Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has suspended non-critical activity to protect its frontline services following the move into the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic. These decisions have taken place after consultation with the Fire Brigades Union and Unison.
Home fire safety check visits will only be made to those most at risk from fire in order to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. All of our other prevention and educational programmes will be suspended until further notice.
We have restricted our fire protection services down to our legal requirements, such as carrying out enforcement activity.
All of our fire stations are now restricted to just fire service staff. The use of our community rooms by other organisations and groups, visitors to fire stations and charity car washes have been suspended until further notice.
Three sub-committee meetings of the Combined Fire Authority due to take place in March at our Service Headquarters have been postponed.
These changes will allow operational members of staff to focus on the preparation and delivery of responding to incidents.
The service has robust plans in place, and our staff absence plans are up to date and well tested. We have a range of options with regards to the crewing of fire engines to ensure that fire engines remain available to attend emergency calls.
The service is working closely with our partners in the Lancashire Resilience Forum and we are meeting on a weekly basis at a strategic and tactical level to ensure that these essential services continue.
Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston says:
“We have been planning and testing scenarios like the coronavirus pandemic for many years. Our business continuity plans have been well tested to ensure that our service can continue to provide our frontline services.
“I apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment to people who have had visits or meetings at a fire station cancelled but our focus is on ensuring that anyone who needs us in an emergency will get a quick and effective service.”