London Fire Brigade

“Brigade will remain world class and Londoners will still be safe,” says Authority chief, ahead of station closures

07 January 2014

With ten London fire stations set to close this Thursday, 9 January, the Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), James Cleverly, said today that Londoners will continue to be safe and receive the fastest emergency response in the capital, if not the UK.

The ten stations will be closed as part of the Fifth London Safety Plan (LSP), which sets out how the Brigade plans to keep Londoners safe over the next three years. 102 fire stations will continue to operate as normal providing London’s fire and rescue service. The Brigade needs to meet budget savings of £45 million over two years (2013/14 and 2014/15) and the Plan will help it to meet £29 million of these savings.

The Brigade said that the changes will be made, whilst it continues to maintain existing response time targets of getting the first fire engine to an incident in six minutes, on average across London, and the second, if needed, in eight minutes.

As well as the closure of ten fire stations, the LSP includes plans to reduce fires amongst vulnerable groups, such as those living in sheltered housing; to lobby for sprinklers, particularly in the homes of those known to be most at risk from fire; to introduce cost recovery charges for repeat false fire alarm call outs and to continue to carry out thousands of home fire safety visits each year.

LFEPA Chairman, James Cleverly, said:

“Londoners will continue to receive one of the fastest emergency response times in the world from the London Fire Brigade. If you dial 999 and need a fire engine, we still aim to have one with you within six minutes and a second, if needed, within eight.

“The Brigade is faced with significant budget cuts which mean that changes to the service are inevitable and we are able to make those changes without compulsory redundancies. The firefighters based at the stations closing will now transfer to other stations and continue the excellent work they do to prevent fires, which is vital in changing the behaviours that start fires in the first place.”

The Brigade’s figures show that the number of fires in London has fallen by fifty per cent in the last ten years, and latest figures show that they continued to fall at the same rate last year.

The ten fire stations are set to close at the end of the night shift (9.30am) on Thursday.

Ends

Notes to editors

Members of LFEPA voted to approve the London Safety Plan on 12th September 2013.
Prior to the closures, the Brigade had 169 fire engines and 112 fire stations.

From Thursday, the number of fire engines will be reduced by 14, meaning London will have 155 fire engines. There will be 102 fire stations.

The Fifth London Safety Plan (LSP)

You can accessa copy of the Plan on the Brigade’s website. The modelled impacts of the changes to the agreed plan on first and second appliance attendance times at ward level are available here

Some of the changes under the LSP include:

Fire stations

The following 10 fire stations will close:

Belsize, Bow, Clerkenwell, Downham, Kingsland, Knightsbridge, Silvertown, Southwark, Westminster and Woolwich.

Fire engines

Second fire engines will be removed from seven fire stations at:

Chingford, Clapham, Hayes, Leyton, Leytonstone, Peckham and Whitechapel.

Five fire stations will receive an additional second fire engine at:

East Greenwich, Hendon, Orpington, Stanmore and Twickenham.

Fire Rescue Units

The number of fire rescue units (specialist rescue vehicles) will be reduced from 16 to 14.
Fire rescue units will be removed from Hornchurch and Millwall.
There will be a reduction in the minimum crewing levels on fire rescue units from five firefighters to four firefighters.

Firefighters
A reduction in the number of firefighter posts of 552. No compulsory redundancies will be made, the reduction in numbers will come from firefighters retiring or leaving.

Judicial review

In 2013, seven London boroughs applied for a judicial review to challenge the Fifth London Safety Plan. The judicial review which challenged the Fifth London Safety Plan was not successful, meaning the LSP5 plans can go ahead as planned.