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Fire chief urges Londoners to speak out over safety

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

FIRE chiefs are asking Londoners how they see their rescue services over the next three years. A draft London Safety Plan setting out how the Fire Brigade should modernise and improve goes online today for a 12-week public consultation

By Mike Brooke

FIRE chiefs are asking Londoners how they see their rescue services over the next three years.

A draft London Safety Plan setting out how the Fire Brigade should modernise and improve goes online today for a 12-week public consultation on how it should build on its reputation “as one of the world’s leading rescue services.”

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Londoners expect the rescue service to be there when we are needed and that the money running it is well spent.”

Among ideas being chewed over are setting up four regional specialist rescue units across the four corners of Greater London and four specialist bulk extinguishing materials centres.

The rescue centre for East London, for example, would be set up at East Ham fire-station, stretching its specialist rescue operations from Whitechapel to Romford while all the area fire stations would still be retained for immediate local emergency cover. It would keep specialist equipment including pump ladders, pumps, fire rescue units and urban search and rescue appliances operated by specially-trained crews.

Other centres would be at Edmonton in north London, Heston to the west near Heathrow Airport and Croydon in the south.

The bulk extinguishing materials’ centre for East London would be at Barking, with its pump ladders, bulk foam units and hose-laying lorries, with high-volume pumps and bulk water carriers planned later.

The Strategy Plan calls for building owners and occupiers and those managing commercial premises to comply with safety laws by influencing architects and planners to “design out” fire and build in better warning systems.

It also stresses the Fire Brigade’s role in major projects like the 2012 Olympics planned in East London.

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