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LFB Continue to Hold Training Courses?


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What the hell is going on in the LFB?

There appears to be a management  approach that believes BA & Command training are 'critical functions' thereby must continue at a time when HM Govt want social distancing and the cessation of unnecessary travel . On top of that, mixing staff together for non operational reasons will place a huge risk of contamination and loss of critical key workers. Come on LFB, lets have some leadership!

A closed LFB Facebook Group has entries such as:

So one of my crew goes to a BA course at park royal today. A course which means up to 10 FFs from across the capital meet in a room with 2 instructors. Now most FF dont live in london, so these may be travelling from say Essex, Kent, Surry or even further. 
Now say one of these FFs has the virus but no symptoms? The rest of these FFs and instructors now take this virus back to their watches, and families all around the country.
This sort of thing is exactly what the government has TOLD us not to do!!!
Emergency calls are what we are needed for, but with this sort of interaction going on, we will have more in isolation than on duty.
Yes we are with out watches but that can't be helped, spreading the virus at courses can.


They have just sent my son on a course at Morton for f sake.......................................  my mates there as well, Command and Control, apparently its risk critical

2 of us on the same watch have got a 2 day BA starting tomorrow at Park Royal. He’s coming up from deepest Cornwall from where he lives to spread it round from down there. Haven’t had any cancelation or anything so will have to see in the morning when we turn up!! Great!!

Frankly, I am amazed at an organisation like the LFB with its experience and understanding of risk would continue to insist on BA training now

What about your Brigade? Surely all training must cease ASAP???

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But BA Training etc.... is operational? I know what you mean messy but we are a frontline emergency service and must be expected to take more risks than the public don’t you think?  We’ve stopped exercises etc... but Training linked to competence continues as far as I’m aware. 

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Humberside have cancelled all but BA, Water Rescue and Incident Command training, drill nights still on going except WDS/RDS cannot mix (yet fine for a fire call!).

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@Noddy. I agree training is important, but these are exceptional times which challenge the definition of unprecedented. Some level of lateral thinking is required here. Contingency planning always means cutting back and doing less, and this is certainly the case here. Managers hiding behind red tape and needed boxes ticked have no place in this international emergency.

Keeping critical bums on seats and serving the public by responding to 999 calls  must surely be the number 1 priority. Keeping staff safe by maintaining competencies can be carried out in alternative ways. Topping up skills should be maintained by training with your watch - i.e. those who you have to mix with -  but wilfully and needlessly mixing personnel in courses is stupidity.

I work in a critical area of Govt. We have sent as many staff home as possible to avoid whole offices being stripped of personnel. Very few can work from home as the IT infrastructure will not allow it. But they must stay available and by the phone to be used as a pool of spare staff if needed 

There are extraordinary & unbelievable moves happening to keep UK PLC running at all levels. Even in the most outrageous training exercises - including pandemic exercises - no scenarios as huge and rapidly spreading have been simulated (in my time in the role). Simple measures most definitely include cutting down on travel, maintenance and training are in place. Even in my world, I have agreed to forgo legislative and regulatory requirements in order to protect staff from infection and keep the business running. For example, fire risk assessments will go un reviewed and maintenance of fire safety infrastructure is now happening less than legally required and a new fire detection system has been placed on the run without proper commissioning to reduce visitor risks. All fire drills are cancelled and lots of project work postponed - some worth many £millions.

God knows what the Courts would make of these moves if we lost anyone in a fire, but its all risk assessed and mitigating control measures are in place - but these vital services MUST continue at a time of crisis as like the fire service, they cannot close.

In exactly the same vein, the LFB must keep their operational staff fit to allow pumps to stay on the run. BA and command training is important but if that risks the loss of staff its crazy to the point of negligent, especially when adequate training could be given on station as a contingency measure

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It’s a dilemma mate and I see both sides.  Anyway, shouldn’t you be bobbing up and down on your yacht in the med somewhere away from dry land? 😎

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Not me - I get seasick on the Woolwich ferry!!

If offered I would take a desert island (with wifi) where the only corona was in chilled bottles being poured by an eager Kate Winslet 🤔

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According to Andy Roe who was at a 4 pump drill yesterday, the reason LFB are still doing courses is because of insurance purposes. Not sure how true that is, but that was his reasoning.

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All training courses have ceased in Kent since last week, until at least end of may. Drill nights have stopped to, unless need to maintain competencies and that’s the risk assessed.

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Training, centrally organised, has been postponed in Essex from today.  Drill nights still on but exact format to be at local discretion.  I will be doing all I can to maintain social distancing.  No lectures to 10 or 15 people in a 15 by 10 lecture room, no drills that require close working such as RTC drills, casualty care etc.  I will be trying to make use of technology to conduct lectures remotely and will consider splitting the crew into separate small groups and work on drills that can be done with two metre separation.  At least, that was the plan until the goalposts moved again at 8pm, now I have no idea!

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If it is critical and required for 'insurance' reasons (yeah, right!) - then knock up a package for the training to be delivered by watch officers on stations and pick up with the planned stuff when we are out the other side

Its probably a question of contractural obligations between LFB and Babcocks or some cobblers like that. 

Forget insurance and contracts, the LFB are legally bound to: 1) Look after their employees by ensuring safe systems of work and 2) Legally obliged to deliver a fire service to London whatever the circumstances 

So to hide behind insurance and contractual issues is a sign of weak leadership. London replace their female commissioner with a fella, but seem to have less balls - How can that be?

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Ah the old "insurance" line...🙄 really, what does that actually mean?

All so called safety critical training for 2020 should be binned immediately. we can pick that up after. just put the programme back a year, can't we? watches should be left at station, and protected. no visitors, outsiders or interference. stop all standbys in and out unless its to put a pumping appliance on the run. 

The watches can train on station, they are inevitably going to be in close proximity with each other during their tour of duty, thats a point we all need to acknowledge and accept... 

We are at war, leave the watches alone and allow them to remain fit to turn out, which is our core function. 

We all need to stand up and be counted, remain calm and cheerful and lets just deliver fire and rescue service, to the people who need us :) 

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On 23/03/2020 at 13:53, Messyshaw said:

Not me - I get seasick on the Woolwich ferry!!

If offered I would take a desert island (with wifi) where the only corona was in chilled bottles being poured by an eager Kate Winslet 🤔

Draw me like one of your French girls Messy.

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We've had our mid point assessments cancelled in Manchester apart from BA, I did mine yesterday & there was 6 of us + 6 instructors with social distancing measures in place apart from our BA partners (obviously this can't be helped) 

For the remaining areas they've not yet made a final decision how we'll go about doing them but it looks likely to be a watch based assessment 

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