In an outspoken address at FIRE's Risk Versus Results roadshow at Gatwick, Bill Gough condemned prominent fire and rescue figures for suggesting the Service is becoming risk averse.

Pointing to Strathclyde Chief Fire Officer Brian Sweeney comments about there being a creeping culture of risk aversion in the Fire and Rescue Service "which is creating a culture of fear," Bill Gough's response was highly critical. He said that such comments should identify exactly who is risk averse within the organisation.

Moving on to question who sets the rules, Mr Gough said that the Health and Safety Executive do not write standard operating procedures. "They are not the Fire and Rescue Service policy maker," he told delegates.

Mr Gough said the real focus should be on the behavioural and physiological response of firefighters under duress as they are the ones who take the risk.  He quoted the Fire and Rescue Manual Volume 2 on Operations. 'In a highly calculated way, firefighters will take some risk to save saveable lives'.

The crucial issue, he said, was that "we're still managing to injure 2,000 firefighters a year".


Visit next week for footage from the event, including Bill Gough's presentation.

FIRE will report from the next roadshow at Birmingham City Football Ground on November 2nd.


Posted October 19th, 2011 at 1420 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: