Fighting fires is no longer the primary task of the fire brigade, who now spend more time attending floods and road accidents, latest figures have shown.
Crews were called to 171,911 “non-fire incidents” in the year ending March 2020 - a rise of 37 per cent in five years - but only 153,957 fires, according to Home Office data.
It has meant the bulk of firefighting duties has shifted since 2018/19, when the service was mainly responding to fires due to a spike in outdoor blazes during the 2018 heatwave.
Non-fire incidents are said to include road crashes, helping gain entry or exit to buildings, assisting other emergency services, medical incidents and flooding.
They now account for around a third of all call-outs for fire crews, according to the Home Office.
Over the past year the rise in demand for firefighters to work outside their traditional role was driven by flooding across the UK and a significant uptick in requests from other agencies.
Official figures show fire crews were called to 15,526 flooding incidents in the past year, up 16 per cent from 13,367 compared to the year before.
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service played a key role in supporting the emergency response to the partial collapse of the dam which saw part of the town of Whaley Bridgee evacuated last year.
There was a further wave of severe flooding between November 2019 and February 2020, following Storms Ciara and Dennis, mainly affecting Yorkshire and the Midlands.
The most significant change, however, was in the number of times fire crews were called upon to help with other emergency responses - which rose 24 per cent to 18,324.
So-called duty to collaborate legislation helped bring about this change of focus in 2017 by imposing a legal duty on each emergency service to work together if required.
Only medical incidents have been attended by the fire service on a fewer number of occasions than the previous year - down eight per cent - thanks to union pressure.
The Fire Brigades Union withdrew support for trials of collaborative emergency responses between fire and ambulance crews in 2017, which the Government analysis suggested could explain the latest figures.
Non-fire incidents also included 5,278 call-outs where objects had to be removed from people - 3,145 of which were rings and 218 of which were handcuffs.
There were 210 call-outs for people stuck in mud and 796 incidents where a domestic animal had to be rescued from a height.