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Fire and Rescue Service

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

I would like to report to the House that this morning Sir Ken Knight, the Government’s chief fire and rescue adviser, published his report into the fire and rescue service (FRS) operational response to the widespread summer flooding of 2007.

Sir Ken’s report praises the FRS for its dedication and professionalism in dealing with severe challenges during the floods in protecting lives, infrastructure and property. I fully endorse those views.

The report examines a number of key issues including: FRS command and control, the national capability to respond to major floods, equipment and health and safety, training, effective use of flood risk information, the national co-ordination of FRS assets like high volume pumps, and the role of category 2 responders including utility companies in such emergencies.

The Government welcome this report. Its findings will contribute directly to Sir Michael Pitt’s “Lessons Learned” review final report which is due to be published in the summer.

I have placed copies of the report in the Libraries of the House.