Saving Lives Is Not Enough

Kristina Stiles2, Mr David Wales1

1Kent Fire And Rescue Service, Tovil, Maidstone, United Kingdom, 2London and South East England Burn Network., London, United Kingdom 


Within the UK burns community, the role of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) has generally been understood as being limited to the rescue and removal of a casualty from an area of active risk. Responsibility for subsequent care then passing as quickly as possible to healthcare colleagues where medical/welfare care is provided pre, peri and post hospital. Managing incidents this way makes sense when viewed from the perspective of the traditional role and responses of each agency.
However, it has become evident that this “sum of the parts” approach does not provide the best outcome or end to end experience for the casualty. It may also have inhibited thinking about the potential aim and role of the FRS. And yet, they are an underutilised asset who could greatly contribute to better outcomes and reduced treatment costs.
Following six years of collaboration, the authors produced a report (titled “Saving Lives is Not Enough”) which suggested a new way to approach pre-hospital burns care. This was adopted by Kent FRS and is attracting widespread interest.
The authors conclude that a casualty (or customer) centred model, shared aim and greater end to end dialogue between the professions offers a better approach. This would support identification of the earliest or most effective interventions and allow for a partnership model to drive improvement.
Within the context of the conference theme, the report proposals offer great potential to avoid or reduce scarring through enhanced scene based first aid including early and full burn cooling


David is an experienced fire officer and award winning researcher and presenter. His pioneering work on human behaviour in dwelling fires has led to new understanding and insights which are influencing both UK and international thinking. This includes the adoption of a customer experience approach to service design and delivery. He has worked with his co-author and the UK burns community since 2012, resulting in the publication last year of a report titled ‘Saving Lives is Not Enough’.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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