Sections 9 and 10 – Fire-fighting and road traffic accidents
15.Section 9 re-enacts the existing statutory duty for a relevant authority to plan and make arrangements for fighting fires and protecting life and property from fires within its area. A relevant authority is required to secure sufficient equipment etc. and training to discharge its duty in normal circumstances. It must also put in place effective arrangements for receiving and responding to calls for help and for obtaining information to exercise its functions; the latter might include, for example, information about the nature and characteristics of buildings within the authority’s area or availability of, and access to, water supplies.
16.Section 10 places a duty on a relevant authority to make provision for rescuing persons from road traffic accidents and for dealing with the aftermath of such accidents. Historically, the risk of fire was the trigger for attendance at such an incident. Whilst advances in vehicle design have seen the incidence of fire following an accident decrease, calls to assist with the rescue of people from wreckage and protect them from harm caused by spillage of hazardous substances have increased dramatically. A relevant authority is required therefore to secure sufficient resources and training to discharge its duties in all normal circumstances. It must also put in place effective arrangements for receiving and responding to calls for help and for obtaining information to exercise its functions (for example, knowledge of local road and trunk road networks).
17.Under both sections 9 and 10 relevant authorities must seek to prevent or limit damage to property in exercising these statutory functions.