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September 17, 2009

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Generic Risk Assessments (GRA) for the Fire and Rescue Service

The Government has issued two new Fire and Rescue Service operational guidance documents — the first of 40 such documents to be produced following the most comprehensive review of such guidance for the Service in ten years.

The Generic Risk Assessments (GRA) offer guidance on turning out and arriving at the scene of an incident, and flashover and backdraught fires. The department responsible – Communities and Local Government – says they reflect modern good practice and changes in health and safety legislation, as well as occupational health and welfare management.

The new publications are the result of work by a team from the Office of the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser (CFRA), working closely with the Fire and Rescue Services in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the HSE, representative bodies, and others in the fire sector.

The Government’s chief fire and rescue advisor, Sir Ken Knight, said: “The new Generic Risk Assessment guidance should inspire the confidence of both the service and the public. The Fire and Rescue Services will now be in a stronger position to improve firefighter and public safety, and improve interoperability between FRSs, as they are all working to the same guidance. It will also help them to fulfil their statutory and compliance responsibilities. The involvement of the Fire and Rescue Service, the representative bodies and others in the production of this important guidance was vital.”

Fire minister Shahid Malik added: “I want to thank all of the organisations involved in producing this vital new guidance. Everyone in the fire and rescue service community – from strategic managers to front-line firefighters, will clearly find this important reading. Others who work closely with the Fire and Rescue Service at emergency incidents will also find it of use when creating their own incident safety guidance.”

The new guidance, which replaces risk management documents that were originally published in the late 1990s, will be issued at a rate of two topics a month until the end of 2010. Other topics in the series include work at height, road safety, asbestos, and biological hazards.

For more information and access to an online forum for operational guidance log on to: www.communities.gov.uk/cfra Comments can be emailed to: operationalguidance@ communities.gsi.gov.uk

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