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Atego/EOne DPL 151 London FB WO66 HCC
Fire Engine Photos
No: 40550   Contributor: Petros   Year: 2017   Country: United Kingdom
Atego/EOne DPL 151 London FB WO66 HCC

28th July 2017 Montague Rd Leytonstone London E11. I imagine the crew were doing tower block checks in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. These Waltham Forest/Ascham Homes tower blocks were recently named on the BBC website as "Tower blocks with a high/substantial fire risk" based presumably on the council's own fire risk assessments which they FOI'd. The blocks have had serious fires in the past one of which I attended caused by overheating hair curlers.
See also my picture #40146.
Picture added on 04 August 2017 at 09:58
add commentComments:
I was amazed by press reports that the initial alarm response to the Grenfell fire was four pumps, with no rescue or aerial.

I live in a 44 floor building in Chicago and stayed for several months in a high rise in New York too.

We had a fire in the trash compactor here a few years ago. CFD turned up within a few minutes with four pumpers, two aerials, a rescue squad, a snorkel, three chiefs and an ambulance - a total of around 45 personnel.

In addition, I have witnessed responses to high rise incidents by both CFD and FDNY on several occasions, and this level of first response seems quite typical.

I know London has upgraded high rise response after the Grenfell disaster to five pumps and a lone aerial. But, as long as there are many of these deathtraps still occupied by citizens in London, it seems to me that this is still a half measure.

I often wondered why LFB had shrunken their aerial strength to a mere thirteen units, when other similar sized metro fire services in almost every other "first World" city operate far more...but if you are not going to dispatch an aerial to a fourth floor fire because the tower has so many additional floors, then of course you don't need them!

Added by Rob Johnson on 09 August 2017.
Rob, I suspect the answer is money. I can't speak for London, but here in West Yorkshire the Tory Government has cut funding to the Fire and Rescue Service massively, with all that entails. I am not being political, just stating facts.

Added by Stephen Cameron. on 12 August 2017.
Stephen:

I suspect you are right.

International comparisons of expenditures by fire services are difficult, because cost structures vary a lot between countries. But I have checked fire service headcount per 1, 000 inhabitants for some major cities in different parts of the world - this may give us an idea of the priority different cities put on fire protection.

These data may be from different years, and are not entirely precise, but I think they are indicative:

London 0.75 fire service staff for each 1, 000.
Paris 1.15
Berlin 1.57
New York 2.16
Chicago 2.00

Some of these operate EMS units, which LFB does not, but this does not come close to accounting for the difference. The shift systems are similar, and all are full-time fire services except for Berlin, which has 57 volunteer stations as well as 35 full time ones.

By the way, the 0.75 ratio for LFB is almost exactly the same as the Bain report for the entire UK, including retained personnel. The corresponding ratio for example in France is 3.75, including volunteers.

Added by Rob Johnson on 15 August 2017.
Stephen - the corresponding figure here in the US is 3.44 firefighters per 1, 000 people. In Germany it is amazingly more than 16.3 due to the fact that every small village has its own volunteer fire company - more than 22, 000 of them!

The ONLY examples I have been able to unearth of European countries which have fewer fire service members in relation to population than the UK are Italy, which has 0.55 fire service staff per 1, 000 and Spain at 0.58.

Added by Rob Johnson on 16 August 2017.
Rob, the data you have compiled is interesting and very depressing for those of us in the U.K., but doesn't surprise me, after years of government cutbacks (and more in the pipeline). For example, the whole of North Bradford City is now covered by one fire station housing one fire pump. My own 'local' station in outer North-West Leeds, covering a (rising) population of approximately 28, 000 - light industrial units, retail parks, many schools, old factory units, an electric railway, and the region's major airport, has just one pump which is now only manned from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., adding 5 minutes to turn-out time outside those hours. The government believes the reduction in cover is justified due to a reduction in fire calls, but seems to ignore the fact that fires do actually still occur, as do RTCs. On top of all this, traffic congestion in the area can be severe. I don't think the public realise just what the implications of these cutbacks are until it affects them.



Added by Stephen Cameron. on 17 August 2017.
Stephen:

I must agree! The idea that less fires means less firefighters is simply ridiculous. The point that it misses is the fact that you have to have enough resources in the right places to ensure an adequate response in a sufficiently short time, for firefighting and rescue efforts to be effective.

I remember a British Prime Minister "explaining" one day on TV that because there are fewer fires at night, you need less personnel on a night shift! No mention of the fact that nighttime fires in occupied structures are the leading cause of fatalities, that fighting fires at night is more difficult, that accomplishing the safe evacuations of sleepy citizens and children in multi-occupancy flats is time-consuming and manpower intensive. My reaction to this nonsense is quite frankly unprintable...

The famous Bain report, which was supposed to be the definitive study of the British fire Service, made exactly ZERO comparisons with any foreign fire service. As if in this day and age Britannia has absolutely nothing to learn from any fire service anywhere else in the World.

Added by Rob Johnson on 19 August 2017.
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