William Eichler 15 June 2020

Residents face ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to fire services, union warns

Residents face ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to fire services, union warns image

A third of fire and rescue services would not send sufficient resources to high-rise fires, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned.

Marking the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the union said residents face a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to fire and rescue response.

There is ‘huge variation’ between brigades’ pre-determined attendance (PDA) levels, that is, the number of fire engines initially sent to a high rise fire, according to the FBU.

PDAs range from up to 10 fire engines and a high-reaching aerial appliance in London down to as few as two fire engines and an aerial appliance in North Wales.

UK fire services were subject to national minimum standards for fire and rescue response for most of the post-war era, but they were scrapped in 2004.

The FBU described the lack of national standards as a ‘scandal’. Twenty-five of the UK’s fire and rescue services have increased their high-rise PDA since July 2017 in response to the Grenfell fire.

However, 19 have seen no change and the PDAs in two services have worsened.

‘It’s shocking that, three years on from Grenfell, high-rise residents still face a postcode lottery in fire and rescue responses. Lives in London and the South East are worth no more than the rest of the country, yet different regions have drastically different standards,’ said Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary.

‘While fire brigades can and should do better, this is ultimately a failure of government policy. Services have had their funding slashed for more than a decade and there are still no nationally-mandated minimum standards for high-rise fire response. It’s an utter scandal.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Care Manager

London Borough of Bromley
Up to £43,205 (BR13+2) (Pro rata'd when part time)
The London Borough of Bromley Education, Care and Health Services Division are looking for Senior Care Managers Bromley (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley

Senior Practitioner Referral and Assessment Team

London Borough of Bromley
up to £45,159 per annum
Join us on our journey to excellence. Bromley (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley

Senior Practitioner - Family Support & Protection West Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
In ECC we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year and been awarded 'Outstanding' by Ofsted thi England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Property, Investment and Regeneration

Lancaster City Council
£51,300 - £64,369 per annum
We are looking for a creative, inspirational and commercially minded leader who is able to translate vision and strategy into reality. Lancaster, Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancaster City Council

Social Worker (0-25 Disabilities Service)

Barnet London Borough Council
£39,040.00 - £49,950.00 Per Annum
We are looking for skilled, dynamic and motivated Social Workers Colindale, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue