London Fire Commissioner sets agenda for 2023 in New Year Message


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London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe has delivered a New Year Message outlining the agenda for London Fire Brigade in 2023, including the start of its new Community Risk Management Plan, Your London Fire Brigade which he said sets out how they will change to help keep London safe in the coming years.

Roe said: “The plan has been updated based on the feedback of over 2,000 people and organisations that the Brigade engaged with last year. The plan has also been updated to reflect a key focus for me in 2023: changing our workplace culture.

“I have already taken action to improve the culture at the Brigade but there will be much more progress this year. This includes starting the pilot of our staff using body worn cameras when they engage with the public. I will be accountable to staff, stakeholders and communities as we change our culture over the coming year.”

He also said that 2023 will see an increase in improving how the brigade helps people to reduce risk in their homes: “We will be targeting the most vulnerable and at risk people with visits from firefighters as part of our Home Fire Safety Visits. For people who face less risk, our online safety checker will give you helpful support to make positive changes to your safety at home. If you haven’t completed our free Home Fire Safety Checker recently, I encourage you to do so by clicking here.”

Reflecting on the changes London Fire Brigade delivered in 2022, he said: “I welcomed the Mayor of London to a training exercise in May which showed how we had transformed our approach to tackling fires in high rise buildings.

“An important part of the exercise is using our new Fire Survival Guidance app which improves the flow of information between the incident ground and Brigade Control. Improving our response to high rise fires is an outcome from the 26 recommendations that we have completed in response to the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

“Our three 64 metre ladders – the tallest in Europe – and our eight 32 metre ladders are another important part of how we tackle fires in high rise buildings. They are part of a £40m investment in new equipment which also includes our new fire boats.

“The Mayor welcomed the boats to the Thames in September and following the completion of training, the boats enter service this year. They join our replacement Command Units which enter service this year. I’m committed to ensuring we have the right equipment we need to meet the challenges London faces.

“The heatwaves of 2022 meant we faced our busiest day since World War II. Firefighters, Control staff and support staff worked tirelessly to tackle significant fires, the likes of which had not been seen before in the United Kingdom. The climate emergency presents the Brigade with new challenges which we are committed to addressing.”

He added: “I am certain that 2023 will bring new challenges but as your London Fire Commissioner, I remain dedicated to ensuring that London Fire Brigade will be there for you. I’m proud to lead this organisation as we change for you.”

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