The full implementation of this policy is dependent on the completion of recommendation 33.22a, that the government develop national guidelines for carrying out partial or total evacuations of high-rise residential buildings. The guidelines should include the means of protecting fire exit routes and procedures for evacuating persons who are unable to use the stairs in an emergency, or who may require assistance (such as disabled people, older people and young children), which is in progress.
In December 2019, the National Fire Chiefs Council published the reviewed guidance that provides information for fire and rescue services to change evacuation strategies and perform mass rescue, based on advice and information from fire and rescue service leads.
In June 2021, the NFCC surveyed all fire and rescue services in England about their progress against recommendations. In response to recommendation 33.22b:
- 14% of services (6 services) have completed the recommendation and have reported that they have reviewed their policies relating to evacuation, instigated changes, and trained personnel
- 45% of services (20 services) reported they have made the necessary policy changes but are still training its staff. Training will be completed before April 2022.
London Fire Brigade has reported that recommendation 33.22b has been completed.
The London Fire Brigade has developed an Evacuation and Rescue policy, which was published on 31st March 2021, alongside the revised Fire Survival Guidance policy. The Evacuation and Rescue policy has been shared with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) High Rise Firefighting working group to support sector wide learning.
Training on the new policy has been provided to all operational staff via computer-based training packages and face to face training for Watch and senior officers. This training is reinforced by guided learning exercises for station-based staff.