Dowgate Ward is unique in the City of London as it houses the only Fire Station that serves the City of London and beyond. Based on Upper Thames Street in my Ward, it is not only an active fire station but also the home to the London Fire Brigade Fire Investigation Unit. This means that there is present at any one time a Mercedes Benz Atego 1327 Dual Pump Ladder (DPL), 5 Ford Transit Custom L2 Fire Investigation Unit vans and one customised van for the Fire Investigation Dog Unit. The Dog Unit is very popular with visitors but they are working dogs. They are specially trained to identify a variety of ignitable substances which makes them invaluable in any criminal investigation to determine whether a fire has been started deliberately. The speed at which they can sniff out these substances has reduced the time required to investigate the scene of a fire. The dogs are used after the fire has died down but do wear slippers to prevent them being inadvertently hurt by the "under-paws" aftermath of a fire as they review scene.
With a designation of A28 you will see the name of Dowgate on the side of the pump when it is out and about across London. The Borough Commander is James Chapman who has been based at Dowgate for a few years now and knows the City well. Newly promoted this year is the Station Commander Chloe Van Dop. They are both passionate about serving the City and engaging with the businesses and residents here. The London Fire Brigade are plugged into all the work of the City and are partners in the Safer City Partnership as well as the combined work of the City around the many dangerous incidents on the City bridges. Alongside the Police they will respond to any 999 call. Indeed they had just returned from an incident of an injury in a nearby business as I arrived. They had been able to attend on foot and provide medical emergency assistance.
I was pleased to see an electric charging point on the forecourt of the Station. Not everything is yet electric but there are plans to move towards an all-electric fleet. An announcement was made in June 2022 about this plan. As with all heavy goods vehicles the logistics are more complicated especially as the usage of energy in pumping water at high volume and for long periods is very intensive. https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/news/2022-news/june/brigade-further-electrifies-efforts-to-decarbonise-fleet-and-support-london-s-clean-air-goals/
The Station had been visited by the City’s MP, Nickie Aiken, earlier in the year and is planning further open days for local businesses and visitors.