ESV Project webinar 1

The following questions and answers were raised at the first ESV project webinar, which took place on 5th May 2021. This was a live webinar attended by UK fire and rescue service (FRS) risk and finance experts. To view the webinar recording, click here.

1. Some of the assumptions in the Phase One report do not represent how we work, or how we understand resourcing at an incident. Will there be an opportunity to share how we work, in order to make the calculations more accurate?

This project is in the early stages, and the next stages of the project will incorporate significant work with sector experts to understand and accurately model our activities. If you want to be a part of these expert panels, then email

2. Will the tool be maintained and updated regularly, e.g. annually?

This has yet to be determined in detail, but the intention is that some function is incorporated that ensures that the tool remains current. The form of this function is still being worked on, and we will release details of it as soon as it has been finalised.

3. How can I volunteer my Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) to trial products/contribute to the project more closely?

Send an email to us at:

4. Will this tool be detailed enough to calculate the economic and social value (ESV) of specific individual prevention activities i.e. young driver education or is it more about providing an overall calculation of ESV?

Individual activities will be given a value, so they will be considered at an individual level. To what extent that value can be disaggregated from the overall calculation has yet to be determined, but in principle, FRSs should be able to see what activities offer the most value.

5. It will be really interesting to see how the tool accounts for varied service provision, especially in terms of what FRSs deliver as their standard Safe and Well / Home Fire Safety Checks offering (accounting for more than just quantity), and prevention more widely, e.g. educational / CYP activity.

Some of the early work in the project has been around understanding that range of activities offered by FRSs, in order to determine value. We hope that the accompanying report will provide an insight into the breadth, diversity and impact of our work.

6. Will the calculation separate out the cost/value to business/enterprise as opposed to communities?

Only indirectly. The main output will be value added to the whole community, and it may be possible to extrapolate business value. However, it is still too early in the stages of the model development to give a definitive answer on the granularity of the generated data, as to what values will be attributed to either specific inputs or outputs.

7. The intended products will be very useful – although there are many complexities. Has any consideration been given to the differences in impacts of financial/societal losses between urban and rural areas? Also, the costs of service delivery in urban versus rural localities?

This will be explored in the next stage of the project, where experts are consulted individually and in panels to correctly model the activities. There is some work in progress to consider the way in which FRSs are grouped and compared, and certainly regional differences will be a large part of the econometric modelling for response activities. The level to which input variables are weighted by geographic factors has yet to be finalised at this stage though.

8. Will supplementary services be included if also provided by other FRSs (co-responding, IRB provision etc)? 

This is unlikely to be a part of this project. However, the accompanying report, (along with future work from the CRP concerning evaluation processes) will give details of the techniques used, which may allow FRSs to replicate that work with other activities.

9. Would it be possible to have a list of the activities that will be included?

This is still being determined, but a list of activities was sent to each of our FRS points of contact in order to determine the frequency and variety of activities across the UK FRS. The original activities list can be shared on request, and the final list of activities will be published once they are established.

10. Will the tool be intuitive enough to identify value which may be wider than a purely fire sector focus; e.g. physical and mental health, environment, employability, educational achievements, crime, Anti-Social Behaviour etc. Such measures may be of interest to government departments outside of the Home Office.

In principle yes. In a similar study, examining Surf Lifesaving Clubs in Australia, it was found that there were community benefits in education, personal health, reductions in crime, increased tourism and increased social participation. However, these things are hard to quantify, and can be quite subjective.

This project will aim at calculating tangible and measurable economic and social values. In the analysis of protection and prevention activities, we will most likely remain closer to metrics like “market price of the service”, rather than interpolating the potential values of wellbeing and other factors. In the report to follow, the experts at Nottingham Trent University state that intangible benefits like “peace of mind” are not included in the methodology.

11. Has the activity list been aligned with the Home Office Operational Statistics (the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety returns in particular)?

They have not been explicitly aligned, but there is understandably a great deal of overlap between the ESV list and the Fire Prevention and Fire Safety returns. We are currently in contact with sector experts and initiating a set of focus groups to narrow down the activities to those that are best represented across the FRSs and that also can be used to give us quantifiable benefits to the community.

12. Has any of the work looked at the impact of response times and weight of attack?

Weight of attack in terms of personnel and vehicles attending an incident will be considered. In an econometric estimation, the linkage between the deployed resources and the economic value that is generated through the intervention will be established. However, no statement will be made about tactical considerations.

13. Will the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) be taken into account for weighting purposes, or will it be more generic statistics around the built environment?

No, but it may form a feature of the FRS family groups for aggregated reporting. Some consideration is currently being given to incorporating IMD in the lowest percentile output areas in a clustering process (with many other components) to create groups of self-similar FRSs. However, it should be recognised that this project is also in a very early stage.

14. How much will the calculation be based on delivery of outcomes rather than inputs? Will it identify and value FRSs that deliver behavioural change/those which actually reduce likelihood of risk, differently to those which mitigate it and reduce impact? 

The value calculations for social and economic benefits will be based on both outcomes and inputs. The initial product will be a national calculation of ESV, but the third phase of the project will be a tool that individual FRSs can use to calculate their own ESVs. This will mean that at an individual FRS level there will be differences in terms of contribution to the community, as there will be different levels of activity and differences in terms of local context. Those differences between FRSs will only be identified should FRSs decide to benchmark against each other, which is not currently any part of the scope of this project.

The ESV estimation of prevention and protection activities will be based on inputs, while the ESV estimation of responses will be based on (an estimation of the) outputs.