Defence Fire and Rescue Service
The Defence Fire and Rescue Service is the primary firefighting and rescue service protecting British defence estates and property. Along with the Royal Air Force Rescue and Firefighting Service, it forms the Ministry of Defence Fire Services; the Ministry of Defence Fire Service was formed on 1 April 1991 by the amalgamation of the Navy Department Fire Prevention Service, Army Department Fire Service, Air Force Department Fire Service and Procurement Executive Fire Service. It was renamed the Defence Fire Service, it was a civilian organisation which protected domestic sites at RAF, Army and Navy installations. It became part of a named umbrella body, the Ministry of Defence Fire Services, which included the RAF Firefighting and Rescue Service, a military organisation which protected RAF airfields and runways; the Defence Fire Service was renamed the Defence Fire and Rescue Service in 2004 following the introduction of the Fire and Rescue Services Act. The Act, among other things, acknowledges that fire brigades in the UK do more than just fight fire.
Most UK brigades changed their names from fire services to fire and rescue services during this period. The name change only applies to the civilian fire service, the Royal Air Force Fire Service still remains a separate organisation. Continually run down due to a mixture of a ban on recruitment by the civil service and lack of funding under army HQ, the lack of investment in staff and vehicles led to calls for privatisation. In 2014 the Defence Fire Risk Management Project began to look at outsourcing to a private contractor, it was announced in November 2015. The contract was won by Capita in June 2018 and is expected to be awarded in July 2018. Both civilian and RAF fire crews are trained in the same way; the training is in line with their local authority fire service counterparts. Traditionally RAF crews were specialists skilled at dealing with live aircraft munitions and airfield crash rescue operations, but they provided fire prevention and domestic firefighting response on RAF bases and assisted local civilian brigades when called upon.
There was often a crossover of roles with civilian Defence Fire Service crews protecting some air bases, RAF crews protecting purely domestic units. In the RAF, airmen and women receive their basic military training before going on to train in various "trades" or "areas of expertise" such as mechanics, electricians, etc. Firefighting is a "trade" therefore which some airmen/women choose to be trained in; the main training facility for all MOD firefighters is the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre at the former RAF Manston in Kent. The Air Ministry Fire Training School, in 2007 DFTDC became part of the newly created Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation at Andover, under the command of HQ Land Forces; as a general rule, the Defence Fire and Rescue Service only operates within the confines of the site it protects. However, as it is not a fire service recognised by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 it has needed legislation under the Armed Forces Act to enable jurisdiction and powers of entry just like any other local authority fire service at incidents involving fire or risk to life.
As such there are local agreements for MoD fire services to cover a certain area around the site they protect and can be called for assistance by their local authority fire service colleagues as and when required. The new MoD fire service is not a fire authority in its own right, but is a statutory authority for the purpose of enforcing fire safety standards at all defence sites. Defence Fire Training and Development Centre Roger Mardon fire service history
Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon
Angela Evans Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, is a British Labour Co-operative politician, Member of Parliament for Basildon from 1997 until losing her seat to the Conservatives at the 2010 General Election. Smith was a Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, incorporating the offices of Minister for the Third Sector and Minister for Social Exclusion, she was created a Life Peer in 2010 and became Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords in May 2015. Smith attended Pitsea Junior School and Chalvedon Comprehensive in Basildon, before reading Public Administration at Leicester Polytechnic, where she graduated as BA. In 1978, she married Nigel Smith, who has written a number of history books for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. From 1982 to 1983, Smith was a trainee accountant with the London Borough of Newham, she worked for the League Against Cruel Sports from 1983 to 1995, becoming the head of Political and Public Relations. She was a political researcher from 1995 to 1997. Smith was a member of Essex County Council from 1989 and a member of the Fire Authority for the County of Essex.
Having contested Southend West in the 1987 General Election, Smith was selected to stand for election for Labour a decade through an all-women shortlist. She was elected for Basildon at the 1997 general election, replacing the Conservative MP David Amess, who had moved to contest the nearby safer seat of Southend West when Basildon's boundaries redrawn, as well as the fact his small majority was vulnerable to being overturned by Labour, she was re-elected comfortably in 2001 and 2005, but lost the then-newly created South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency, which predominantly covered much of the area she represented in Parliament, to the Conservative Stephen Metcalfe in 2010. In December 1997 Smith introduced the Private Member's Bill to minimise waste generation, was successful in negotiating its passage through Parliament to become the Waste Minimisation Act 1998. Smith was appointed a Government Whip in 2001, before being promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in October 2002.
In 2006 she was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government, with responsibility for Fire Services. On 28 June 2007, Smith was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, entitling her to attend Cabinet, she gave up this role at the reshuffle of June 2009, to enter Government in the Cabinet Office at the rank of Minister of State, when she was sworn of the Privy Council. Smith was created a Life Peer as Baroness Smith of Basildon, of Basildon in the County of Essex, on 7 July 2010, following the 2010 Dissolution Honours List, she was introduced into the House of Lords the next day. In the Lords, Smith was Labour Spokeswoman for Energy and Climate Change from 2010 to 2013, Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2012 and the Home Office from 2012 to 2015, she served as Opposition Deputy Whip in the House of Lords from 2012 to 2015. On 27 May 2015, Smith was elected unopposed as Labour's Leader in the Lords, so joined Harriet Harman's Shadow Cabinet.
In June 2016, Smith and Lords chief whip Lord Bassam stated they would boycott shadow cabinet meetings while Jeremy Corbyn remained leader of the Labour Party, but returned to attending shadow cabinet four months later. In September 2017, she was named at Number 71 in'The 100 Most Influential People on the Left' by commentator Iain Dale. In June 2009 Smith had to repay over £1,000 for wrongly claimed Council Tax expenses and service charges for her second property in Elephant and Castle. A review by Sir Thomas Legg uncovered further monies over-claimed by Baroness Smith making a total of £1,429 which she returned. 1959–1978: Miss Angela Evans 1978–1997: Ms Angela Smith 1997–2009: Ms Angela Smith 2009–2010: The Rt Hon. Angela Smith 2010: The Rt Hon. Angela Smith 2010–: The Rt Hon; the Baroness Smith of Basildon An active supporter of animal welfare, Smith is a Patron of the Captive Animals Protection Society, a charity campaigning for an end to the use of animals in circuses and the exotic pet trade.
Angela Smith: Electoral history and profile The Guardian Angela Smith MP TheyWorkForYou.com Voting Record – Angela Smith MP The Public Whip
Women in firefighting
Firefighting has been a predominantly male profession throughout the world. However, since the 1970s, women have made inroads in both professional and volunteer fire departments in multiple countries. In modern times, women have served in a variety of fire service roles including as fire chiefs. Nonetheless, they comprise less than 20% of firefighters in the countries where they are best represented. Many ancient civilizations had a form of organized firefighting. One of the earliest recorded fire services was in Ancient Rome; the Aboriginal Australians had been managing and responding to wildfires for thousands of years, with women being involved. Firefighting became more organized from the 18th century onwards, led with the rise of insurance companies and with the rise of government fire services in the 19th century. In 1818, Molly Williams was recorded as being the first female firefighter in the United States; as a slave in New York City, she joined a volunteer engine company. Young women in boarding houses in the United Kingdom were taught fire drills, including high ladder rescues.
During World War II, women served in the wartime fire services of the United Kingdom and New Zealand, though in administrative and support roles. As a result of the second-wave feminism movement and equal employment opportunity legislation, official obstacles to women were removed from the 1970s onwards; the first female firefighter in the United Kingdom was recruited in 1976, while the first in New Zealand joined in 1981. Many fire departments required recruits to pass tough fitness tests, which became an unofficial barrier to women joining; this led to court cases in a number of countries. In 1982, Brenda Berkman won a lawsuit against the New York City Fire Department over its restrictive fitness test, she and 40 others joined as its first female firefighters. A similar lawsuit led to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 1999 that fire departments could not use restrictive fitness tests unless they could justify the need for them; the percentage of women recruited by fire departments has been low.
In the UK, women make up 5% of firefighters, less than the percentage for police officers and military personnel. A report by the London Fire Brigade found that discouraging factors included the portrayal of firefighting in the media, a lack of information available to young girls and unrealistic ideas about the role. Other issues include shift patterns. First Nations peoples – women and men of different language, tribal or nation groups- used and responded to fires across Australia for 60,000 years before invasion and the involvement of white women in firefighting; the first all-female non-Indigenous crew was recruited in 1901 in NSW Australia. Known as'The Amazons' this volunteer crew complimented the all-male paid firefighting crew, was the first example in Australia of male and female crews doing routine fire drills together using the same equipment. Station Officer Minnie Webb was the first female Captain in Australia; the creation of the Amazon Ladies Fire Brigade and their operational and dress uniforms was inspired by Captain Webb of the paid firefighting brigade in Armidale.
Captain J. T. A. Webb became captain in 1898, he held this position until his death on 17 May 1924. It was he who formed the first women's fire brigade in the early 1900s and instructed the girl's brigade at the New England Girls School and the fire squad at The Armidale School, October 1923.. Webb immigrated from England, he brought with him a vision of trained female fire responders that were common on all-female boarding houses in Britain, it was formed after the fire in'Cunningham House' Armidale NSW Australia The Amazons was a'one-off' local initiative and the Webb children were recruited into both the male and female brigades. The model was not adopted elsewhere in Australia. However, the Dubbo Dispatch and Independent Bulletin of 1905 reported that the Dubbo Bridages had attended in Dubbo with'upwards of 70 Brigades' from across NSW, an'exhibition of hose and ladder...and life-saving' had been performed by the Amazon Ladies Brigade Unlike Britain, Australian jurisdictions did not establish voluntary female brigades during WWI, despite incredible interest in the Amazons during 1901–1905, no other jurisdictions took up the idea.
Captain Minnie Webb went on to become a nurse serving in WWI. As was the case in Britain, women's fire auxiliaries were established in World War II in most jurisdictions in Australia because many male career firefighters enlisted. Tasmania was ordering uniforms for the Women's Fire Auxiliary in January 1940. On 20th August 1941 The Tasmania Women's Fire Auxiliary were part of a parade for UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Queensland established a Women's Fire Auxiliary in October 1941, their duties were to include'driving and trailing vehicles to fires, repairing hoses, operating chemical extinguishers, looking after canteens, extinguishing incendiary bombs'. The Forestry Department of Western Australia recruited an all-female fire crew at a place called Sawyers Valley. Only employed on weekends they soon proved their worth and became full-time. In addition to fire suppression they carried out fuel reduction burning, firebreak maintenance, fire spotting and upgrading bush phone lines. In 1942 the WA Fire Auxiliary, made of up men and women, gave a demonstration of their skills.
In the same year the Board of Fire Commissione
Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms
The Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms are a group of meeting rooms in the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall used for different committees which co-ordinate the actions of bodies within the Government of the United Kingdom in response to instances of national or regional crisis, or during events abroad with major implications for the UK. The composition of a Ministerial-level meeting in COBR depends on the nature of the incident but it is chaired by the Prime Minister or another senior minister, with other key ministers as appropriate, city mayors and representatives of relevant external organisations such as the National Police Chiefs' Council and the Local Government Association; the first COBR meeting took place in the 1970s to oversee the government's response to the 1972 miners' strike. Other events that have led to meetings being convened include the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, fuel protests, the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, the 11 September 2001 attacks, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the refugee crisis in Calais, the 2015 Paris attacks, the 2017 Manchester Arena explosion.
In 2009, former senior police officer Andy Hayman, who sat on the committee after the 7 July 2005 London bombings and at other intervals from 2005 to 2007, was critical of its workings in his book The Terrorist Hunters. A single photo of one of the rooms in COBR was released in 2010 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. National Security Secretariat Civil Contingencies Secretariat White House Situation Room – the United States' equivalent
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
London Fire Brigade
The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for London. It was formed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act of 1865, under the leadership of superintendent Eyre Massey Shaw; the LFB is the busiest of all the fire services in the United Kingdom. It is the second largest in size, after the national Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, has the largest number of wholetime firefighters, it has 5,992 staff, including 5,096 operational firefighters and officers based at 102 fire stations. The LFB is led by the Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, with the post being held by Dany Cotton since January 2017; the brigade and Commissioner are overseen by the Greater London Authority, which in April 2018 took over these responsibilities from the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In the 2015-16 financial year the LFB received 171,488 emergency calls; these consisted of: 48,696 false alarms of fire and 30,066 other calls for service. As well as firefighting, the LFB responds to road traffic collisions, trapped-in-lift releases, other incidents such as those involving hazardous materials or major transport accidents.
It conducts emergency planning and performs fire safety inspections and education. It does not provide an ambulance service as this function is performed by the London Ambulance Service as an independent NHS trust, although all LFB firefighters are trained in first aid and all of its fire engines carry first aid equipment. Since 2016, the LFB has provided first aid for some life-threatening medical emergencies. Following a multitude of ad-hoc firefighting arrangements and the Great Fire of London, various insurance companies established firefighting units to tackle fires that occurred in buildings that their respective companies insured; as demands grew on the primitive firefighting units they began to coordinate and co-operate with each other until, on 1 January 1833, the London Fire Engine Establishment was formed under the leadership of James Braidwood, who had founded the first professional, municipal fire brigade in Edinburgh. He introduced a uniform that, for the first time, included personal protection from the hazards of firefighting.
With 80 firefighters and 13 fire stations, the unit was still a private enterprise, funded by the insurance companies and as such was responsible for saving material goods from fire. Several large fires, most notably at the Palace of Westminster in 1834 and the 1861 Tooley Street fire, spurred the insurance companies to lobby the British government to provide the brigade at public expense and management. After due consideration, in 1865 the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act was passed, creating the Metropolitan Fire Brigade under the leadership of Eyre Massey Shaw, a former head of police and fire services in Belfast. In 1904 it was renamed as the London Fire Brigade; the LFB moved into a new headquarters built by Higgs and Hill on the Albert Embankment in Lambeth in 1937, where it remained until 2007. During the Second World War the country's brigades were amalgamated into a single National Fire Service; the separate London Fire Brigade for the County of London was re-established in 1948. With the formation of Greater London in 1965, this absorbed most of the Middlesex Fire Brigade, the borough brigades for West Ham, East Ham and Croydon and parts of the Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent brigades.
In 1986 the Greater London Council was disbanded and a new statutory authority, the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority, was formed to take responsibility for the LFB. The LFCDA was replaced in 2000 by the London Emergency Planning Authority. At the same time, the Greater London Authority was established to administer the LFEPA and coordinate emergency planning for London. Consisting of the Mayor of London and other elected members, the GLA takes responsibility for the Metropolitan Police Service, Transport for London and other functions. In 2007 the LFB moved to a site in Union Street, Southwark. In the same year, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that LFB Commissioner Ken Knight had been appointed as the first Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser to the government. Knight was succeeded as Commissioner at that time by Ron Dobson, who served for ten years. Dany Cotton took over in 2017. Dany Cotton is the current commissioner, having taken up the role in January 2017, she holds the Queen's Fire Service Medal.
Ron Dobson was the prior commissioner and served in the LFB from 1979. 1833 to 1861: James Braidwood 1861 to 1891: Capt. Eyre Massey Shaw 1891 to 1896: James Sexton Simmonds 1896 to 1903: Capt. Lionel de Latour Wells 1903 to 1909: RAdm. James de Courcy Hamilton 1909 to 1918: Lt. Cdr. Sir Sampson Sladen 1918 to 1933: Arthur Reginald Dyer, KPM 1933 to 1938: Maj. Cyril Morris, MC 1938 to 1941: Cdr. Sir Aylmer Firebrace, CBE 1939 to 1941: Maj. Frank Jackson, CBE 1941 to 1948: all fire brigades nationalised 1948 to 1962: Sir Frederick Delve, CBE 1962 to 1970: Leslie Leete, CBE 1970 to 1976: Joseph Milner 1976 to 1980: Peter Darby 1980 to 1987: Ronald Bullers 1987 to 1991: Gerald Clarkson 1991 to 2003: Brian Robinson, CBE 2003 to 2007: Sir Ken Knight, CBE 2007 to 2016: Ron Dobson, CBE 2017 to present: Dany Cotton Historically, the London Fire Brigade was organised into two divisions: Northern and Southern, divided in most places by the River Thames
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
The Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is the county-wide, statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the Shire county of Lancashire and includes the unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen. Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service is made up of 6 Area Commands as follows: Northern, Eastern, Western and Pennine. Within these areas there are 18 wholetime, 17 retained and 4 day crewed stations providing Lancashire with 24hr fire cover. Water Rescue Ladder: P1/P2 Light 4x4 Vehicle: M1 Aerial Ladder Platform: A2 Multi Purpose Vehicle: M1 Multi Purpose Vehicle + Inshore Rescue Boat: T2 Flatbed Vehicle + Softrack Vehicle: T1 Command Support Unit: C1 Prime Mover + Environmental Protection Unit: T9 Prime Mover + Breathing Apparatus Support Unit: T2 Prime Mover + Bulk Foam Unit: T1/T2 Prime Mover + Major Incident Support Unit: T1 Prime Mover + High Volume Pumping: T8 Prime Mover + High Volume Hose Layer: Water Tower CBRN Response: Incident Response Unit: H9 Urban Search and Rescue: Line Rescue Unit: R1/R2 Search & Rescue Dog Unit: R9 Prime Movers: T6/T7/T8USAR Pods: Module 1 - Technical Search Equipment Module 2 - Heavy Transport, Confined Space & Hot Cutting Module 3 - Breaching & Breaking Equipment Module 4 - Multi Purpose Vehicle Module 5 - Shoring Operations Fire service in the United Kingdom Lancashire Constabulary GRIP List of British firefighters killed in the line of duty Official Website