Venue: Main Conference Room, Service Headquarters, Fulwood
Contact: Diane Brooks, Principal Member Services Officer
The Chairman welcomed County Councillor Aidy Riggott to the meeting who had replaced County Councillor Mark Perks.
Apologies For Absence
Apologies were received from County Councillor Lorraine Beavers.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer advised that Group Manager Matt Hamer had been invited to present to Members an overview of unwanted fire signal call management as agreed under the overall activity section of the previous minutes (resolution 9/19 refers).
GM Hamer advised that larger premises with more detectors had greater chances of an unwanted fire signal call. Lancashire had a procedure where if 2 calls were received within the month or 3 calls in 6 months this was monitored and a Business Safety Advisor would visit the premises to provide guidance as appropriate. (The alarm system might not have been maintained or may be faulty.) Most businesses were accommodating given plant could shut down during an alarm and evacuation. It was noted that LFRS could issue a minor notice and if a business was not keen on working with the Service it could enforce however, the majority of businesses in Lancashire were keen to engage and put things in place to prevent any further unwanted fire calls.
GM Hamer advised of a premises in Penwortham where there had been up to 30 calls within a 12 month period which was a result of having the wrong detectors in the wrong locations. LFRS had provided advice and an unwanted fire call had not now been received for the last 10 months. Another example was of a University who used a call receiving centre whereby a detector informed the call centre who would then ring 999; the call would go through call challenge at North West Fire Control to try and identify if there was a fire and if there were people at risk but because the call centre was remote from the building they could not answer the questions and the Service would be deployed to the incident. On advice of the Service the University had changed its policies and now, should a detector activate their security would investigate; this had seen the numbers of calls drop dramatically. Some of the larger, older buildings may need investment in new equipment and / or to improve their procedures. During the monitoring visits to premises the Service stressed the impact of unwanted fire calls for the business, for the Service and also on members of the public.
In response to Member questions, GM Hamer confirmed that there were not any specific geographical areas or business sectors that were the worst offenders. Business Safety Advisors met regularly to discuss safety education campaigns which included the National Fire Chiefs Council Business Safety Week where the Service supported business to be aware of the help available to ensure they complied with the law and keep people as safe as possible (particularly, preventing arson, reducing false alarms, preventing common causes of business fires and
protecting sleeping accommodation).
County Councillor Hennessy asked whether (as reported under the same resolution) it had been possible for a risk assessment to be undertaken for staff to be inoculated against the flu virus. It was agreed that the Deputy Chief Fire ... view the full minutes text for item 13/19
Disclosure of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
Members are asked to consider any pecuniary/non-pecuniary interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the agenda.
The Deputy Chief Fire Officer introduced Ged Basson, Operations Manager from North West Fire Control who presented Members with a 6?monthly update on issues relating to call handling.
Mr Basson advised that the target from time of call to mobilise for Lancashire was 90 seconds; this was not being achieved but there had been gradual improvement towards that with a current time of 106 seconds which included call challenge.
During the last quarter the percentage of incidents had increased for Lancashire and a table was presented that showed the calls by hour of the day across quarters 1 and 2. In response to a question raised by Councillor Dave Smith, Mr Basson confirmed that the staffing structure was scaled down and increased in line with the expected peak in calls.
Details of the number of calls challenged that related specifically to: automatic fire alarms, gaining entry on behalf of the Police and bonfires was presented. Generally there was just over a quarter of these incidents where the Service was not mobilised; this helped to maintain fire cover and reduce cost and risk of accidents. There had been no change in the call challenge procedure, but this figure was worth monitoring to ensure the challenge carried out on behalf of LFRS was providing the right results or whether there were other external factors involved. The number of 999 calls over the bonfire period showed a downward trend due to LFRS initiatives such as Bright Sparx.
Mr Basson also provided an update on the following:
· Bonfire Period - All fire and rescue control services had been informed nationally that they had managed to answer calls on bonfire night without deferred delay (no more than 2 minutes);
· Ordnance Survey Mapping – the mobilisation system would be updated on 12 December to include a new road route network;
· Grenfell Tower Inquiry Report – NWFC was working with fire and rescue services to see how to implement the recommendations; The Deputy Chief Fire Officer reassured Members that with any national learning LFRS would examine the report to understand what was needed to strengthen the response to high-rise buildings. What had been put in place on the back of Grenfell was to transmit a message from the incident ground of any need to move away from the stay put policy and that message was transmitted from the recent incident at student accommodation in Bolton really early;
· Strategy Planning Day – a day had been arranged for March 2020 to look at the purpose of NWFC. The Fire and Rescue Services in NWFC and the Board of Directors would look at strategic plans and develop a new business case;
· Pre-Alerting – NWFC and LFRS worked together on this early warning system;
· Senior Operations Manager – it was noted that Tessa Tracey was retiring in the New Year. The Committee wished her well for the future and asked Mr Basson to pass on their best wishes for a happy retirement.
Councillor M Khan advised that, as ... view the full minutes text for item 15/19
Date of Next Meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the Committee has been agreed for 10:00 hours on 18 March 2020 in the Main Conference Room, at Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Fulwood.
Further meetings are: scheduled for 24 June 2020 and 16 September 2020
proposed for 16 December 2020
The next meeting of the Committee would be held on Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 1000 hours in the Main Conference Room at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Fulwood.
Further meeting dates were noted for 24 June 2020 and 16 September 2020 and agreed for 16 December 2020.
Exclusion of Press and Public
The Authority is asked to consider whether, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, they consider that the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, indicated under the heading to the item.
RESOLVED: - That the press and members of the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be a likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the appropriate paragraph of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, indicated under the heading to the item.
It was noted that arrangements were in place within the old Best Value (BV) Family Group 4 to compile an annual comparative data in respect of the two (now withdrawn) National Fire Indicators that related specifically to fire authorities.
Data was provided for the six components which in turn made up the two explicit fire and rescue indicators in respect of: the position of each Fire and Rescue Service within the Family Group, 2017/18 – 2018/19 comparative progress/decline; percentage change in terms of actual numbers; the position of each F&RS within the comparative group for the respective indicator and a summary overview in graphical form.
Members examined each indicator in turn and noted Lancashire’s position.
National Indicator 33 – Number of deliberate (i) primary and (ii) secondary fires per 10,000 population.
NI 33 – Arson Incidents (deliberate fires) per 10,000 population
NI 33i Deliberate primary fires per 10,000 population
NI 33ii Deliberate secondary fires per 10,000 population
National Indicator 49 – Number of primary fires and related fatalities and non?fatal casualties per 100,000 population.
NI 49i Number of primary fires per 100,000 population
NI49ii Number of fatalities in primary fires per 100,000 population
NI49iii Number of non-fatal casualties in primary fires per 100,000 population
RESOLVED:- That the Committee noted the content of the report and the comparative outcomes.