Dismore reveals shocking Fire and Rescue Unit attendance figures for Camden

At today’s London Fire Authority meeting Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member  for Barnet  and Camden and Fire Authority member revealed  the deteriorating attendance times for Fire and Rescue Units (FRUs) in Camden, as a result of the cuts imposed on the Fire Brigade by the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson.  Mr Johnson  cut 2 of the specialist  FRU tenders from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) fleet. FRUs attend incidents such as serious road accidents, flooding and chemical spills as well as major fires.

Official figures (attached) obtained by Mr Dismore show that FRU attendance times on average for incidents in the Borough of Camden increased from 8.37 minutes in 2011/12 to 11.11 minutes in 2015/16, with some wards particularly badly affected: for example Belsize has seen an increase of over 10 minutes, Highgate 8 minutes, and both  Holborn and Covent Garden and Camden Town with Primrose Hill wards, 7 minutes.

Mr Dismore said:

‘The impact on fire engine attendance times in Camden as a result of the Conservatives’ cuts is as bad as was expected, with for example Belsize suffering  an increase of 2 minutes and Hampstead Town, Swiss Cottage, Regent’s Park and Holborn and Covent Garden wards seeing increases of  1 minute.

‘However, the new figures for FRUs are even worse and deeply troubling, especially as the demands on the London Fire Brigade are changing over time with a greater need for the specialist roles met by the FRU crews. For those injured and trapped  in a road accident and waiting to be extricated  from a crashed vehicle, these longer times can make a difference between life and death.

‘With our new Labour Mayor, The LFB is now undergoing a comprehensive review of its service to  develop the new London Safety Plan ( LSP6) due to take effect from April 2017.

‘I am arguing, as part of that process, that we must do much better with our attendance times including  for FRUs, especially with threats generally to emergency service attendance times in Camden due to the   impact on traffic flows as the result  of Cycle Superhighway 11 and HS2’s construction traffic and road closures.

‘There will be public consultation on their draft plan towards the end of the year, and I would urge all local residents to have their say when it comes out.’