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, which is in progress.
In December 2019, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) published the reviewed guidance that provides information for FRSs to change evacuation strategies and perform mass rescue, based on advice and information from FRS leads. This has undergone significant scrutiny and been subject to external review by health and safety consultants.
In August 2022, the NFCC surveyed all FRSs (with the exception of the LFB) in England about their progress against the recommendations. In response to recommendation 33.22b:
- 72% of services (31 services) have completed the recommendation and have reported that they have reviewed their policies relating to evacuation, instigated changes, and trained personnel. This represents a 42% increase from previous NFCC survey completed in March 2022.
- 23% of services (11 services) have made the necessary policy changes but are still training its staff. Training will be completed by April 2022.
- 4% of services (two services) reported they are currently making progress to implement the necessary policy changes.
On performing training exercises relating to evacuation:
- 67% of services (29 services) have trained and assessed all staff in evacuation policies since the Grenfell Tower fire and have conducted training exercises to embed learning from these policies.
- 28% of services (12 services) are currently in progress to conduct training exercise to embed learning from evacuation policies
- 5% of services (two services) have not planned to train staff in evacuation at this stage.
By April 2023, 95% of services (41 services) report they will have completed the necessary actions to address this recommendation.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has reported that recommendation 33.22b has been completed.
The LFB has developed an Evacuation and Rescue policy (published on 31st March 2021), alongside the revised Fire Survival Guidance policy. The Evacuation and Rescue policy has been shared with the NFCC’s 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.