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Government complacency leaves fire services unprepared for another Grenfell-style tragedy, FBU warns

FIREFIGHTERS have warned that the government’s complacency and patchy provisions for fire services means that crews are unprepared for another Grenfell-style tragedy.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said today that Tory fire minister Nick Hurd is to blame for failing to equip fire services to deal with incidents similar to the June 2017 blaze at Grenfell Tower, which claimed the lives of 72 people.

Some fire services would only be capable of sending two fire engines to a blaze in a high-rise block, evidence released by the union shows.

Out of the 48 fire and rescue services, only three have been contacted by the Home Office to ask about their preparedness for a Grenfell-style inferno.

This is despite Mr Hurd repeatedly claiming in the Commons that all fire services are properly equipped.

The FBU is calling for a national review to establish the scale of threat that people in tower blocks face from unprepared fire services.

They are also demanding that national attendance standards be applied to ensure that a “postcode lottery” of fire preparedness is avoided.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The minister still does not grasp the severity, or even the basic details, of the risk across the country.

“Two years since Grenfell, the government still has not provided the planning and resources necessary to prepare firefighters for what are now completely foreseeable risks.

“Grenfell proved the UK government’s utter complacency on fire safety. We need robust national standards to make sure that the lessons from that night are applied everywhere.”


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