TX Date: Thursday 10 August 2017
TX Time: 21:00
In the third programme of the series, we meet two men both at very different ends of their careers in the London Fire Brigade. 54-year- old Crew Manager, Aldo, has spent 26 years working as a fire fighter and is about to retire. He is handing over the baton to graduate Joe – a 25 year old rookie who is learning the ropes and living out his childhood dream of becoming a fire-fighter. After completing training, Joe is put to the test when he has go into a burning house and fight his first fire. It is a challenging fire in an attic room with difficult access and the potential to create a lethal backdraft.
Over the last three decades Aldo’s job has changed considerably and he’s now more involved in fire safety than ever before. In this episode he heads to a hoarder’s home to give advice on fire risk. We witness why this is so important when another hoarder’s home catches fire. With access blocked, firefighters struggle to get near the flames raging inside the house.
When Aldo joined the London Fire Brigade in the eighties, there were only a few women working for them, but times have changed and it’s no longer only a man’s domain. There are now over 300 females working in the service and in this episode we meet Tami – a working mum. The mum of one, whose husband is also a firefighter at the same station, juggles the demands of night shifts with looking after her 4-year- old son. Tami is called to an incident on Westminster Bridge.
In Brixton fire station, firefighter Josie is called to a fire in a top floor flat which is filling with smoke. Unable to see anything inside, she needs to use a specialist thermal camera to locate the flames.
Despite all their best efforts, the London Fire Brigade can’t always reach every fire in time. Neil and Barry from the Fire Investigation Team attend the aftermath of a fire where the homeowner sadly failed to get out alive. They need to piece together what happened.
Increasingly the fire brigade is called to road traffic accidents and every day in London they have cut someone from a car. The Wimbledon team is mobilised to a car crash where a passenger is trapped with a potential spinal injury. The only way to get him out is cut the roof off.
TX Date: Thusday 3 August 2017
TX Time: 21:00
In this second programme of the series, one hundred firefighters are mobilised to a massive fire at a garden centre near Heathrow. Things take a dramatic turn when it’s discovered there is a large quantity of highly explosive gas canisters on site, directly in the path of the spreading fire. And things go from bad to worse as the brigade realise they don’t have enough water to keep the canisters cool and fight the fire.
At another incident, the fire brigade have too much water as they tackle a massive flood in Stoke Newington where the high street resembles a river. A rescue crew is sent into a flooded basement where water levels are rising and it’s feared that someone might be trapped.
In Shoreditch we meet borough commander Steve who joined the brigade in 1987. He is called to a road traffic accident where a woman is trapped with suspected spinal injuries. She needs to be cut free from the car but the firefighters can’t do anything until the ambulance arrives. In a sign of how stretched all the emergency services are, it takes nearly four hours for an ambulance to arrive – the longest delay Steve has witnessed in his 30 years in the brigade.
Steve is also called to a fire at a building site where building materials are ablaze. The firefighters struggle to find the seat of the fire as the flames spread to the insulation material in the ceiling. Firefighting in an enclosed space, with thick smoke and facing extreme temperatures, the conditions are ripe for a backdraft – a deadly development where a rush of air can create a devastating explosion.
And in Battersea, south London, crew manager Edric is considering leaving his specialist rescue crew to join a team who do more traditional firefighting. It’s a big decision after years working with the same team but a call to a road traffic accident causes him to rethink his future.
TX Date: Thursday 27 July 2017
TX Time: 21:00
Last month London suffered its most devastating fire since the blitz. The Grenfell Tower tragedy shook Britain to the core and on the front line of the disaster were the heroic firefighters of the London Fire Brigade. It brought to the fore an emergency service who risk everything to help those in need.
This three part documentary series followed the brigade over the last year as they responded to a staggering range of emergencies. It provides a unique insight into their work, with firefighters filming themselves on the dangerous front line using special fire cameras. It is access on an unprecedented scale to incidents across the whole of London.
In this first programme, firefighters talk for the very first time about the Grenfell fire and their experiences of that tragic night. In never heard before accounts of what happened inside the tower, firefighters describe how they feared it might collapse and the horror of what they saw.
Whilst fires on the level of Grenfell are rare, the London Fire Brigade still deals with around 20,000 fires a year. And increasingly they also respond to a range of incidents, including floods and road traffic accidents. The film follows Edric as he responds to the Croydon tram crash where 7 passengers lost their lives. The film shows the affect this has on the rescuers and how they deal with the trauma amongst themselves.
The crews are also called to a big explosion which destroys a block of flats in East London. Firefighters fear people could be trapped inside and have to search the unstable building wearing breathing apparatus. Helmet cameras capture their terrifying point-of-view as they feel their way through the smoke filled corridors facing temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius. The crews enlist the help of a rescue specialist called Kirby - a six year old springer spaniel.
In Lambeth, Tami is one of over 300 female firefighters in the London Fire Brigade. The mum of one, whose husband is also a firefighter at the same station, juggles the demands of night shifts with looking after her 4 year old son. Tami is called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where a coach burst into flames.
And fireworks night, which can often be surprisingly quiet thanks to fire safety campaigns, proves to be a dramatic evening for the fire brigade as a huge basement fire takes hold in a block of flats. To make matters worse, the firefighters can't get their trucks close to the flames which threatened to consume the whole building.
In the series, firefighters deal with all sorts of crises. They are filmed as they mobilise to a massive flood in Stoke Newington where the main high-street resembles a river and rescue teams have to search a flooded basement flat. Another rescue team is called to free a woman, who is nine months pregnant, from a car crash by cutting her from the wreckage. And the brigade’s fire investigation team is followed as they piece together the events that led to death of a man in a flat fire.