A NEW report heaped praise on the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service – but also highlighted room for improvement.

The service, created three years ago, received a Good rating after being assessed for its effectiveness, efficiency and how it looks after the community.

“The inspection process was a good experience that has provided us with a good platform to build upon,” said chief fire officer Ben Ansell.

“We will continue to build on the great work that is being delivered for our communities.”

The service attended 14,342 incidents in the year up to September 30, 2018, of which 26 per cent were fires, 26 per cent were non-fire related matters and 47 per cent were false alarms.

In its first inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, the service performed well in preventing fires and other risks, protecting the public through fire regulation, responding to fires, and promoting the right values and culture.

But it also raised areas needing improvement, notably how it understands risk, mainly when it comes to review premises.

In response to this point, a spokeswoman for DWFRS said: “The service routinely collates details of potential hazards to the public and firefighters from the premises to ensure that our crews have up-to-date and timely information when responding to emergencies.

“This includes temporary events such as solstice at Stonehenge and the Womad festival. The service has already undertaken a thorough review of its premises risk information to ensure that it is current and readily available to firefighters and enhanced and its processes for joint exercising of procedures with our neighbouring fire and rescue services.”

These areas form part of internal improvement plans.

Inspectors praised the service for its prevention initiatives, education, approach to social media making good use of the money available to deliver an effective operational service and the open and honest culture within the organisation.

DWFRS is working towards reducing its cost. The cost of firefighters per person in the 12 months to March 31, 2018 was £18.82, less than the national average of £22.38.

The DWFRS spokeswoman said: “This figure is reflecting the rural nature of our service and the fact that the majority of our firefighters are on call."

"The calculation is made on the pay costs of our operational firefighters divided by the population of our service area.”