London Fire Brigade

Mayor urges Londoners to have their say on the future of the Brigade

05 December 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is urging Londoners to have their say on how the capital's fire and rescue service deals with threats of terrorism and with flooding over the next four years.

The draft London Safety Plan, published for public consultation today, includes proposals to expand the Brigade's capacity to respond to a terrorist incident.

Last year's Paris attacks brought the emergency services' capability to respond to a marauding terrorist firearms attack (MTFA) into sharp focus.

Delivering two manifesto commitments, the Mayor commissioned an independent review into London's terror preparedness, led by Lord Toby Harris, and a review of the Brigade's resources led by Anthony Mayer.

The draft Plan echoes the recommendations of Lord Harris, setting out intentions to boost the number of specialist firefighters trained to move in behind the police to fight fires and help treat casualties in a terrorist incident.

Londoners invited to give their views

It also proposes an extensive evaluation of the role of Fire Rescue Units (FRUs) and the potential to give them attendance time targets, after Anthony Mayer's review highlighted the importance of these specialist vehicles in responding to major incidents.

All FRUs provide a core set of specialist equipment including difficult access, heavy cutting and extended duration breathing apparatus.

The heavy cutting capability is particularly important in road traffic collisions, at which the Brigade's attendance has increased by 15 per cent over the last five years.

Londoners are also invited to give their views on whether capability to respond to flooding should be expanded.



The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Keeping Londoners safe is my first priority, and London's firefighters do an incredible job, putting themselves on the frontline for the rest of us every single day.

"As the capital faces new challenges and threats, we need to make sure our Fire Brigade is prepared and ready to respond to whatever may be around the corner.

"This new plan sets out a series of proposals for the coming years and I encourage all Londoners to have their say in the consultation, and help make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our capital city protected."

Challenges of a modern firefighter

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "This year has been a monumental one as we've celebrated 150 years of the service firefighters have given to London.

"Modern firefighters face a range of challenges from road traffic collisions, to flooding and chemical spillages.

"We also need to plan for the very worst. Even though we hope it never happens, we must prepare our firefighters to be part of the response to a terrorist incident.

"This consultation is a chance for Londoners to have their say on a range of work we are doing to keep Londoners safe for the next four years and how we deal with changing threats."

Other proposals in the Plan include:

  • Improving attendance times, already among the best in the country, by moving a fire engine from Kingston to New Malden fire station, bringing the borough of Kingston within the Brigade's second fire engine average attendance time target. In a bid to help drive further performance improvements, the Brigade plans to dispatch a fire engine within 10 minutes to any incident anywhere in London 90 per cent of the time. This is an improvement on the current standard of 12 minutes on 95 per cent of occasions.
  • Work to improve diversity and community relations within the Brigade. Fire chiefs want to throw open the 'big red doors' of their fire stations, allowing the community to engage more with firefighters and freeing up facilities for community use. As well as placing stations at the heart of the community, fire chiefs want to make sure their staff experience an inclusive culture in the workplace.

The consultation starts today on the Talk London website and will run for eight weeks.

There will be seven drop-in events across the capital, as well as online meetings for Londoners to learn more about the Brigade and ask questions.