Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Statement regarding the fire at Lammas Lane, Esher

On Wednesday 9 June Surrey Fire & Rescue Service attended a large fire at Lammas Lane in Esher that required a response from up to 12 fire engines. We are incredibly proud of how our all of our staff and partners responded to this incident and brought it under control quickly. This included leading one occupant to safety at 2.52pm. We are pleased to say that there were no casualties and all residents have been accounted for.

We understand that the Fire Brigades Union represents its members in Surrey and other neighbouring fire and rescue services and that they are speaking for them, but their statement, sadly, has some inaccuracies in it.

For example, the Making Surrey Safer Plan made no financial cuts, instead it enables us to modernise our shift system, which has remained unchanged since the 1970s, so that we can modernise and move unused resources to focus on prevention activities that will save lives. This is aimed at protecting our most vulnerable residents and preventing incidents happening. We used data collected over the last five years to help inform our planning. The plan was agreed through the democratic process last year. It ensures that we have the capacity to ensure that we can always respond to emergencies effectively, including these types of incidents. To date, we have also been able to realign 37 posts from our response teams to focus on community prevention and safety activities.

To make sure this happened as quickly as possible assistance was provided by London Fire Brigade (LFB), West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) under our mutual aid agreements. This is absolutely normal procedure and is the same for all blue light services. It means that during busy periods or when other appliances are nearer to an emergency, we will call upon neighbouring fire and rescue services to support us. This is an arrangement we regularly reciprocate and is well known, common professional practice.

The first vehicle in attendance was from Esher Fire Station and the first aerial vehicle in attendance was also from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. The second aerial vehicle in attendance was from LFB and arrived at 3.32pm, 48 minutes after it was requested and 24 minutes after the aerial vehicle started travelling to the incident. This because one of our other aerial appliances had been damaged at an earlier incident and so we put plans in place to get assistance from neighbours. This is a common practice between services, particularly when it comes to these specialist vehicles.

WSFRS supplied one crew and two vehicles and RBFRS provided a water carrier and one crew.

Five frontline appliances from LFB were used during part of the initial incident response.

The Command Unit in attendance, much like the majority of appliances in attendance during this incident, was from SFRS.

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