London Brigade on Target Despite Station Closures

Fire deaths are declining and the average arrival times for first and second engines are matching its predictions – within six minutes and within eight minutes.

The Fifth London Fire Safety Plan, which caused the London Fire Brigade to close 10 fire stations in January 2014 in a bid to achieve about $51 million in efficiency savings, has not crippled its response performance. Brigade officials announced July 24 that it hit most of its targets for the year ending March 2014, including average fire engine arrival times, reducing fire deaths, and reducing fire-related injuries.

The year-end report is the first one assessing the plan's impact. It shows the average arrival response times for first and second fire engines were as predicted: within six minutes for a first fire engine and eight minutes for a second. The average 51 fire deaths per year is below the target of 54; during the past decade, fire deaths in London have fallen 20 percent. Home fires declined from 104,776 in 2012-13 to 102,090 in 2013-14, according to the report.

"This report is a good indicator that we are meeting targets after making difficult changes to the way we deliver our services. Maintaining the very best service for London remains my priority at all times, and due to the hard work of staff at stations and right across the brigade, we are working together to achieve these results," London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said. "We must not be complacent and will continue to monitor and improve our work to prevent, protect, and respond."

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