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Fire Commissioner calls on Londoners to have their say

The plan proposes a shake up of how specialist equipment is located across the capital
London Fire Brigade has launched a consultation today for fourth London Safety Plan
London Fire Brigade has launched a consultation on its draft London Safety Plan, which sets out how the Brigade will carry forward plans to modernise and improve the fire service in the capital.

This is the fourth London Safety Plan, and it explains how the Brigade will build on its reputation as one of the world's leading fire and rescue services.

The plan proposes a shake up of how specialist equipment is located across the capital, delivering greater efficiency and improvement in the way that equipment is deployed and firefighters are trained.

The document then sets targets for consultation, on reducing fires which damage property, reducing arson and reducing call-outs to non emergency incidents. It also stresses the importance of the Brigade's role in major projects such as the 2012 Olympic Games, an ambitious PFI fire station building programme and its commitment to protecting the environment through sustainability projects.

The London Safety Plan explains how the Brigade will build on its reputation as one of the world's leading fire and rescue services

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "It's important for Londoners to understand how we provide their fire and rescue service and what our priorities are, and I want their views about the proposals in our draft fourth London Safety Plan. I'm excited about the potential of this plan to make a really positive impact on what we do and how we do it.

"Londoners expect the fire and rescue service to be there when we are needed and  that the money going into running the Brigade is well spent, and that's what I am focused on delivering."

Proposals in the draft Fourth London Safety Plan include:

  • The establishment of four Bulk Extinguishing Materials Centres at Harrow (subject to further detailed consideration), Kingston, Beckenham and Barking fire stations. Each would involve the co-location of pump ladders, bulk foam units and hose layer lorries and in the longer term we would also be looking to consider the addition of high volume pumps and bulk water carriers. These centres would also enable the introduction of alternate crewing across the Centres. The creation of these centres would give better placement of assets for strategic cover and create better skills groups.
  • The establishment of four Rescue Centres at Edmonton, Heston (subject to further detailed consideration), Croydon and East Ham fire stations. Each would involve the co-location of a range of rescue equipment including pump ladders, pumps, fire rescue units and urban search and rescue appliances (USAR). These centres would allow much better management and maintenance of the highly specialised skills required. Like the Bulk Extinguishing Materials Centres, there may be opportunities for alternate crewing at these centres and we will examine this further.
  • Reducing the number of incident response units which are whole time crewed from four to two with one of the remaining vehicles being alternately crewed and the other being redeployed to the Safety Skills Team in Training.
  • Building on the services provided by the London Local Authority Co-ordination Centre (LLACC) through the expansion of the groups with which the LLACC can work and the support which the LLACC can give to the local authority Gold arrangements.We will also be arguing for the Regulations to be amended to include specific reference to the role of the LLACC and our responsibilities to put in place and maintain such arrangements.

    Londoners expect the fire and rescue service to be there when we are needed, and that's what I am focused on delivering

  • The establishment of new headline targets for the period 2010/11 to 2012/13 about reducing fires which cause harm or damage property; reducing arson; and reducing call outs to nonemergency incidents. Each will have two components, the first being the level of reduction we reasonably believe we can achieve and the second being a stretch target which is more challenging and which is likely to require substantial changes to the way we deliver our services.
  • Continuing to ensure that building owners and occupiers and those that manage nondomestic buildings comply with fire safety laws by: influencing designers and planners to "design out" fire and build-in appropriate warning systems; inspecting buildings which pose the greatest risk to safety from fire and by providing guidance and advice on compliance with the legislation.

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