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‘We are not finished’: London fire brigade completes all recommendations in first stage of Grenfell Inquiry

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has announced it has completed all the recommendations from the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

LFB commissioner Andy Roe said the brigade’s response to an emergency like that of the 2017 blaze, which killed 72 people, would be “fundamentally different” today.

The recommendations were made in October 2019. The last one – which involves new breathing apparatus sets – came into force today. 

Other recommendations included an investigation into how the LFB, the Met and the London Ambulance Service communicate, to store electronic buildings plans and make them available for responding to incidents.

Changes include new software that allows members of the public to provide control officers with a video feed from an incident (Picture: LFB)

New equipment introduced or improved since the 2019 recommendations include fire escape hoods, which protect people from smoke, and drones. The LFB has also replaced the entire fleet of high-reach vehicles and introduced new 64m turntable ladders. 

Despite the improvements, the Commissioner said a fire of the scale of the Grenfell Tower blaze could happen again in the capital. He called on building owners and managers to “do the right thing” and “get the cladding off” to ensure residents are safe.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, echoed these concerns, calling for a ban on combustible materials in external walls “no matter their height”. 

The new 64m turntable ladders are the tallest ladders in service across Europe (Picture: LFB)

Today’s announcement comes exactly a week after His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) removed the LFB out of special measures imposed in 2022, after a report found the service was “institutionally misogynist and racist”.

Commissioner Roe said: “Fundamental change in large, complex organisations takes time and while our transformation programme is safely on track, we are not finished. 

“These improvements are paving the way forward for further change as we await the next report from Phase 2 of the Inquiry. 

“We owe it to the bereaved families, the survivors, the residents of Grenfell Tower and Londoners to change and improve.”

Pictured top: The LFB Commissioner Andy Roe said the brigade’s response to a a fire like Grenfell would be “fundamentally different” today (Picture: LFB)

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