- Are your firefighters covered by the force’s insurance in the event of injury or death while attending a terrorist attack ie, will they or their family receive compensation? If not generally available to all firefighters, do you have specialist MTFA teams and do they have this insurance?
- In the event of injury while attending an MTFA, meaning they are no longer able to work, would your firefighters or specialist teams receive a full pension?
Your request for information has been considered and it is not possible to meet your request. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as a Public Interest Refusal Notice.
It is considered that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. The following exemption has been applied to your request.
Section 24 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a qualified exemption for release of information if its disclosure would prejudice National security. Information which does not fall within Section 23(1) is exempt information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security.
The reasons why the section 24 exemption applies:
As a major emergency service provider we have to ensure that the information we hold in relation to National Resilience is appropriately protected. The release of this information has wider implications that have to be considered and if this information was disclosed it may prejudice our ability to maintain our own security and national security. Maintaining security and ensuring public safety takes precedence over this request.
Given the current security climate in the UK we need to take a precautionary approach. We have also considered that if this information was released and was then put together with other available information it could potentially cause damage.
We have also considered the guidance from the Centre for Protecting the National Infrastructure on the disclosure of sensitive information. The guidance states that:
“National security is paramount and should be considered carefully in any decision to release or disseminate information to the public”.
Public Interest Test Reasons
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority has concluded that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. This decision is based on the following reasons:
- In assessing the balance of the public interest test, we are particularly mindful that the Act works on an ‘applicant blind’ basis and that by providing information to one person we then set a precedent for making it available to anyone else who asks for it.
- There is a strong public interest in the Authority doing all it can to protect the health and safety of members of the public and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service staff. Disclosing the information would undermine this purpose and would not be in the public interest.