London Fire Brigade

Brigade says new national guidance will save lives

29 November 2011

London Fire Brigade says lives could be saved as a result of the organisation’s work to improve national fire and rescue service guidance.

The Brigade has agreed to take the lead in updating the National Operational Guidance which is used by fire brigades across the country. The guidance is used by Chief Fire Officers across the UK to inform the firefighting and emergency response policies of each fire and rescue service. Around 6000 separate documents form the current guidance and in updating it, the Brigade will reduce the documentation and make it more concise and user friendly.

Much of the current guidance is now outdated but is still sometimes used to highlight best practice in court cases involving firefighters  and fire and rescue services. This means that fire and rescue services could be legally challenged if they use new procedures not in the guidance. The updated guidance will develop safe systems of work for firefighters and will also improve working relationships between different brigades when there is a need for cross border work.

Cllr Brian Coleman, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said:

“As the largest fire brigade in the country, it makes sense for the London Fire Brigade to set the agenda and direction for fire service policy. I am proud of the national role we will play and the leadership we will provide to other fire and rescue services.

“This improved guidance will put the UK’s firefighters at the forefront of firefighting and emergency response. It should also lead to more lives being saved by firefighters across the country.”

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“London Fire Brigade has the skills and experience needed to make these important improvements to the national fire service guidelines. Everyone in the UK should benefit from this updated guidance which will undoubtedly improve the emergency response of fire brigades nationally.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

The work to update the guidance will take place over three years from 2012/13 to 2014/15.

It is thought the work will cost a total of £6 million, which will spread across three years. This covers staffing, technical guidance and research, workshops and publication costs.