Report Released Into Firefighters' Deaths

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has published its final investigation report into the deaths of two firefighters in Southampton in 2010.

St Mary's firefighters James Shears and Alan Bannon lost their lives while tackling a blaze at Shirley Towers in April 2010.

An inquest into the deaths of the two firefighters last year returned a verdict of death by misadventure. The publication of the final report, which details the events of the incident and shares the Service's recommendations and findings, marks the end of Hampshire's official investigation process.

Chief Officer John Bonney said:

"The release of our final investigation report into Shirley Towers represents a significant landmark for us.

"The investigation work that has taken place in the last three years since the incident has required us to be open and honest with ourselves and this has at times been painful and challenging.

"But it was vital to ensure that we were able to learn from the event so that the safety of the public, as well as firefighters, could be improved."

The report is being circulated to all Hampshire's firefighters and staff as well as all of the UK's fire and rescue services. A double DVD has also been developed by Hampshire for distribution alongside the report to help share the lessons from Shirley Towers.

The report and DVD have also been sent to other bodies with responsibility for improving the safety of the public and firefighters such as local authorities and the Secretaries of State for Housing, Fire and Communities and Local Government.

Chief Officer Bonney added:

"We continue to support families of Jim and Alan and this report and DVD follows our commitment to them to reduce the chances of a similar tragedy in the future.

"The Coroner made a number of recommendations following the inquest calling for action from Government. Our report echoes many of these findings and we will do everything in our power to ensure they are acted upon.

"We have made many improvements to our Service since Shirley Towers and an overarching programme is in place. This will continue into the years that come as we provide the best service we can to the communities of Hampshire." 

 The full Shirley Towers report can be viewed at

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