Fire & Rescue Services

ORH understands the changing demands on fire and rescue services and the need for greater resilience and flexibility, often in the context of significant constraints on finance and resources. Our work with fire services around the world has shown that taking a modelling approach to strategic planning can deliver a robust solution, maintaining or improving risk and response cover while achieving efficiency savings.

ORH’s experience encompasses many aspects of fire service provision across both operations and control. Our projects have included supporting services to develop strategic plans, undertake contingency planning, assess options for change and maximise risk coverage, and assisting control officers to determine optimal standby moves.

Through this work, ORH has developed sophisticated optimisation and simulation models, designed to address complex planning issues. We believe that modelling should be an integral and transparent part of the planning process, quantifying the relationship between resource use and risk cover to inform decision-making and provide independent evidence to support public consultation. Downloadable profiles of our optimisation and simulation models are available.

ORH combines analysis, modelling and consultancy to answer questions, such as:

Third party review:

How can an independent assessment be used to support a review of frontline emergency response provision?
Read the case study: Third Party Review for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service

Service wide reviews:

How can organisations plan future station configuration, deployment of appliances and shift systems to provide effective and sustainable risk and response cover?
Read the case study: Service Wide Review for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Station locations:

How can an optimal set of stations be determined, taking account of expected changes in incident demand?
Read the case study: Station Location Study for Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department


What is the optimal configuration of fire and ambulance stations, maximising the potential from joint locations?
Read the case study: Joint Strategic Planning for the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency

Contingency planning:

How can modelling be used to help services plan fire cover during periods of industrial action?
Read the case study: Contingency Planning for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

Efficiency Savings:

How can fire and rescue services make substantial financial savings with minimal impact on cover?
Read the case study: Efficiency Savings for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority

Risk Based Planning:

How can the optimisation of resources form part of the planning process for fire and rescue services?
Read the case study: Resource Optimisation Study for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Alternative delivery models:

How can new resource types be used to supplement the cover provided by existing vehicles?
Read the case study: Alternative Delivery Model for West Midlands Fire Service

Dynamic cover:

What back-up moves between stations can help to maintain good risk and response cover?
Read more about ORH’s Dynamic Cover Tool


What are the current practices and prospects for FRS co-responding?
Read more about ORH’s work for CLG on co-responding

ORH is the trading name of Operational Research in Health Limited, a company registered in England with company number 2676859.

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