Climate Change: managing the operational impact on fires and other weather-related emergencies
Our Inspection Findings - 4.3 Other Issues - SFRS Business Continuity
127. The SFRS is not immune from the effects of weather. Fifty-seven fire station buildings in Scotland are at high risk from flooding.23
128. A fire station being impacted by flood has potential ramifications, but this will depend on what the outcome of the flooding may be and we would expect to see a corresponding assessment and mitigation plan, and reference to the risk in the fire station business continuity plan (BCP).
129. The SFRS Climate Change Response Plan states that the SFRS will need to either invest in flood mitigation measures on these sites or consider relocating. Either of these options would require significant additional capital investment.
130. The SFRS has BCPs for its premises and these plans are regularly reviewed. This process helps the organisation anticipate, prepare for and recover from disruptions which may include impacts of weather related events, such as flooding or the effects of spate weather conditions including storms. We established that operational personnel, generally, have ‘very limited’ to ‘no’ knowledge of the BCP in place for their fire station, nor how this would be invoked if required.
131. The SFRS has a Severe Weather Plan General Information Note (GIN), which details preparedness actions to be taken during periods of severe weather to support effective service delivery. This includes consideration for convening the Strategic Severe Weather Action Group (SSWAG), responsible for ensuring all areas of the Service are prepared and equipped to maintain service delivery. The GIN details other practical measures in support of business continuity such as managing ice/snow at workplaces, ensuring flood equipment not routinely carried on fire appliances is made readily available, and making available 4x4 vehicles for the use of the duty FDO Group.