Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service response to Grenfell Inquiry
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Keith Chance of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) responds to the Grenfell Tower Phase 1 report:
“Our thoughts are with the bereaved, survivors and victims of the tragedy, and also with our colleagues in the London Fire Brigade.
“We will learn from the lessons identified in the report, and follow the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) guidance on incident command of high-rise buildings. We will also continue with the fire prevention and protection work that we undertake in our communities in Worcester and Kidderminster who live in such accommodation.
“HWFRS has robust procedures in place for tackling fires in high-rise buildings and has well tested procedures for command and control at all incidents. Local crews hold up-to-date building plans and information on the buildings in their area. Familiarisation visits are carried out at these sites and firefighters undertake regular training exercises, including those in high-rise buildings, to prepare them and to test procedures and equipment for any emergency situation.
“Since the Grenfell Tower fire, HWFRS crews and Inspecting Fire Officers have visited all high-rise blocks to assess fire safety arrangements, check communal areas, escape routes and any firefighting equipment. We have also reissued safety advice and reassured residents and building owners.
“High-rise buildings are designed with fire safety in mind and include specialist fire doors, floors and walls that stop the spread of fire and smoke. Evacuation plans are determined by the property manager and should be clearly signed in communal areas. We advise high-rise residents to familiarise themselves with their building’s evacuation plan.
“We are also following closely the national outcomes regarding building cladding materials, and will continue to liaise with local authorities and landlords where appropriate.”
Roy Wilsher, Chair of the NFCC said: "There will be lessons to be learned from Grenfell which will be looked at and implemented across the building sector as well as the fire sector.”