involved in kitchen fires rise throughout their lifetime. This prompted Usher to question whether, given the higher fire risk to students not being an underlying trend, it is easier to modify their properties than their lifestyles.

Further talks brought in the academic perspective as well as the applied as Dr Dermot Breslin, from the Management School at the University of Sheffield, discussed how the concept of behavioural connectivity can be applied to address fire risk for vulnerable people as part of a partnership with South Yorkshire FRS. From this, SYFR have extrapolated a clear long-term negative correlation between fire risk and home fire safety checks so have sought to expand the goals of these visits to incorporate wider, often health-related, prevention work.

Finally, Nicola Underdown of the Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing and DCFO Neil Odin sought to bring together the themes of the event by discussing the sharing experience from other sectors and places on the information sharing journey can stimulate FRS to innovate.

For a more in-depth review of the event and the key take-aways for future information sharing, read FIRE correspondent Catherine Levin's report in the December/January issue - click here to subscribe.