Last updated: 24/05/2024, 10:09 AM

London Fire Brigade completes every recommendation of Grenfell Tower Inquiry phase 1 and promises further change to keep Londoners safe

13/03/2024 09:55
Grenfell Tower

London Fire Brigade (LFB) today announces that it has completed all 29 of the recommendations from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Improvements include changes to firefighter training, refreshed processes for managing major incidents and the introduction of innovative technology to support firefighting.

Specific examples include:

New equipment

London Fire Brigade has replaced the entire fleet of high-reach vehicles and introduced new 64 metre Turntable Ladders, the tallest ladders in service across Europe. New command units equipped with technology to improve incident commanders’ ability to respond at the incident ground entered service at the end of 2023.

Over 200 people have been rescued using escape hoods since their introduction in 2018. London’s firefighters are amongst the first in the UK to carry them and they offer the public protection from toxic smoke.

Improved communication

The latest upgrades and new fire ground radios allow firefighters wearing helmets and breathing apparatus (BA) sets to communicate effectively with their teams and entry control officers when inside buildings.

Drones are also used to transmit information about incidents. The drones provide live images and thermal imagery to better allow incident commanders to develop tactics to tackle fires. The drones can also act as a loudspeaker to provide instructions or reassurance and provide light in dark conditions.

Better processes

Changes have been implemented across the Brigade, enabling LFB to respond to the most challenging emergencies. This includes control officers benefitting from improved training on providing fire survival guidance, as well as software that allows members of the public to provide control officers with a video feed from an incident.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “We accepted every recommendation from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and have been working hard over the past five years to implement significant changes to the way we operate.

“We are the only organisation to have completed every recommendation directed specifically to them and I am proud of the work that staff have put into this, but I also know that there is still much more to do. Fundamental change in large, complex organisations takes time and while our transformation programme is safely on track, we are not finished. I’m dedicated to continuing this journey with full commitment so that we can continue to be trusted to serve and protect our capital.  

“These improvements are paving the way forward for further change as we await the next report from Phase 2 of the Inquiry. We owe it to the bereaved families, the survivors, the residents of Grenfell Tower and Londoners to change and improve.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was an appalling tragedy and we will always remember the 72 people who lost their lives. The most fitting tribute to the people who died, their loved ones and those who survived is to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

“I have been relentless in doing everything I can to ensure the recommendations from Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry are implemented in full. Following City Hall’s significant investment, the LFB’s new equipment and protocols will help save lives. I welcome the significant steps the London Fire Brigade have taken to transform the way in which it responds to incidents, and high-rise building fires in particular.

“But there is more to do, and it is vital that the Government steps up along with housing and building industries to act now and ban combustible materials in external walls no matter their height and provide funding support for those unfairly saddled with large costs to remediate unsafe cladding. It’s vital that all possible steps are taken now to prevent another tragedy.”

Today’s announcement comes exactly a week after His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) removed LFB from enhanced monitoring, in recognition of the improvements delivered by the Brigade. By acting on the Inquiry recommendations over more than four years and fulfilling the expectations of the inspectorate, the Brigade has become a significantly improved organisation. Work will continue to improve the Brigade’s HR systems and processes to support a better workplace culture.

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