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Fire Authority Chairman Andrew Backhouse requests report to increase crewing of Tactical Response Vehicles

Fire Brigades Union safety concerns about crewing TRVs
The Fire Brigades Union has expressed safety concerns about crewing TRVs with fewer than 4 

Due to long standing safety concerns of The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) about crewing TRVs with fewer than 4 firefighters, and more recently concerns having been raised by local MPs on behalf of their constituents, the Fire Authority’s new Chairman, Councillor Andrew Backhouse, has asked officers to produce a report to increase crewing of TRVs at Malton, Tadcaster, Northallerton and Ripon to 4. This report will be presented to the December meeting of the Fire Authority for decision.

There are no current plans to change the crewing of TRVs with three at Scarborough and Harrogate, as they have a second appliance immediately available crewed by wholetime firefighters. 

Fire Authority Chairman

Councillor Backhouse said, “Whilst I respect the opinion of Officers in regards to the crewing levels of our recently introduced TRVs it is clear that there continues to be serious concerns in regards to the perceived risk to front line firefighters and, as importantly, the members of the public whilst ever the crewing levels at the named stations remains at three.

It is my duty as chair of the authority to listen to all sides of the argument and to then manage out that risk to the best of my ability. I understand the concerns raised and genuinely believe that the instructions I have given to Officers is the best way forward in addressing those concerns whilst ensuring that the risk to firefighters and the wider public is minimised.

Tactical Response Vehicles have firefighting and rescue capabilities similar to a standard fire engine but
are slightly smaller

Further savings will need to be found in other areas of work to facilitate this change, especially in regards to better collaboration with the Police service. We shall continue to monitor the performance of the newly introduced TRVs to ensure that they are fit for purpose going forward."

Following a review of fire cover provision across North Yorkshire and the City of York in which the number of incidents the Service attends over recent years* has reduced significantly, six Tactical Response Vehicles (TRVs) have been introduced to the Service to replace 6 standard fire engines.

Reducing number of incidents

Following a review of fire cover provision across North Yorkshire and the City of York in which the number of incidents the Service attends over recent years has reduced significantly, six Tactical Response Vehicles (TRVs) have been introduced to the Service to replace 6 standard fire engines. 

Tactical Response Vehicles have firefighting and rescue capabilities similar to a standard fire engine but are slightly smaller. They are designed to be crewed by 3 or 2 firefighters (although are capable of carrying 4), whereas a standard fire engine is crewed by 4 or 5 firefighters.

The fire stations where TRVs have been introduced are Harrogate, Scarborough, Malton, Northallerton, Ripon and Tadcaster. They have been placed on stations where there is also a standard fire engine available.

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