New aerial ladders that are more responsive to drive, faster to set up and with greater rescue capabilities are soon to hit the streets of London as the Brigade continues to improve its ability to deal with high rise incidents. Twelve new 32 meter appliances known as turntable ladders are part of the aerial replacement project and have many improvements on the existing fleet, the biggest being that the ladder articulates, allowing for greater maneuverability. The articulating top section means that down London’s narrow streets the turntable ladder can now set up closer to the building than previous aerial appliances. thermal imaging camera The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders The reach obtained can also means that the machines can be placed further away and overcome obstacles which would have problematic previously. The new turntable ladders are swift and responsive to drive and can reach their top working height within a minute from the moment of arrival at an incident. Other features include a detachable thermal imaging camera, improved stretcher capabilities all of which will enhance the company’s operations at height. They will also improve the capabilities for lighting and observation of emergencies from above, giving incident commanders greater knowledge from the sky. Turntable ladders are used by the Brigade for a wide range of tasks such as aerial water towers to put water on buildings from height, rescues, high level lighting and as observation platforms. The new engines will be highly visible on London’s streets with its bright yellow ladder, bumpers and fenders. open air training It also has driver aides like pre-emptive braking and lane change technology. London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “Our new aerial ladders are more responsive, quicker to set up and improve our ability to fight fires and rescue people from height. Our determination to get these working on London’s streets despite the challenges COVID-19 has given us shows our commitment to improve our response, especially at high rise incidents.” Training has been able to start on the new turntable ladders due to the hard work of Brigade staff and in close liaison with the Fire Brigades Union to make sure it can be done safely during the pandemic. The courses were completely revamped to make sure safe procedures are in place including the wearing of masks during driver training, increased open air training and regular sanitation of delegates hands and the machines. aerial ladder platform The Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country Internal training venues were found quickly to make sure staff didn’t need to travel long distances and the risk to those involved could be reduced. Firefighters have also been incredibly flexible, attending courses at short notice to make sure the vehicles become operational as soon as possible. The Brigade’s training provider Babcock have made additional machines for training available so that multiple venues can be used, allowing for increased training while maintaining social distancing. In addition to these new 32 meter turntable ladders, the Brigade will soon have three 64 meter ladders and they will be the tallest in the country. Following tests and operational training the appliances are expected to be in service in the New Year. London Fire Brigade currently uses two main types of aerial appliance: the aerial ladder platform and the turntable ladder. present operational fleet The present operational fleet consists of four turntable ladders and seven aerial ladder platforms, plus four others used as reserve appliances for training. When the replacement project is completed the Brigade will only use turntable ladders. The new M32L-AS Ladders are manufactured by Magirus in Germany and as a first for LFB, are mounted on a Scania Lowline 360hp chassis.
London Fire Brigade’s first Commissioner in 75 years to have served as a commissioned officer in the British army signs a covenant with the UK armed forces. The agreement formalizes the Brigade’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community and recognizes the contribution to the country that serving military personal, veterans and their families have made and continue to make. Wider Military Family It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Armed Forces Covenant" It also sets out for the first time a clear framework outlining how London Fire Brigade staff who are reservists are supported, should they be called upon serve. The Brigade has committed to having up to 85 members of staff available to serve with the Volunteer Reserve Forces (VRF) of the army, air force or navy. The final decision remains with the Brigade ahead of any deployment but this commitment enshrines it as an armed forces friendly organization. London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said: “It is a great honor that one of my first official duties is to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, which shows our commitment to supporting both London Fire Brigade staff who are reservists and the wider military family. I am extremely proud of the Brigade’s on-going association with the British Armed Forces and the sacrifices our staff have made in protecting the nation.” Local Fire Station London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe attended Sandhurst before serving in the 12th Regiment Royal Artillery between 1996 and 2000. Andy served as a troop commander and reached the rank of Battery Captain, taking part in major NATO exercises in Germany and Poland and two tours of duty in Northern Ireland. The Armed Forces was always a career choice that was of interest to me" Firefighter Debbie Young has combined a career in the Brigade while achieving her dream of a role within the military. Debbie said: “The Armed Forces was always a career choice that was of interest to me when growing up, but following work experience at age 14 at my local fire station I decided that the fire service was the direction I wanted to go. I joined London Fire Brigade, but the military was always still in the back of my mind - an itch that I still felt I needed to scratch.” Providing The Best Leadership Training “I loved being a firefighter and didn’t want to have to give that up. The perfect compromise that would allow me to follow both my dream jobs was to become a reservist. The Brigade were very supportive when I approached them, as I was going to need to take a two month sabbatical to attend the Reserve Commissioning Course full time.” “They saw the benefits to the Brigade having one of their staff receiving training at an establishment renowned for providing the best leadership training in the world.” The covenant was signed by Commissioner Andy Roe and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff Major Gen Brookes-Ward at the Brigade’s headquarters. This year marks 121 years since the Brigade stopped recruiting exclusively from the Navy. Efficient Recruitment Process London Fire Brigade understand and recognize the value of supporting the Armed Forces community" The first chief officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, favored recruitment of men from the Navy. He felt that the trainees would be disciplined and would require less training, making the recruitment process more efficient. It was not until Shaw’s retirement in 1899 that naval experience was no longer compulsory for new recruits. The Brigade’s connection with the Navy continues in the terminology we use today. For example ropes are called ‘lines,’ equipment is ‘stowed’ on a fire engine and there is a ‘watch’ rather than a shift system. Major General Simon Brooks-Ward said: "London Fire Brigade understand and recognize the value of supporting the Armed Forces community. By making this public pledge of support and commitment of signing the Armed Forces Covenant, they genuinely believe in the value of supporting the Armed Forces and will massively benefit from not only being a Forces Friendly organization but also Forces Friendly employer.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, appoints Andy Roe as London’s new Fire Commissioner. Andy Roe will take up the post as the head of London Fire Brigade (LFB) on 1 January 2020, following a comprehensive international recruitment process. He will be taking over from Dany Cotton who last week announced she would be stepping down as Commissioner at the end of December. Andy Roe will be responsible for leading the transformational change needed at LFB and will work closely with the Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, Fiona Twycross, to deliver on the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase One report. He will also ensure the Brigade contributes effectively in Phase Two of the Inquiry. Busiest Fire And Rescue Services He is responsible for LFB’s 103 fire stations and its 5,000 firefighters and staff The new Fire Commissioner will also lead the production of the next London Safety Plan, which outlines everything the LFB will do to make the capital safe – from attending and tackling fires and being prepared to respond to a terrorist incident to fitting smoke alarms and rescuing someone involved in a road traffic collision. Andy Roe brings a wealth of experience of dealing with major incidents and having operational command of Britain’s busiest fire and rescue service. A former British Army officer, he has worked at London Fire Brigade since 2002, progressing through the ranks as a firefighter - initially at Clerkenwell and West Hampstead. He became Assistant Commissioner in January 2017 before stepping up as Deputy Commissioner for Operations last month. He is responsible for LFB’s 103 fire stations and its 5,000 firefighters and staff. Hugely Experienced Firefighter He had operational command for the Croydon tram crash in 2016 and took the decision to revoke the ‘stay put’ advice minutes after becoming incident commander at the Grenfell Tower fire. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Keeping Londoners safe is my number-one priority and I’m determined to do everything I can to ensure we have a fire and rescue service that is the best in the world. Andy Roe is a hugely experienced firefighter and I’m really pleased to have appointed him as London’s Fire Commissioner.” “The Grenfell Tower Inquiry report made it clear there were institutional failures that meant, while firefighters performed with great courage and bravery, the overall response to the disaster was not good enough, and there are significant lessons for London Fire Brigade. I look forward to working with Andy Roe to deliver on the Inquiry’s recommendations and to ensure the transformation of the Brigade is carried out as effectively and swiftly as possible.” Period Of Transformation It is an enormous privilege to be offered this opportunity to lead London Fire Brigade into a new decade" Andy Roe, said: “It is an enormous privilege to be offered this opportunity to lead London Fire Brigade into a new decade. My priority is to protect and serve all Londoners and make sure the capital’s fire and rescue service is the very best it can be.” “We have some real challenges ahead, but I’ll be working tirelessly with the Brigade, the Mayor and London’s communities to ensure we deliver on the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report. I’m looking forward to leading the Brigade through a period of transformation and delivering a workforce that truly reflects the diverse city we serve.” Response To Major Incidents Fiona Twycross, London’s Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, said: “I welcome the appointment of Andy Roe as London’s new Fire Commissioner. He is hugely experienced, both as a firefighter and in leading the response to major incidents.” “There are tough challenges ahead for the Brigade in terms of implementing the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Andy is clear on the direction the Brigade needs to take and how to deliver the best service possible in order to keep Londoners safe. I’m truly proud of our firefighters and the Brigade and I am confident Andy is the right person to lead them.”