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  1. ITV Report

Deaths highlight ' deep and systemic failures' across UK

The blaze killed four men at a warehouse in Atherstone-on-Stour, Warwickshire, on November 2nd 2007 Photo: PA

A report by the Fire Brigade Union has been released today, following the deaths of four firefighters at a warehouse in Atherstone-on-Stour in 2007.

The report highlights severe problems with:

  • The assessment of risk and planning around it
  • The quality of information available to the incident commander
  • The use of breathing apparatus
  • The training, particularly for ‘retained’ or part-time firefighters
Firefighters John Averis, Darren Yates-Badley, Ian Reid and Ashley Stephens died fighting the blaze Credit: PA

Union chief, Matt Wrack, said today that they are determined to get to the bottom of why so many firefighters have lost their lives in the last ten years:

Firefighters and bereaved families have been asking questions for a number of years about why firefighters are being killed at incidents which the service should have planned to deal with...

... We think this highlights deep and systemic failures across the UK fire and rescue service and we are determined to get to the bottom of what is going wrong.

It is claimed that 100 firefighters were mobilised to fight the suspected arson attack at a large vegetable packing plant in Atherstone-on-Stour.

Firefighters John Averis, Darren Yates-Badley, Ian Reid and Ashley Stephens died fighting the blaze Credit: ITV News Central

The Fire Brigade Union has said it is working with health and safety specialists from the University of Stirling to review firefighter safety.

The review will be released later this year.