hollandSpeaking in today’s afternoon session Peter Holland, IFE life fellow, said that learning from incidents is something “We don’t do it very well, and that is replicated throughout the rest of the world.”

Citing Shirley Towers and Lakanal House in his presentation, Mr Holland said that firefighters are working in a fast-paced industry, where often guidance and best practice is not keeping pace with developments in buildings, and Martin Shipp’s [who will be speaking later] wake-up call – has fallen on deaf ears. This is “not fantasy island stuff, this is the real world,” Mr Holland said.

However, Mr Holland said that fire services should not be waiting for Coroners to tell them to learn lessons. “We don’t want to be waiting for a Rule 43 letter before making changes,” he said.

He also called for more lessons to be learnt from near misses. They may be insignificant he said, but firefighters should still be asking questions such as “how did the structure behave… how did the people behave?”

The second presentation of the afternoon looked at the Bushfire CRC. Full details of this talk will appear in Fire magazine.