Wider Community Risks
We work hard to protect the heritage of Bedfordshire. There are 107 Grade I, 76 Grade II and 93 Grade II* listed buildings in our area. Heritage buildings were usually built in an era when fire safety was not a priority and as a result, they can be more vulnerable to fire. Our fire safety officers work with the owner/operators of these sites to ensure they comply with fire safety legislation and our operational firefighters gather on-site risk intelligence to inform tactical plans. These plans assist with effectively extinguishing any fires and with protecting and preserving these important buildings and their often-valuable contents.
Climate change – extreme weather-related incidents
We anticipate that we will see an increase in emergency response demand between 2023 and 2027 because of growing impacts of climate change, leading to increased levels of wildfire, severe gales, storms, snowfall and flooding related emergencies. This is likely to put increased pressure on biodiversity, infrastructure, water resources and local economies.
Wider community risks
The Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum (BLRF) has assessed local 'very high' from influenza-type pandemic and a failure of national electricity transmission system. The BLRF ‘high’ risks is worldwide volcanic eruption impacts.
The BLRF ‘medium’ risks include cyber-attack, aviation crash, fluvial (river) flooding, severe space weather, storms, industrial action affecting fuel supply, public disorder.
Risk of terrorist attack
This is a complex area due to the frequency of new threats being identified and enacted internationally. Events over the last few years, both at home and abroad, have increased the risk of terrorist or self-motivated attack activity impacting on our society. BFRS plays a major role in protecting the community in the event of such an incident, and along with the other blue light services contributes significantly to the planning and training for such events. A special team of firefighters have been trained to operate under the conditions of a terrorist incident. Emergency services work closely with the Security Services and Government to identify threats and provide effective warning, informing and response planning. Our Service supports this with national incident liaison officers (NILO), who can work closely with emergency service partners, and currently provides a local and national capability for mass casualty injuries and decontamination processes.
Emerging technology risks
Rising demand for wind turbines, e-scooters, electric and autonomous vehicles, solar charging and mass battery storage and the increasing use of lithium batteries in a wide range of domestic and commercial settings giving rise to increasing likelihood of fire service personnel responding to incidents which require different firefighting tactics and impact on prevention and protection work.