LFEPA Cuts and the Safety of Londoners (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
December 2, 2015
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Ron Dobson (Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, London Fire Brigade)

Question

Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  This is a question about LSP5 seeing one appliance go away in Hayes and now the risk of another appliance going away in Ealing.  Can you tell me what the impact has been across my constituency, West London, of losing the appliance from Hayes and what the impact will be of losing one in Ealing?

Answer

Answer for LFEPA Cuts and the Safety of Londoners (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for LFEPA Cuts and the Safety of Londoners (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
Ron Dobson (Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, London Fire Brigade)

Ron Dobson CBE QFSM (Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, LFB):  The impact in Hayes has been that the attendance times, certainly at ward level in the local area, have increased, as we said at the time we made the proposals.  The removal of the fire engine from Ealing will mean that the service that has been provided over the last two years – because, of course, it has been missing for two years already - will continue at that level in the future, which does mean increased attendance times at a ward level.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Does that worry you?

Ron Dobson CBE QFSM (Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, LFB):  Any increase in attendance time worries me.  However, as I said before, we are continuing to provide a really good service both at a borough and a London-wide level, which is where we get measured.  The proactive work we are doing around community safety and prevention is meaning that Londoners are at less risk anyway.  Whilst any increase in attendance times is something that I do not want to achieve, sometimes unfortunately we are in a position whereby that is a risk we have to accept given that we are still achieving our attendance targets largely across London and at a borough level, which is where we are measured.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  It may be a risk that you are prepared to accept, but the risk for people who are in a fire is a risk that is unacceptable to them.  Every two minutes of time it takes to attend quadruples the intensity of the fire.  That is an unfair risk for people who are in a fire.

Ron Dobson CBE QFSM (Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, LFB):  The other thing we have not discussed is that unfortunately we do know as well that at many fire deaths that we attend, there has been a delay in calling the LFB and the person has suffered the injury they are going to receive before we even leave the fire station.  Whilst of course it is always good to get to a fire as quickly as possible, unfortunately we are not able to do it every time.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM:  Look, this is extremely worrying for me and it is worrying for people who are in a fire, particularly in my constituency.  In Hayes, in Hillingdon, there are 16 wards that have seen increases in the first appliance attendance time and four wards had increases of one minute in Hillingdon last year.  As I have already said, a delay of two minutes quadruples the intensity of the fire.  In Ealing, 14 wards have seen increases in attendance times and eight wards were going over the six-minute target time for the first appliance.

These are bad statistics and we cannot tolerate or sustain any further cuts.  I would really urge you to reconsider your position and to put yourself in the position of people who are in a fire waiting for the LFB to turn up.  Thank you.