What is the Charter?

The Charter for Families Bereaved through Public Tragedy was written by the former Bishop of Liverpool to ensure the suffering endured by families bereaved following the 1989 Hillsborough disaster is not repeated after future disastrous events.

Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston has signed this Charter and it has now been officially adopted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Charter for Families Bereaved Through Public Tragedy

In adopting this charter I commit to ensuring that Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service learns the lessons of the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath, so that the perspective of the bereaved families is not lost.

I commit to Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service becoming an organisation which strives to:

  1. In the event of a public tragedy, activate its emergency plan and deploy its resources to rescue victims, to support the bereaved and to protect the vulnerable.

  2. Place the public interest above our own reputation.

  3. Approach forms of public scrutiny – including public inquiries and inquests –with candour, in an open, honest and transparent way, making full disclosure of relevant documents, material and facts. Our objective is to assist the search for the truth. We accept that we should learn from the findings of external scrutiny and from past mistakes.

  4. Avoid seeking to defend the indefensible or to dismiss or disparage those who may have suffered where we have fallen short.

  5. Ensure all members of staff treat members of the public and each other with mutual respect and with courtesy. Where we fall short, we should apologise straightforwardly and genuinely.

  6. Recognise that we are accountable and open to challenge. We will ensure that processes are in place to allow the public to hold us to account for the work we do and for the way in which we do it. We do not knowingly mislead the public or the media.

Justin Johnston
Chief Fire Officer

Date: 30/01/23