Havering’s only fire rescue unit, at Hornchurch Fire Station, could be axed - London Fire Brigade plans

12:39 12 July 2013

Crews tackled a flat blaze in East Finchley yesterday

Crews tackled a flat blaze in East Finchley yesterday


Hornchurch Fire Station could be forced to axe the specialist engine that deals with road crashes, a shock report announced this week.

The fire rescue unit (FRU) at Hornchurch is one of two in London that face the chop in new proposals to slim down the London Fire Brigade’s operational costs.

An FRU contains specialist equipment to rescue people from car and train crashes, areas with dangerous levels of radiation, chemical spills, collapsed buildings and underground tunnels.

It can also rescue people from water, mud and ice.

All standard fire engines carry some cutting gear, but Hornchurch FRU is regularly deployed to road crashes outside the Hornchurch area because of its specialist tools.

It’s part of a revision to the Fifth London Safety Plan, originally published as a draft in January.

In that report, none of Havering’s four fire stations were earmarked for closure or cuts.

But the new plans will see two of the stations originally proposed for closure kept open, bankrolled by a cut in the number of FRUs and London-wide staff numbers.

Hornchurch’s FRU is the only such vehicle in Havering, with the nearest based in East Ham.

The FRU has been identified as one of the four least-used in London. There are 16 across the capital.

London Fire commissioner Rob Dobson said the new plans – which aim to save the Brigade £28million – took into account public opinion gleaned during the 15-week consultation on the initial report earlier this year.

He added the number of fires across the capital has halved in the last 10 years. On average, FRUs spend four per cent of their time at incidents, compared with seven per cent for a standard fire engine.

“Under my revised proposals, response times in London will remain amongst the very best of any emergency service in the UK,” he said, “and firefighters will continue to carry out community safety work to prevent fires at the same level as they do now.”

The report will be debated on Thursday by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) at a public meeting at the Brigade headquarters.

Related articles


Latest News Stories

Circus big top. Picture: Johnny Green/PA

Rival circuses are accusing each other of using “every trick in the book” to drum up publicity for their own event after rolling into town at the same time.

Rainham Hall

An 18th century manor upheld as one of the country’s finest surviving examples of a Georgian merchant’s home has opened to the public for the first time.

The site would be one of three in London. Picture: David Parry/PA

Drivers could be popping into Rainham to charge their hydrogen-fuelled cars within 18 months after developers earmarked the area for their £31million project.

Gray Gardens

A teenager has been charged with kidnap and attempted robbery after an abduction in Elm Park.

Staff from F Barnes Solicitors holding a fundraising event for Saint Francis Hospice at Romford Bowls Club.

Businesses donated both their time and money for a good cause.

Zac Goldsmith, who has been chosen as the Conservative Party's candidate to run for London mayor in 2016, the Tories have announced. (Nick Ansell/PA)

Zac Goldmsmith has been chosen as the Conservative Party candidate for the 2016 London Mayoral elections.

Yesterday, 13:49
The new visitors centre at Ingrebourne Valley park

Performances, games and a fun-filled dog show were held in celebration as a £1.4million visitor centre was unveiled.

Yesterday, 12:33
Eric Bush

An innovative new health scheme is targeting people with medical conditions for a 12-week gym programme.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder