New fire prevention initiative in the City of London
Everywhere I walk in The City, it is difficult not to be impressed by the number of security operatives vigilantly patrolling, contributing to the safety of The City as a whole.
Having served in the LFB for nearly 30 years I can recall instances where these professionals have been key in assisting the emergency services, providing critical information when it was needed to protect people and infrastructure.
In early 2020, just before Lockdown 1.0, the CSC in partnership with the LFB organised a large-scale exercise where all The City’s blue light responders with the City of London Corporation worked in partnership to resolve complex operational challenges. This identified the opportunity for improvement. As the blue light responders arrived, there was information available to help our teams, but it could be improved to meet our needs. When responding our people are hungry for quality information, and having the right information at the right time from the right person can make all the difference. Even at false alarm incidents, getting reliable information means the impact of disruptive events can be kept to a minimum.
At more significant incidents the information we receive from those on-scene can ensure the best possible outcome.
It seemed such an obvious idea there was an initial assumption that such a package of information must already exist at most locations, however this is not always the case. Having identified the opportunity to develop this package of information, the notion quickly evolved to include educating security professionals to prevent and mitigate disruptive non-emergency incidents by developing a training package.
Through providing training, in a non-technical way, on-line and available to anyone in the security profession, operatives could be up-skilled, personally developed and add greater value through recognising all-too-often occurring mistakes, acts or omissions that could create false alarms, or allow minor incidents to escalate.
This voluntary training will ensure operatives would be personally developed to identify common faults or situations and take action to reduce risk to the people and infrastructure they protect. It will include instructions on how to develop an information package to hand over to blue light responders in the event of an incident. The training will be tiered to develop all levels of service delivery, using appropriate language and content.
In collaboration with The Safer City Partnership in the City of London, the concept has been further developed and the project team has appointed a technical provider and Chartered Fire Engineer Dr Tony Cash BSc PhD CChem FRSC EurChem CEng FIFireE to achieve the following objectives:
- To make The City a safer place to work and live and better protect its infrastructure
- To educate security staff through a readily available on-line platform awarding CPD points
- Reduce disruption, for example, by preventing false alarms and support blue light responders in emergencies
- Support building and infrastructure managers during COVID-19 related impacts
Recognising the challenges that the security profession face and to minimise any on-cost to service charges, the project team agreed the following:
- The nominal charge, to set up and maintain the platform, has been kept minimal
- Any excess will go directly to charitable good causes, including supporting London Fire Cadets and City of London crime prevention.
- The charge has been kept deliberately low, with the intention to keep costs to a minimum and add real value
The whole project is expected to go live in early 2021 and I believe will contribute in making The City an even safer place to be. It is also hoped that, if successful, this initiative could be shared with other areas around the country.
Borough Commander City of London