Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include Edward VII, who maintained a kit at a London fire station.

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

"THE RESCUE" - 1855

January 10, 2008


"You belong to a force which has a long and honourable tradition of gallantry and devotion to duty ... your duties remain arduous and difficult and call for a high standard of physical fitness ... I am confident that the London Fire Brigade will maintain these qualities to the highest degree"

 - HRH Edward, Prince of Wales
Speaking at review of London Fire Brigade at Victoria Park in August 1929

The London Fire Brigade provides ``fire cover'' according to a system of risk categories traditionally used across the United Kingdom. The risk category determines the minimum number of appliances dispatched to an incident.
  • "A" risk - Areas with high density of large buildings and/or population, for example office blocks or factories. Three fire engines to be sent within eight minutes, the first two to arrive within five minutes.
  • "B" risk - Areas with medium density of large buildings and/or population, for example multi-storey residential blocks. Two engines deployed, one within five minutes, the second within eight minutes.
  • "C" risk - Low density suburban areas and detached properties. One fire engine to be sent within ten minutes.
  • "D" risk - Rural areas. One fire engine to be sent within twenty minutes.

The Dual Purpose Ladder - DPL - is the standard type of firefighting, with about 170 in operation across London. The brigade took delivery of a fleet of 216 Mercedes-Benz Atego pumps with new Plastisol bodywork between 2002 and 2007. According to Wikipedia, the standard engine has 13½m and/or 9m ladder extensions, eight 18m lengths of hose, four 25m lengths of thinner hose, cutting equipment, a portable generator, a lightweight portable pump, water-packs, inflatable air bags, road signs, floodlights, a medical kit, hose ramps, general tools, chemical suits and breathing apparatus. DPLs weigh in at around 11.2 tonnes, and are approximately 7.7m long, 2.3m wide and 3.2m high, carry 1,365 litres of water, and have a pumping capacity of 3,910 litres per minute.

Code1 - Small structure fire
Code 2 - Small rubbish/outdoor fire
Code 3 - Chimney fire
Code 4 - False alarm due to AFA
Code 5 - False alarm, good intent call
Code 6 - False alarm malicious
Code 7 - Special service

Status 1 - At station
Status 2 - Enroute
Status 3 - Arrived
Status 5 - Mobile to cover another station
Status 6 - Mobile and available for a call
Tactical Mode OSCAR - Offensive (interior attack)
Tactical Mode DELTA - Defensive (exterior attack)
Tactical Mode TANGO - Transitional

Pumps 1 ... Crew Manager
Pumps 2-4 ... Watch Manager
Pumps 5-6 ... Station Manager
Pumps 7-8 ... Group Manager
Pumps 9-12 ... Deputy Assistant Commissioner (formerly known as Area Manager)
Pumps 13+ ... Brigade Manager (Senior officers)


In November 2007, Camden firefighters became the first in London to carry improved first aid equipment - including defibrillators, suction devices to maintain open airways, cervical spinal collars and improved wound dressings. Primary responsibility for emergency medical care remains with the London Ambulance Service.