Flooding Incidents

Plenary on 2003-11-12
Session date: 
November 12, 2003
Question By: 
Meg Hillier
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Valerie Shawcross (Chair, LFEPA)


The number of flooding incidents that the Fire Brigade attend in Islington and Hackney is one of the highest in London. How do you classify a flooding incident? For example are burst water mains included in these statistics? What could be done by other agencies to reduce flooding? .


Answer for Flooding Incidents

Answer for Flooding Incidents

Answered By: 
Valerie Shawcross (Chair, LFEPA)

We have analysed the incidents to which aerial appliances have been mobilised between 1995 and 2000 and this analysis shows that

· 78% of incidents which aerial appliances attend are in response to an automatic fire alarm

· 95% of those calls turn out be false alarms

· aerial appliances are used at less than 1 fire in every 270 and 1 special service in every 40 which means they are used on average less than once

· aerial appliances are involved in a traffic accident in 1 call out of every 700 which means they are involved in more than 100 accidents a year

· the 4 busiest aerial appliances attend nearly 50% of all calls and are located centrally

· the majority of addresses we send aerial appliances to involve the sort of buildings where they have never actually been used because most high rise buildings are designed to allow safe escape for the public and safe working for firefighters without the use of external ladders or platforms

· most modern high rise buildings in London are too tall for aerial appliance to be of much use as 30 meter is the highest they can reach

Our draft London Safety Plan sets out proposals for stopping mobilising aerial appliances to in response to automatic fire alarms unless there are exceptional reasons for making a full attendance. This reduction in workload as a result of not attending automatic fire alarms will increase availability so that the proposed redistribution of aerial appliances will provide a strategic spread across London and a grouping of appliances near central London to allow for the likely busier workload for this type of appliance in this area. So, for now, we propose to maintain a fleet of aerial appliances, strategically located across London in such a way that their use can be targeted at those types of incidents where they can make a real difference. So that we can plan our response to those incidents where aerial appliance may be used, we have assumed that for most of London they will be able to attend within 30 minutes and that for the remainder (central London) which is where they have historically been used for rescues, they will be able to attend within about ten minutes.

These changes will ensure that aerial appliances will be able to arrive in time to undertake all of their roles at fires and other emergencies. For the remaining parts of London where the predominating risk does not involve using aerial appliances for rescues, but as support in dealing with a very large fire or other type of emergency, the strategic distribution will allow an aerial appliance to reach an incident in sufficient time to perform its full range of functions effectively.

In summary the proposed changes will provide a better service across London, be balanced on the basis of risk and greatly reduce the number of unnecessary vehicle movements we make. .