The June issue of FIRE magazine delves behind the headlines to spark wider debate as leading fire sector figures comment on Grenfell, integrated risk management planning, national standards and why response times matter.
“The National Fire Chiefs Council has now set up a specialised Building Safety Team to assist with all the work emerging from Grenfell and the Hackitt Review, maintaining our contribution and ensuring we remain a key driver for change. We will continue to push for change as part of our work and ensure NFCC is keeping the voice of the Fire Service at the forefront of any changes made, and challenging decisions where we need to.”
NFCC Chair Roy Wilsher reflects on the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire and reports on the work of the Council to ensure a tragedy of that scale never happens again.
“According to our findings, we can assume that most of the FRSs are aware of the risks to people and property in their areas in the long-term. Despite these encouraging results/assumptions, there may be a minority of FRSs that do not provide the documents that assess current and future risks to their local communities, and we would expect these to be identified in the ongoing inspection programme by HMICFRS.
“The findings also suggest that English FRS provide integrated risk management plans (IRMPs) that vary and possibly vary significantly. Fire and rescue services tend to use a variety of reporting periods (from one to nine years) and they also use different names to call their IRMPs. This reflects the absence of existing national guidance on templates or standard formats for IRMPs.”
Pete Murphy, Katarzyna Lakoma and Angela Toothill call for a comprehensive review of the integrated risk management plan process and outcomes.
“The loss of national standards – speed and waiting attack, agreed crewing confidence levels – means now the number of resources attending incidents and the consequential capabilities of those reduced assets can differ according to post code as well as managing expectations between neighbouring services.”
FIRE Correspondent, Tony Prosser, reports on changes to incident response and attendance times.
“The statistics show that as the number of incidents has decreased and response times have increased, yet there is no correlation between response times and the likelihood of fatalities/casualties. If that is correct, then the case for improved response times becomes primarily an economic rather than life based argument.
“We make this point above and think that it is timely for the government to update the economic cost of fire; it has been over ten years since the last version was published. We think that it will be useful to HMICFRS in terms of their efficiency assessments and those interested in using fire data to fully understand the impact of changes to not only response times but the whole range of fire and rescue service business.”
Graham Holland, Principal Consultant at ORH, takes a look at incident statistics in England to see what is happening with response times.
“It often takes an outside perspective to shake our thinking and Mr Pauley arrived in town with a clear agenda to raise fire safety considerations onto the global stage by presenting a long list of unnecessary, avoidable fire tragedies from around the world. Is it not time we look at what works elsewhere to learn how best to protect the public, rather than rely upon loose frameworks which often appear to reflect the whims of politicians rather than exalting a safety first culture?”
FIRE Editor, Andrew Lynch, comments on the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire and Life Safety Ecosystem, presented by President James Pauley at this year’s Worshipful Company of Firefighters Fire Lecture.
“It’s a strategic way to approach what all of you want to do: keep people and property safe. For the NFPA, we’re here to help. We’ll continue to work on some of the tough questions. We’ll continue to help develop tools that will help advance safety. This ecosystem is our latest example so please use it. It’s a big world, let’s protect it together. It’s not a slogan, it’s really a call to action for all of us.”
National Fire Protection Association President, James Pauley, appeals to the UK’s fire safety community to unite.