London Fire Brigade Set to Close 12 Stations

The biggest UK fire department also will cut 520 firefighter positions within three years.

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority launched a three-month public comment period March 4 on its Draft Fifth London Safety Plan, which outlines significant cuts during the next three years. The plan includes cutting 12 stations, 18 fire engines, and 520 firefighter positions during the period to save £28.8 million, yet the agency current response time targets will not change. "However, some boroughs will see reduced actual attendance times," according to its announcement.

Members of the public can comment by May 28 by visiting http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/lsp5.asp.

"“Compared to ten years ago, the Brigade attends half as many fires, a third fewer house fires, and almost a third fewer incidents overall. But there is always more to be done," said Ron Dobson, commissioner of the London Fire Brigade. "In the future, the resources available to the Brigade will reduce and the number of people who can work for the Brigade and provide our services will also reduce. We have passed the point where we can make the necessary level of savings without any impact on our fire stations. In this draft plan, I set out how I propose to make those savings, while continuing to provide an excellent emergency response service and also protecting the delivery of community safety and fire safety services. I remain committed to my long-term vision for London Fire Brigade to remain a world-class fire and rescue service for London, Londoners, and visitors. This draft plan sets out in more detail how I plan to continue to achieve that over the next three years."

"The Draft Fifth London Safety Plan explains how, over the coming years, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority will deliver the Mayor's objective of making the capital a safer city. The long-term trend in London is for an ever-decreasing number of fires, fire deaths, and injuries from fire. This must continue,” said James Cleverly, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. "The plan outlines a range of proposals that together will ensure London Fire Brigade provides the public with the best fire and rescue service in the country, while also playing its part in helping balance the nation's finances. Under these proposals, more London boroughs will fall within the six-minute average attendance time target for the first fire engine to arrive at an emergency and the Brigade's ability to deal with major incidents will be maintained. The commissioner's plan is based on the best possible information and his decades of experience as a firefighter spent keeping Londoners safe. I am pleased to be able to give it my full support."

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