Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

September 05, 2011 07:55 ET

East Sussex FBU Request 'Call Challenge Policy' to be Reviewed

EAST SUSSEX, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2011) - East Sussex Fire and Rescue management have stated that following a recent incident, whereby a member of the public suffered injuries as a result of a fire, that they 'do not intend as a result of this incident to make any changes to the Service call challenge procedures'.

The FBU are shocked that a review is not to be carried out following this serious incident.

The original call appears to have been challenged in line with Service Policy and the National Chief Fire Officers Association Protocol. But in this instance it is clear that the policy failed the individual who suffered injuries.

As a result of the call being challenged no attendance was made by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. Eight minutes later a further call was received by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and an attendance was made. The attending crews were faced with a fire and an individual who had received burns as a result of the fire.

East Sussex introduced the 'Call Challenge System' as part of their procedure for dealing with unwanted calls whereby if a responsible person at the premises/property states they can find no sign of fire then an attendance will not be sent.

The FBU have serious concerns regarding who is deemed a responsible person and how East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service ascertain that they are indeed speaking to a responsible person.

At present it would appear to the FBU that any person claiming to be responsible will be taken on their word. This raises serious questions as far as the FBU are concerned into just how robust the policy is when determining who is a responsible person.

The FBU are calling for an immediate review into the 'Call Challenge Policy' as a result of this serious incident.

The FBU are of the opinion that this policy is putting the lives of the public at risk and is also increasing the risk to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services' own employees (firefighters) as they could be faced with a far more severe fire than if they had attended initially.

The FBU support the Services stance of trying to drive down unwanted fire alarm activations as this takes valuable time away from responding to incidents, training and community fire safety activities, but the FBU cannot support any policy that has been shown to put the lives of the public at risk and firefighters safety at risk.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Matt Dale

    Simon Herbert