Training Courses

Emma Smith made this Freedom of Information request to London Fire Commissioner (London Fire Brigade)

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (London Fire Brigade),

(A)I was wondering if you could provide me with a full list of training courses LFB provide to their firefighters in the years 2011,2012,2013 and to-date in 2014; the frequently in each courses commences; the length of time each course; the maximum number of firefighters per course; the cost of providing these courses in each of these years mentioned above excluding salary costs. If any of these courses provided are based outside London; if so the reason for same

(B)Also have LFB access to pinpoint the excact location of each emergency vehicle on route to calls (without asking for the information through the radio communication between the appliance and the control room operator

(C)Also could you provide me with a list of all call signs of all emergency vehicles (excluding training vehicles)

(D) The number of emergency appliances that were out of service due to repairs etc as of 7.30pm today 7th April 2014

(E) If a particular station is without an emergency vehicle for a period of a minimum of 2 weeks due to repairs being carried out on the vehicle would that station receive a temporary replacement vehicle; or would that station just have to manage without 1 of these vehicles.

Kindly Acknowledge on receipt of this request

Yours faithfully,
Emma Smith

London Fire Commissioner (London Fire Brigade)

Dear Ms Smith

I am writing to acknowledge your (below) request for information which was
received by the London Fire Brigade Information Access Team on 8 April
2014. Your request will be considered under the provisions of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and as such; I will respond to you within
20 working days.

If you have any queries in the meanwhile, please contact me.

Kind regards

Aidan Bartley

Business Intelligence

Strategy & Performance Department

London Fire Brigade

Direct T: 020 8555 1200 ext 30086

Direct F: 020 7960 3617

E: [1][email address]

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London Fire Commissioner (London Fire Brigade)

6 Attachments

Dear Ms Smith

 

I am writing in response to your (below) request for information which I
received on 8 April 2014. Your request was considered under the provisions
of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and in confirming that we do
hold information meeting the parameters of your request I have dealt with
each part of your request in turn below:

 

"(A)I was wondering if you could provide me with a full list of training
courses LFB provide to their firefighters in the years 2011,2012,2013 and
to-date in 2014; the frequently in each courses commences; the length of
time each course; the maximum number of firefighters per course; the cost
of providing these courses in each of these years mentioned above
excluding salary costs. If any of these courses provided are based outside
London; if so the reason for same"

 

I attach a number of documents that provide the information requested:

 

o ‘Course Guide’ for the years 2011 to 2015 which provides information
about LFB course portfolio including the duration of each course.
Please note that all other courses in the portfolio should be
considered as initial acquisition of skills/knowledge only (i.e. a
member of staff would not normally attend this course more than once).
o ‘Training venues’ which provides information on whether the training
is provided within, or outside, London.
o ‘Document 2 Refreshers’ which sets out the frequency of all refresher
courses.
o Report to the fire authority ‘[1]Future Options for Training’
(published on our website) which provides further detail of the LFB
training requirements.

 

On class size, the maximum number of delegates is 12 (apart from driving
courses where the maximum is two).

 

The costing information requested has not been provided because we
consider that information as commercially sensitive. As such, s43 of the
FOIA – the ‘commercial interests’ exemption, has been applied to this
information.^1 By disclosing price breakdown information to the public,
competing firms would be permitted to gain access to strategic commercial
and business information which has been provided in confidence to the
LFEPA. This would give an unfair advantage to competitors in submitting
and negotiating future tenders with LFEPA or other public bodies. With
regard to LFEPA’s own commercial interests, I consider that to disclose
the exempt information would, or would be likely to prejudice LFEPA’s
business reputation and confidence that suppliers, contracting parties and
investors may have in it.  This would have a detrimental impact and
threaten LFEPA’s ability to successfully participate in commercial
activity, in particular the ability to negotiate best value terms of
contract in the best interests of LFEPA and the public.

 

Although s43 exemption applies, we are required to consider the public
interest test. This requires for us to consider if the public interest in
withholding the requested information from disclosure outweighs the public
interest in disclosure. I have set my public interest considerations, both
for and against the disclosure, below:

 

Commercial Interests – Public Interest Test

 

In favour of disclosure

·         The public’s right to information held by public authorities.

·         It could be argued that the disclosure would promote the LFEPA’s
commitment to openness and particularly its transparency in the
accountability of the use of public funds.

·         The public has the right to be reassured that the LFEPA’s
commercial activities, including the procurement of goods and services are
conducted in an open and honest way.

·         It could be argued that the disclosure would, or would be likely
to, increase the LFEPA’s bargaining position in future procurement and
therefore enable the Authority to deliver better value service to
Londoners.

 

Against disclosure

·         There is a strong likelihood that commercial prejudice to LFEPA
and its training provider, Babcock Training Limited, would materialise if
the exempt information was disclosed to the public.

·         The degree of prejudice suffered is likely to be substantial and
over a considerable period of time.

·         Public disclosure of the information at this time would
undermine the ability of LFEPA to perform its statutory functions and, in
particular, to secure best value.

·         The consequences of the disclosure may result in poorer decision
making because (procurement) decisions themselves may not be taken on a
fully informed basis if the LFEPA fails to procure future services due to
lack of trust from the competing suppliers.

·         The disclosure could result in consequential loss or at least in
a waste of LFEPA resources in defending unnecessary legal challenges.

·         It is considered that by publishing payments information on the
Authority’s web site (transparency pages) on all [2]spending above £250,
at this stage, is sufficient to demonstrate the public interest in Brigade
spending and accountability. Details of payments made to Babcock can be
seen in the published information.

 

On this basis, I believe that the Authority’s interest in withholding this
information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it as there is a
strong public interest in allowing the normal course of commercial
activity to take place. On balance, in my  view, the greater public
interest lies with maintaining the exemption.

 

"(B) Also have LFB access to pinpoint the excact location of each
emergency vehicle on route to calls (without asking for the information
through the radio communication between the appliance and the control room
operator"

 

All LFB fire appliance are fitted with a Mobile Data Terminal (a computer
on the fire engine) and information is recorded about the location and
travel speed of the appliance. Currently, the data from this information
is recorded, but it is not displayed to Control Officers as a live feed.
The LFB are in the process of replacing the 999 mobilising computer system
and the replacement system will enable a Control Officer to identify the
actual location of appliances.

 

"(C) Also could you provide me with a list of all call signs of all
emergency vehicles (excluding training vehicles)"

 

Please refer to the readily available information, published in our
[3]disclosure log.

 

"(D) The number of emergency appliances that were out of service due to
repairs etc as of 7.30pm today 7th April 2014"

 

We record the vehicles that are in the workshop in any working day, but we
do not log the specific time they enter or leave the workshop. You should
note that our fleet management provider will maintain additional vehicles
to provide cover for routine maintenance and repairs etc in order to
ensure that a vehicle is always available for our crews to use in the
event of an emergency call.

 

"(E) If a particular station is without an emergency vehicle for a period
of a minimum of 2 weeks

 

A pumping appliance which is assigned to an operational role will be
replaced by a reserve appliance if it is removed for repair or planned
maintenance. If it is a planned maintenance event a reserve appliance will
be delivered and placed on the run to release the one required for
service. If the operational appliance is subject to a defect or breakdown
our maintenance provider is obliged to repair the defective vehicle, or
supply a reserve appliance within 2 hours of the defect being reported.

 

I trust this concludes your request. However, if you have any queries,
please contact me quoting the reference number in the subject field.

 

You have the right to ask the Authority to review this response. If you
wish to do so, please set out in writing your reasons for asking and
address them to David Wyatt - Head of Information Management at:
[4][email address] .

 

You also have the right to ask the Information Commissioner for a decision
as to whether the Authority has dealt with your request in accordance with
the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. If you wish to do
this, you must first ask the Authority to review its decision; and then
you must apply promptly to the Information Commissioner at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Thank you for your interest in the London Fire Brigade.

 

Kind regards

 

 

 

Aidan Bartley

Information Management

Strategy & Performance Department

London Fire Brigade

Direct T: 020 8555 1200 ext 30086

Direct F: 020 7960 3617

E: [5][email address]

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^1Section 43 FOIA - Commercial Interests

(1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.

(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it).

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
the interests mentioned in subsection (2).

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Data Protection Act 1998

Your personal information will be processed by the London Fire and
Emergency Planning Authority for the purpose of fire service
administration. We will keep your details secure and will not disclose
them to other organisations or third parties (except contractors or
suppliers working on our behalf) without your permission unless we are
legally required to do so. For more information about how we use your
personal information, see our notification entry (Z7122455) at:
[6]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk .

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Dear London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (London Fire Brigade),

Thank you very much for the very detailed response.

Yours faithfully,
Emma Smith