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Report on Government Services 2015

Chapter 9, Volume D

Fire and ambulance services

The Fire and ambulance services chapter (chapter 9) of the Report on Government Services reports on the performance of governments in providing emergency management services provided in the event of fire and out of hospital medical emergency events.

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  • Key Facts
  • Indicator Framework
  • Indicator Results

Fire events

A fire event is an incident that is reported to a fire service organisation and requires a response. Fire events include (but are not limited to): structure fires (that is, fires inside a building or structure), regardless of whether there is damage to the structure; landscape fires, including bushfires and grass fires, regardless of the size of the area burnt; and other fires, including vehicle and other mobile property fires, and outside rubbish fires.

Nationally, fire service organisations attended a total of 384 017 emergency incidents in 2013-14, of which 101 867 were fire event incidents.

Performance reporting for fire events includes information on fire service organisations as the primary agencies involved in providing emergency management services for fire events.

Nationally in 2013-14, the total expenditure of fire service organisations was $3.7 billion, or $158 per person in the population.

Nationally, 19 198 full time equivalent (FTE) paid personnel were employed by fire service organisations in 2013-14, of which 77.1 per cent were paid firefighters. A large number of volunteer firefighters (223 727 people) also participated in the delivery of fire services in 2013-14.

The objective of government involvement in fire events is to build fire resilient communities that work together to understand and manage the fire risks that they confront.

Emergency management services provide highly effective, efficient and accessible services that:

  • reduce the adverse effects of fire events on the community (including people, property, infrastructure, economy and environment)
  • contribute to the management of fire risks to the community
  • enhance public safety.

Ambulance events

Ambulance events are incidents that result in demand for ambulance services. Ambulance services include preparing for, providing and enhancing: emergency and non-emergency pre-hospital and out-of-hospital patient care and transport; inter-hospital patient transport; specialised rescue services; ambulance services to multi-casualty events; and capacity building for emergencies. Nationally, in 2013-14, there were 3.1 million incidents resulting in 4.2 million ambulance service responses to attend to 3.2 million patients.

Performance reporting for ambulance events includes information on ambulance service organisations as the primary agencies involved in providing services for ambulance events. Recurrent expenditure across Australia was approximately $2.7 billion (or $114 per person) in 2013-14. Nationally, there were 15 503 full time equivalent paid personnel, 5972 volunteers and 2456 community first responders in ambulance service organisations in 2013-14. (Community first responders are trained volunteers that provide an emergency response (with no transport capacity) and first aid care before ambulance arrival.)

The objectives of government involvement in ambulance service to provide pre-hospital and out-of-hospital care and patient transport services, that:

  • are high quality, timely, and meet clients' needs through delivery of coordinated and responsive health care
  • are equitable and accessible
  • are effectively, efficiently and sustainably delivered
  • reduce the adverse effects of emergency events on the community by providing specialised medical care in emergency situations.

Fire events

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of emergency services for fire events. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in the 2015 Report.

Fire events indicator framework

Ambulance events

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of ambulance services. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in the 2015 Report.

Ambulance events indicator framework

Fire events

An overview of the Fire events performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the Fire and ambulance services chapter and attachment tables.

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Equity and Effectiveness — Prevention/mitigation indicators

Fire incidents

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Fire incidents attended by fire service organisations per 100 000 people, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 457 374 442 431 444 728 228 946 437
Source: Attachment table 9A.14.

Fire risk prevention/mitigation activities

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Accidental residential structure fires per 100 000 households, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 96.2 121.1 45.0 62.8 73.8 125.7 85.9 58.0 86.9
Source: Attachment table 9A.15.

Most recent data for this measure are incomplete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Estimated percentage of households with a smoke alarm/detector, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 94.1 97.2 96.6 94.0 na na na na na
Source: Attachment table 9A.23.

Equity and Effectiveness — Preparedness

Firefighter workforce

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Full time equivalent paid firefighter personnel per 100 000 people, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 52.8 95.5 52.1 43.9 53.1 57.4 93.5 95.2 63.5
Source: Attachment table 9A.24.

Equity and Effectiveness — Response

Response times to structure fires

Most recent data for this measure are incomplete and are not comparable (chapter 9).

State-wide response times to structure fires, 2013-14. Including call processing time, 90th percentile.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
Min. 15.4 10.9 12.4 14.1 na 19.6 10.4 18.0 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.26.

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

State-wide response times to structure fires, 2013-14. Excluding call processing time, 90th percentile.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
Min. 14.4 9.5 11.5 12.8 14.0 17.9 8.9 10.8 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.27.

Efficiency indicators

Fire services expenditure per person

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Fire service organisations' expenditure per person, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
$ 144.33 219.30 120.34 141.74 131.11 154.27 197.94 169.98 158.23
Source: Attachment table 9A.29.

Outcome indicators

Fire death rate

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Fire death rate per million people, 2012.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 4.4 3.7 3.3 7.8 6.0 7.8 42.6 4.3
Legend: – Nil or rounded to zero.
Source: Attachment table 9A.6.

Fire injury rate

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Rate of hospital admissions due to fire injury, per 100 000 people, 2012-13.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 15.8 11.3 21.9 22.2 24.8 16.2 9.5 92.5 18.0
Source: Attachment table 9A.9.

Confinement to room/object of origin

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Confinement of building fires to room of origin, all ignition types, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 63.2 73.5 69.0 66.1 66.1 59.9 80.3 81.8 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.9.
Confinement of building and other structure fires to room/object of origin, all ignition types, 2013 14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 76.9 94.9 84.0 74.6 72.6 71.6 89.2 81.8 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.11.

Value of property losses from fire events

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Household insurance claims per person, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
$ 20.29 23.45 13.61 10.88 14.15 52.54 11.36 12.17 18.74
Source: Attachment table 9A.12.

Ambulance events

An overview of the Ambulance events performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the Fire and ambulance services chapter and attachment tables.

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Equity — Access indicators

Response locations

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Paid, mixed and volunteer locations per 100 000 people, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 3.3 4.5 5.6 7.4 6.6 9.5 2.1 3.7 4.9
Source: Attachment table 9A.38.

Availability of ambulance officers/paramedics

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Number of full time equivalent ambulance officers/paramedics per 100 000 people, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 42.7 50.5 59.6 28.7 45.8 49.6 40.7 36.7 46.8
Source: Attachment table 9A.35.

Urban centre response times

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Capital city centre response times, 90th percentile, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
Min. 19.8 19.2 14.7 13.9 14.5 16.8 12.9 17.4 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.44.

Effectiveness — Access indicators

State-wide response times

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

State-wide response times, 90th percentile, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
Min. 22.2 22.4 16.3 16.1 16.6 23.7 12.9 17.1 na
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.44.

Triple zero call answering time

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Proportion of calls from the emergency call service answered by ambulance service communication centre staff in a time equal to or less than 10 seconds, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 88.5 92.1 90.7 94.1 91.3 96.2 96.0 9.0 89.4
Source: Attachment table 9A.45.

Effectiveness — Sustainability indicators

Workforce by age group

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Operational workforce under 50 years of age, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 77.4 78.1 79.2 85.7 77.2 70.8 79.9 84.3 78.6
Source: Attachment table 9A.36.

Staff attrition

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Staff attrition, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 3.9 4.2 3.9 2.2 1.7 2.5 1.6 3.6
Legend: – Nil or rounded to zero.
Source: Attachment table 9A.36.

Enrolments in paramedic training

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Enrolments in accredited paramedic training courses, per million people, 2013.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
No. 99.4 356.1 385.5 266.6 249.6 194.9 281.7 .. 253.8
Legend: .. Not applicable.
Source: Attachment table 9A.37.

Efficiency indicators

Ambulance services expenditure per person

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Ambulance service expenditure per person, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
$ 109.78 114.63 124.21 83.81 143.95 127.60 113.80 106.12 113.90
Source: Attachment table 9A.47.

Outcome indicators

Cardiac arrest survived event

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Adult cardiac arrest survived event rate - where resuscitation attempted (excluding paramedic witnessed), 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 29.7 29.4 26.1 23.2 18.8 33.8 29.6 28.6 28.1
Source: Attachment table 9A.41.

Pain management

Most recent data for this measure are complete but are not comparable (chapter 9).

Pain management, 2013-14.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 86.8 90.8 89.0 83.3 75.5 87.2 88.5 na 87.7
Legend: na Not available
Source: Attachment table 9A.42.

Level of patient satisfaction

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete (chapter 9).

Overall satisfaction rate, 2013.
  NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT Aust
% 96 ±1.8 97 ±1.6 99 ±0.9 99 ±1.0 98 ±1.2 98 ±1.0 98 ±1.4 97 ±3.0 98 ±0.5
Source: Attachment table 9A.43.

Some results reported here include 95 per cent confidence intervals (for example, 80 per cent ± 2.7 per cent).