Thursday, December 12, 2013


We have over the many months we have written this blog on occasions been deeply shocked (and disappointed) by the way senior staff in the Fire and Rescue Services have acted.

CFO's shaking hands with scabs returning to HQ, apparently the evidence of that was  wiped from the hard drive?  Not!!!

Managers, watched by HR and an ACO  rifling through handbags when its owner leaves the room and not forgetting  West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  tracking employees cars and using private investigators to spy on their staff,  the money paid out spying would have paid a fire fighters wages for nearly 6 months! 

And last but most certainly not least we hear tonight that the Brigade Secretary of West Yorkshire FBU has been  told that prior to periods of industrial action  he cannot use his office at FSHQ.  That really is a lock out if ever there was one.

But today our focus has been  on another area of the country - Surrey,   where in a video aptly named URSCUM   you can (allegedly) clearly hear  CFO Russell Pearson of Surrey Fire and Rescue  refer to his striking staff  as scum. 

Chief Fire Officers are not born they are made - climbing the ranks by fair means or foul to end up earning offensively high salaries. You would think they would retain some of the integrity of the operational staff they manage - sadly not  as this video below clear demonstrates.

Ladies and Gentlemen we present SCUMGATE ..... and like it says "make up your own mind" And when you have watched it,  why not send Surrey Fire and Rescue an email to tell them how disgusted you are by clicking  HERE  and using  their compliments and complaints form for a COMPLAINT...

We sincerely hope that tonight a certain Chief Fire Officer  is writing their letter of resignation and compiling an extremely public apology to his staff.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seasons Greetings

It's not so often we are so quiet for so long,  but every so often the day job has take precedent for a while.
But, as we here at FCCL HQ have had a new influx of staff (whoopee) and we are also starting to wind down towards the Christmas  holiday period, grateful that we don't work shifts in the emergency services, it is time to offer our seasons greetings to everybody!

FCCL Magic Pixie 
HOW  do you send a card to the thousands of people that support
our pages ?  We do confess we struggled for a while to sort out the logistics and after Santa stubbornly refused to assist  (allegedly our request breached his terms and conditions) a magic pixie emailed us  the perfect solution.

Cheers Magic Pixie we are extremely grateful.

All you have to do is  download the image below, print it - fold it into 4 and pop it proudly on your mantelpiece. 
(you could of course tart it up a bit with the application of some glue and glitter 
- we know some of you like a bit of "bling" )

But please do not forget that at this time of year the only thing you should be setting light to is your Christmas pudding so  we include a couple of videos of our favourite bear  as a timely reminders that  FIRE KILLS and has no respect for what time of year it is.

And our personal favourite - 

Blaze Bear Cooks Christmas Dinner - the response time is amazing and they didn't send an FRU - which we understand is the protocol for a "bears reported" incident.   

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Time to be very selfish ................

To the many people who read this blog - the majority of whom support the Fire Brigades Union, it is time to be called to

Tomorrow we will be announcing the details of  a virtual demonstration in support of the FBU and more importantly those in the FBU who stand up, speak out and are currently being investigated by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue . Our recent post got over 18,000 views in 24 hrs. For tomorrows post we need that 18,000 views  and many, many more.
Although we appreciate that many who are being investigated are not willing to be involved in a public way Fire Fighter and FBU activist Lee Indriks has nailed his colours to the mast  and publicly stated he is being investigated for liking a picture on Facebook. And guess what has happened? He is now being investigated for speaking publicly about what is happening to him.

Lee Indriks - Social Media Martyr
West Yorks FBU  
It is time to demonstrate to Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling that the persecution and prevention of free speech will not be tolerated.
Watch this Space
and  in order to be prepared for tomorrow - get out your mobile and take a selfie on your phone. You are going to need it.
West Yorks FCDA - we look forward to recording YOU hitting our site tomorrow. :-)   (google analytics is a wonderful thing)


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Sunday, November 03, 2013

The SS - Socialmedia Surveillance at WYFRS

We have been aware for well over a year now that West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue watch our  FCCL and personal FaceBook Pages.   My personal favourite was Group Manager Richard Veti saying to the then Brigade Membership Secretary David Williams "We know what sort of books she reads"  At the time Dave thought we had been rumbled in regard of our attempt to get Gipton Fire Station listed as I was reading books about the history of the fire service and volumes of old watch minutes. But what he actually meant was he had read a blog I had written about my local book club reading "50 Shades of Grey"  Then Andy Killingbeck an ill health  retired firefighter  was dragged in for a pension review and WYFRS cited articles on facebook  as a reason they considered him now fit for work.......... and refused to give the names of officers that had "brought it to managements attention" but as that is still under investigation we cant say much about it. It also came into the public domain that WYFRS had actually ordered surveillance on employees by private investigation companies and that Anthea Orchards car had a tracking device attached to it. And this is the stuff we know about !!!!!! What has gone on that has been undiscovered?

When FCCL was just getting into full swing in November 2012 and get loads of hits WYFRS  reissued their Social Media Policy to all staff. So we have always known we have been watched ......................................

We have had it confirmed that several  serving employees a(and high profile FBU members) are been investigated and potentially disciplined because they have been spotted "liking" pictures and / or articles on Facebook. A header used on West Yorkshire Fire Brigades Unions Facebook page is one of the offending pictures that has been "liked".
There is also the issue of picket lines - like many other Fire and Rescue Services WYFRS have banned the wearing of tunics whilst on picket lines and also banned the lighting of braziers. Now correct me if I am wrong - if ANYBODY knows how to supervise a lit  brazier a set of competent and qualified firefighters are probably as good as it gets.
So we would like you to share this handy information leaflet below- to show your disgust at the underhand and most likely illegal practise of monitoring FBU members social media postings. Freedom of Expression is enshrined in European Law.
Want to be disciplined ?  Wear your tunic and light a (controlled) fire.
Then blog, facebook and tweet and wait for the phone call from Simon P and Co.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Strike

We here at FCCL will be supporting the
Fire Brigades Union Strike Tomorrow.

That's a bit of a "No Shit Sherlock" moment for most of our readers.
But it's because we don't want to see this happen
We wish everybody who is withdrawing their labour for four hours tomorrow the very best of ........
well we would say luck but we reckon the scab labour that is being brought in as
cover will need all of that. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Near Miss in Bingley !!

On Friday evening we read in the Telegraph and Argus that an elderly woman was rescued from a burning flat in “medium risk” Bingley. By Saturday,  we had discovered quite how burnt she nearly was!    It was actually reported on the WYFRS incident log an adult female was rescued by 105 ladder, the bit they missed out was by the time the first pump got there the elderly lady was hanging out of the window!
Courtesy of Telegraph and Argus

Bingley was (obviously) the nearest station to the incident BUT they were off practising their water training so weren’t available. The nearest stations to Bingley are Shipley, Fairweather Green and Keighley.

Bingley could have got there in less than 2 minutes (as per RAC route finder) but as we have said, the pump wasn’t available.

The pumps deployed were from :
Bradford (7 miles away, 19 mins normal driving)
Keighley (3.8 miles away, 7 mins normal driving)
Leeds (a whopping 13.7 miles away and 33 minutes normal driving)
Shipley* (2.6 miles, 7 mins normal driving)
and Idle* (2.7 miles and 7 minutes normal driving)

*Don’t forget Shipley and Idle are both to close under the IRMP approved in 2011and will merge and lose a pump.
Keighley has already lost a pump earlier this year. Fairweather Green is also to close.

Also remember if it is a “person reported” incident
it needs the attendance of a
minimum of THREE PUMPS!

BUT IT GETS WORSE………………. They needed an aerial ladder platform (ALP).

Under normal circumstances this would have been provided by Bradford BUT required the tactic known as “cross jumping” where a crew drive back to the station, hop off the “bog standard” pump and drive away again in the ALP (or in some cases CARP- combined aerial rescue pump) but Bradford did not have a qualified driver for the ALP, so had to call for assistance from Leeds over 13.7 miles away. We have quite a lot to say about ALP and CARPs but will save that for another day.

This incident brings together things
we have talked about in the past year at FCCL.

Reducing pump (and fire fighter) numbers is foolish  as when the need arises there are insufficient pumps to attend an  incident within a decent response time – the gold standard being 6 mins. Less pumps and crews will inevitably mean that fire fighters however professional will  be tempted to take risks.

We assume the fire fighter who went up the ladder and rescued the elderly lady was physically fit and  under 55 and operationally fit.  With the proposed “reforms” that may soon not be the case. As well as insufficient engines you may end up with a rescue,  such as was executed on Friday resulting in the ending of somebodies operational career. Injuries increase with age and as WYFRS hasn’t recruited for many years, fire fighters are getting older with no young blood coming through the ranks. The fire fighter going up that ladder is getter older............

And just a thought………….. IF  the old lady had jumped, broken her back and died she wouldn’t feature in the death column of the fire statistics. Only if you die IN A FIRE  do you feature. Sad but True.

There is no mention on the incident logs of a working, disabled or not fitted smoke alarm. Bradford Areas  strategic plan states it is to

"deliver a proactive fire prevention and protection programme. Stopping fires before they occur is our first priority. To date, our actions have delivered significant success and we want to build upon this. We believe our successful community safety strategy lies in the links we maintain with our partners and we plan to strengthen and increase these to deliver a professional and resilient emergency response service"

We here at FCCL aren't convinced this is so. Neither are we optimistic about their claims to provide
"effective and ethical governance and achieve value for money in managing resources".

Value for money, managing resources -
no mention of saving lives , just money !

We think WYFRS had a very miss on Friday ………………

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us !

It is an important day for us here at FCCL.
It is a year to the day since we started blogging!

And before we doing anything else we have to say a BIG THANK YOU to the very kind person who sent flowers to Sarah's office this morning. We wrongly assumed  they were from the FBU and tried to say thank you, but apart from a Happy 1st Birthday tag there was no name.  Tomorrow evening we will place them on the Fire Fighters Memorial in Burley, Leeds  in recognition of all the fire fighters who have died carrying out their duties and serving the public without thought for their personal safety but for now they have pride of place in the house.

I think most people know why we started this blog. In December 2011 after fighting hard to try and save both Gipton and Stanks Fire Stations from closure in East Leeds  we read with incredulity the fact that WYFRS were publicly crowing that the IRMP Consultation Proposals pages of their website had had 1,750 hits. We as  the community and indeed the FBU concurred with us, that for 12 weeks of consultation it was pathetic, especially as many WYFRS staff would have taken a peek to see exactly what the website said from their computers at home. FCCL itself had been on the site from at least 5 different IP addresses.

1750 works out at approx  21 hits a day
for an area that has over a million residents!

So in September 2012 when the next round of cuts consultation was announced, we decided to set up a little experiment to TRY and get 1751 hits to prove to the public how much positive spin WYFRS put on their literature. A little blog with at that time no publicity apart from a few postings in the comments section of the local newspapers.  (we didn't set up our facebook page till later in September).
In the three months of consultation in 2012  the FCCL blog got 41,0001 views. 

We would like to share with you some of our vital statistics to date;

102,480 hits as of 7pm this evening.

Wednesday  7th November 2012 was our best ever day with over 5,500 hits which was triggered by retired Firefighter Joe O'Keefe - Morals don't pay the mortgage post

Our Top Three locations are

1. Leeds
2. London (which is indicative of  smart phone usage)
3. Cleckheaton 

Our Top Three Service Providers are

1. IP Pools
2. Business static locations

and way down at  No 53  - West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence Authority which has visited us 34  times. The last being earlier today (sorry we didn't update the blog in time for you to see).


BOUNCE RATE  =   14.98%

Most websites expect to get a bounce rate of at least 40% . We have all done it - that "whoops that's not the site we expected"  when you  jump straight off a website because it is the wrong one. A bounce rate of 14.98%   makes us the envy of our friends in the IT world. (and we work in IT remember)  In fact in November 2012 it was less than 6% and even in the wilderness months of January / February  never went past 20%.

 FCCL is without a doubt attracting
its' target audience!

Mind you we knew from day two (and only 56 hits) we were onto a winner. But more about that tomorrow when we will tell you about a very unusual phone call from Hannah Stoneman of WYFRS and follow up emails from CFO Pilling.


We owe so many people THANK YOU's

David Williams of the West Yorks FBU

and all of the WYFBU  team who have taken a great deal of stick for what we have done.

Andy Killingbeck - retired Gipton Fire fighter  who even though he wasn't and isn't responsible for FCCL has undergone a malicious pension review because of FCCL.

All at South Yorks FBU - and their comrades in Doncaster who made us very welcome.

Joe O'Keefe (retired fire fighter Keighley) who has fought hard to bring the truth into the public domain.

Anthea Orchard - ex WYFRS employee 

And perhaps the biggest THANK YOU OF ALL  needs to go to all the people who help us that we cannot ever name.

Without your help this  site would not be as successful
 as it has been.

We look forward to our next 365 days of blogging. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Truth -Every Second Counts !

Above is a video by London FBU which clearly demonstrates that what politicians

SAY and what they DO

are two different things.

 REMEMBER - we, the public working together with the Fire Brigades Union


In 2011 WYFRS agreed to close 10 Fire Stations and bragged about getting
1750 hits on their website.

In 2012 working in partnership the public and FBU saved 3 stations from closure and modified the fire authority's plans dramatically.  This blog in 3 months received 41,000 hits and to date has clocked up over 100,000 views which proves to us

People can make a difference
 if they work together !

Monday, September 02, 2013

Death In East Ardsley - a low risk area.

We have posted many times now about Morley Fire Station and WYFRS wish to turn it to a day crewed station in January 2014.Morley on Saturday night attended a fire where sadly a death occurred.

Without the required number of staff residing within the 5 minute radius and the logistics screaming out it is not a practical option Stubborn Simon will plough on and  Morley will be day crewed next year. Adding to fires like the one below an additional minimum of FIVE MINUTES to the response times.

Morley consists of two areas.. one high and one low risk. This particular fire was in the adjoining ward of Ardsley and Robin Hood which is also categorised as low risk. But as we have demonstrated in Keighley which has a similar risk demographics Fire is no respecter of these boundaries.

On Saturday  evening in East Ardsley a man in his 60's died in a house fire. Two engines were sent in the first instance as it was not known until they arrived at the scene  that the fire was a "persons reported" incident and a third engine was dispatched to Laburnum Close (WF3 2HZ)  which looks to have been built originally as social housing.

Our sincere condolences go to his family.

This incident was not reported on the WYFRS incident logs and as of 10am Monday morning we can see no trace of it in the papers. We have never questioned WYFRS about their adhoc use of the public incident logs on their website; perhaps we should as it  most certainly do not reflect the incidents their crews attend. A bird stuck up a tree may get a mention but most often a death is not likely to feature.

Is this because they wish to shelter the citizens of
West Yorks from the devastation fire can deal out?

Surely not, does not a month will go by without some TV soap having to dial 999 and engines
turn up to either dramatically rescue people or stand and watch a ceiling collapse so a long running actor can be permanently dispatched to TV heaven!

We can therefore only assume it is to continue the
 gross manipulation of fire and rescue figures in our area.


as the Fire Brigades Union now has a mandate from its members to strike and the scab "operatives" are being trained to stand in for them when the strike is undertaken we cant help but think that if this death were to have taken place during the strike the newspapers would be queuing up to accuse the FBU of murder! It will actually be interesting to see how the reporting of incidents changes in particular on the WYFRS site  during the legal industrial action ( which is always a last resort )and we sincerely hope that the negotiating teams can resolve the matter and that it does not have to take place.

But we hold true to what is being said by fire fighters the length and breadth of the country, this strike is necessary now  to save lives in the future.

We will close with a BRILLIANT statement made by a fire fighter from Hertfordshire FBU. Which we re posted on our facebook page and got our best ever response for a plain and simple post with over 1,300 views in less than 24 hours.

By Herts FBU

Please help educate as many people as possible about the facts and in this day and age we are able to have a big influence on the media machine!!!

Over the next few weeks, the public are going to hear stories in the media about 'greedy, ungrateful, lazy firefighters' that want to strike over their 'gold plated, expensive to the tax-payer, generous pensions' that are 'given' to them by the government, and that our pensions are the 'best around'.

The facts are these, I pay 14% into my pension, £400 per month (feel free to compare that to what any of you pay). The Gov are changing my pension and are going to make me work an EXTRA 10years to receive a LOWER pension, making me work until I'm 60. Over that 10years ill pay an EXTRA £45,000 into MY pension, and receive less per year than I would of under the current scheme! If I'm lucky to live until I'm 80 then this change will cost me PERSONALLY over £100,000!

Would you want a 60year old male or female firefighter coming into your home to rescue you and your  family?

On top of this, they are bringing in a new scheme, that if I don't meet their fitness standards at 50-60, they can dismiss me and keep ALL my pension until I'm 67. So the 40odd years of paying £400 a month into the scheme, they would keep! The Gov themselves had an independent review done that found it would be highly unlikely for FFs to carry out the duties or meet the fitness standards at age 60. They are now ignoring their own review!

 It's true that under my current scheme I retire at 50 having worked 30 years. They might seem early to many people, but it's because I pay in the 14% and accumulate enough money to be able to retire at an earlier age. Maybe its a small perk for working Christmas Days, family Birthdays, Weekends and Evenings, and New Years etc for the 30 years as well as putting the publics safety before my own.

This Government are obsessed with tearing the public sector apart, this is the start. Mark my words that in a few years there will be talk of privatising the Fire Brigade and other public services. A way for the Government to make money off people's misery.

Firefighters need support, please ignore the medias spin on the facts.

Firefighters DO NOT want to strike. But the Gov have us against the wall and are unwilling to listen to our concerns.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mr Barnes has replied.........

Ms Covell,
I refer to the email you sent to the Chairman and Chief Fire Officer which has been referred for my attention in accordance with our procedure for dealing with complaints against senior officers. They will not be responding directly to you.
I shall be giving this matter appropriate consideration and I would anticipate communicating with you further within the next 5 to 10 working days.
It would be most helpful if you could provide me with a territorial address for future communication purposes.
MG Barnes BA Solicitor
Director of Corporate Resources (Clerk & Monitoring Officer)
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
Oakroyd Hall
BD11 2DY

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Handbag Gate

We here at FCCL advocate being in a trades union, for many reasons.
Firstly, if you ever need support at work it's there and of course the more you become involved in a unions activities  the more benefits you gain.  Education and qualifications are available for members in  everything from basic skills to specialist diplomas in many subjects including employment law and equality.  But the main benefit without a doubt is
if you are up a creek without one,  a union can provide a damn fine paddle!
But sometimes as well as a belt - you need braces!

 or in the instance we are going to divulge below 
 a mobile phone with a recording function.


On the 22nd May 2013, Anthea Orchard signed a compromise agreement with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, which in part was an acknowledgement   that they (on behalf of the tax payers of West Yorkshire !!!!) had vicariously breached her human rights by  hiring a private investigation company to provide "directed surveillance" for a period of up to three months, (which included tracking her family car).  This Regulation of Investigative Powers form was signed by Assistant Chief Fire Officer
Martyn Redfearn within HOURS  of Anthea saying she was not fit for duty  on 31st October 2012. Without a shadow of a doubt she was ill and was absent for several weeks - even WYFRS cannot ignore a Fit Note from a GP! 

So, an employee who was already acknowledged as suffering from depression, hypothyroidism and work place stress was placed under (very incompetent) surveillance by ACO Redfearn.
(who is probably sighing a huge sigh of relief that he retired in early 2013 or perhaps he is getting ready to be a SCAB and add strike breaking to his list of misdemeanours)

Anyway fast forward to an office at WYFRS headquarters at Birkenshaw earlier this year...... present in the room are a  newly appointed Assistant Chief Fire Officer (and HR director) , an area manager and an HR representative, an FBU representative and Anthea  (the employee whose car was tracked ) All there to negotiate  her compromise agreement. And we have to say we don't blame her for recording the meeting, on balance we would have done it  too. It's also fair to say that nobody could have envisaged what would have been picked up by the mobile when the meeting was played back.


If you listen to the recording  you can clearly hear Anthea and her union representative leaving the room. And after a discussion about the negotiations we believe  the HR person  saying " is that her handbag" some rustling in the bag and her mobile phone being handled and then dropped back into the bag. We therefore think  the person who actually went in the bag was the area manager!

They all knew that they had done wrong by the stress reaction of silence and the nervous clicking of biro's afterwards .......which in first listening to we thought a bit funny. But by far  the worst part is the  saying "That's a bit naughty we should have asked her"  which can of course be interpreted in so many ways.

"That's a bit naughty"  (a mild reprimand  for going in her bag) 
"We should have asked her" (for permission to rifle through her bag)


"That's a bit naughty" (recording the conversation)
"We should have asked her" (if she was recording the conversation)

Either way the ACO allowed his staff  to go in somebodys handbag
when the owner was out of the room!!!!

We expect all three to be suspended, investigated  and disciplined for gross misconduct!

We have sent a copy of the recording and other names we believe to be involved to CFO Pilling and Cllr Mahboob Khan, Chair of the Authority, which will give them  an opportunity to invoke their new independent senior officer  complaints process.  We do  not believe CFO Pilling is an appropriate person to comment on his ACOs integrity, its going to take an independent person to do that. ( if independent they hopefully  are ???)
If our allegations are upheld we cannot help but wonder what the sanctions will be?

We were told recently  an FBU member was demoted for tweeting - the sanction should surely be demotion or indeed dismissal  for the ACO for allowing the tampering with of very private property by his subordinate staff. 


Its not a very good start for the  new Director of HR is it?

Having read a significant number of the papers involved with this case we will say just one thing, there is one little ray of hope in that dank immoral pit that is West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Senior Management  and it comes from Mick Smith dated 16th November 2012

 "Always there are two sides to a story" he writes. 

Yes Mick, and having given our side of events  we are keen  to hear the story  that WYFRS come up with for  going into a woman's handbag (seemingly condoned by both an assistant chief officer AND a Human Resources representative who very kindly identified the handbag on the recording for us "is that her bag"  she clearly states) at a meeting to discuss the financial settlement she was to receive for being illegally watched.

Ironic or what!

What made them rifle her handbag in the first place - does it happen often that senior officers go  through their staffs personal possessions? 

Perhaps all meetings going forward at WYFRS should be conducted with hands placed clearly on a table, which may cause problems if the need to scratch ones balls is  required, (but saying that we are  not sure anybody in WYFRS senior management have any anyway).

Heads should roll for this but we  suspect all concerned will be getting a pat on the back  despite red faces all round. 
We hear more and more of employees of WYFRS being supported and encouraged to report their colleagues who use social media to  challenge the working practices of WYFRS.  FCCL itself has been cited in  the  pension review of one of its supporters - although  the person concerned has requested via Freedom of Information the actual passages in facebook and on this blog which render the pensioner fit to work (after being retired on ill health grounds ) they  have never received a satisfactory answer. But we eagerly await the next instalment in that particular long running story........ and look forward to the day when we can blog the lot.



This evening we will publish a file we have had a for quite a while now.  It clearly demonstrates how low senior staff at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue will sink. Earlier this year when the owner was out of the room,  a member of WYFRS staff rifled through a handbag, and was we believe from listening to the recording ,watched by an Assistant Chief Fire Officer  and member of the HR team.

We understand  that at least one person involved  is aware of what took place. And to be honest  the decent thing to do is resign ...............  in fact all three of them should.

The potential strike by Fire Brigades Union members will we expect be used as an excuse not to  invoke the correct disciplinary procedures......... we will watch the next  24 hours with interest. (whilst nervously clicking our biros in anticipation  !!!)

Keep Out.

Friday, August 09, 2013

To Tweet or not to Tweet ?

Today FCCL went for a coffee and a welsh rarebit ( #aspirationalcheeseontoast ) with a lady we much admire, Anthea Orchard. We have been in touch for a while now with her  and have watched this weeks events unfold with interest (and a very unusual silence that some of you may have observed). 

Many comments in FCCL circles have said "if you knew, why didn't you blog it?" and  I have to admit I was seriously tempted BUT we  figured for such a serious allegation (which we hadn't had corroborated by anybody else) a face to face meeting was essential before any tapping of keyboards took place. Anyway today FCCL and Anthea met for the first, and we sincerely hope not the last time! And as it turns out we have a lot in common. (Under active thyroids and pet rabbits for a start). 

Having read a few of the WYFRS papers and emails  in depth ,  that Anthea has showed us, it seems some employees in WYFRS have nothing better to do with our tax payers money than to trawl face book for allegedly errant employees who heaven forbid have facebook pages. Are they working without permission or perhaps bringing WYFRS into dispute? It seems that as well as social media in WYFRS eyes it's Anti Social Media.

Although it seems to FCCL that WYFRS senior  managers seem to be doing a damn fine job of being anti social themselves recently.  Simon "no comment" Pilling could probably do with coming out of his ivory training  tower instead of peeking over the battlements and chucking the occasional AC/DC O to the crowd. Although many claim that Simon has completely lost the plot in all of this and actually WYFRS is currently a rudderless ship!

We  can't help but wonder as Anthea was exonerated of the allegations AND  received a payment for damages, if WYFRS employees (all views expressed are their own of course) will be reprimanded for posting negative comments in the social media world about an ex colleague.  We give an example on the left from a WYFRS current employee.

Don't know about anybody else but I find the #attentionseeking  hashtag in particular offensive!

How do we know he is a WYFRS employee? As an avid twitterer he actually tweets he is at Birkenshaw HQ !

Gary, bless him also seems to  revel in the fact that Anthea openly admitted on national TV  to being full of oestrogen when the events took place resulting in the  application for authority for directed surveillance that  was instigated by recently retired ACO Martyn Redfearn.

Well Gary, if you despise  women  whose hormones are all over the place because  they have recently given birth; you should have thought twice before really annoying a MENOPAUSAL ONE who runs a blog!


Anyway (windows 8 permitting ) we will be back  tomorrow with a post  "Rhodes to Nowhere". Well actually we think that ACO Rhodes may shortly be up a rather  dirty waterway without an appropriate method of propulsion to move him forward.  #redfacesallround  - maybe!  

Friday, August 02, 2013

Why FCCL will keep soldiering on ..............

Today is a special day for FCCL, and tomorrow some time will be, 
in part,  spent in quiet reflection of past friends and memories
 that can still reduce me to tears forty years later.  

I oppose cuts in fire and rescue provision in the main because having become involved nearly two years ago now, and  it seems day by day increasingly the right thing to do. I have been named in WYFRS dodgy reports, phoned up and harassed by WYFRS employees and the deeper i  have dug into their dealings have been genuinely shocked by what i have discovered ( and  that's not including the transformation of a greengrocer into an ACO which rendered me speechless for all of ten minutes!) 

WYFRS  breach peoples human rights by tracking their cars, try and discipline employees for "liking" our facebook page and also they tell lies (which i intend shortly to prove) . Add in manipulating figures to the nth degree and it seems pretty clear somebody  (and i don't just include me in that statement) has to stand up to them. 


There are other reasons i run this blog.

For a kick off i was brought up in the fire service as my father (Eddie) was a fireman at Huddersfield,   as later was my brother Paul. And as a consequence growing up i  had a myriad of "Uncles" in my life.  Uncle Ken (Lane) was a favourite as he always ran the children's parties at Christmas (where at Huddersfield FS Santa actually came down the chimney).And my Uncle Arthur (Tallon) who up to me being about  7 lived next door but one. 

I had the honour of being brought up in a close knit community of firemen and their families who looked after each other, The Tallon's were my godparents  and myself and Jane their youngest daughter and I were close friends even though she was three years my senior. 

40 years ago today at  around about the same time as i am writing this, a fire started in Summerlands, an entertainment complex in the Isle of Man. Fifty people lost their lives that night including Jane Tallon aged 13 who had been allowed to go on holiday with a friend and her mum  for the first time. 

Summerlands Leisure Complex 

By this time my Uncle Arthur was DCO of Huddersfield Fire Service and  I can't imagine the torment he and his family went through in the days and weeks after Jane's death. I can however vividly remember sitting glued to the TV the day after the fire watching  the death toll go up and my dad pacing the floor muttering that she would have known what to do and how escape. I knew exactly what my dad meant as I along with probably every other fire fighters child i  had been taught from an early age to make a mental note of fire exits, extinguishers etc when going somewhere new -to be honest i still do it to this day! Eventually  Jane's body was identified by Uncle Arthur by a St Christopher around her neck.  

I know how I felt in the months after Jane's death and I shall never forget my Uncle Arthur and Auntie Jeanne's faces when i saw them the evening of  Jane's burial at her graveside. Desolate doesn't even cover a 10th of the expressions on their faces  and insides their hearts must  have been not just broken but smashed to bits. 

So I have seen and felt first hand what fire can do to a person, a family and a community and that's why i will keep plodding on. Sadly i am convinced that one day soon the ridiculous  cuts in fire fighters and services will come home to roost and somebody will die unnecessarily. It might be a member of the public or a fire fighter  but it will without a shadow of a doubt be someone's loved son or daughter. 

I shall always remember Jane and I sitting in her dads car watching a big mill fire ( he had a dreadful habit of following fire engines even if he was off duty) and when you were little it was brilliant fun being driven in car with the siren blaring and a blue light flashing on top)  and being totally unfazed by it all,  with the occasional fireman popping by to see if we were ok.   That most certainly wouldn't happen these days!   

I will be back to my usual stroppy bad tempered self tomorrow but for tonight will sign off with the words carved into Jane's headstone  - Goodnight, God Bless.  and the Firefighters Prayer 

                                                         When I am called to duty God, 

Where-ever flames may rage, 

Give me strength to save some life, 

What ever be it's age. 

Help me embrace a little child, 

Before it is too late, 

Or save an older person from 

The horror of that fate. 

Enable me to be alert and to hear the 

weakest shout, 

And quickly and efficiently, 

To put the fire out. 

I want to fill my calling and 

To give the best in me, 

To guard my every neighbour and 

Protect his property. 

And if according to my fate, 

I am to lose my life, 

Please bless with your protective hand, 

My children and my wife

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Ed and Councillors .............

Dear  Mr Balls ,

We understand that  you are meeting with the Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling to discuss the proposals  that Morley Fire Station is "day crewed"  from January 2014.

So FCCL as concerned individuals would just like to share the following information with you all of which we believe will demonstrate that WYFRS senior management are not using sound management techniques but lurching from pillar to post in the management of WYFRS.



  [ri-zil-yuhns, -zil-ee-uhns]
the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, overstretched; elasticity.
ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.

On Thursday 18th of July WYFRS 
 were so overstretched  their 
resilience plans were invoked. 


Recall to duty is purely voluntary. They send everyone available a text message saying that if they want the overtime  they are then to get to a certain destination within an hour ready to go. (remember too every appliance MUST HAVE a qualified driver and crew manager) 

All 5 resilience pumps were mobilised, although none where mobilised within the allocated 1 hour

First resilience pump mobilised within 1 and half hours       the fifth one took 3 hours!!

Some pumps also were running 
with just 4 crew !

So Mr Balls we at FCCL think that closing fire stations and removing crews  is wrong, if it takes THREE  HOURS to staff resilience engines that WYFRS rely heavily on in their documentation. Its all talk ....... 


.........Further proposals will be presented to WYFRA in future years, however it is not anticipated that these will involve any further new builds prior to 2016.   

(SO WHY DID HE DECIDE TO CLOSE 3 MORE STATIONS    (including Morley) and build 2 new ones  a year later? 

And about Moortown in the 2012 /13 IRMP 

...........WYFRS’ commitment to providing an excellent and efficient service has informed the proposal to introduce an innovative way of providing an emergency response service within the area of Moortown and Leeds District. Instead of continuing to provide two front line fire appliances WYFRS will replace one of them with a Fire Response Unit which will be capable of providing a faster response to smaller incidents across Leeds District. This will maximise the availability of front line fire appliances for life and property incidents.

(we have firm opinions of FRU's read them  here

ROTHWELL Fire Station  ---- April 2012 

 “It is unnecessary to stress the operational advantages and the need for speed in responding to emergency calls as in many situations even seconds count when lives and property are in danger. The current proposals for Rothwell are operationally more desirable as it contains all the activities associated with the fire station within the site, and ensures that staff are located as close as possible to the station to ensure fast response times.”

Yet in September  2012 it seems Rothwell was to close ( we blogged about the proposed close call plans in October 2012) And then they suddenly decided it could be day crewed!

And what about Day Crewing? 

Day Crewing

Day Crewing is a duty system contained within firefighters' national 
terms and conditions, however, any move on to this system is 
voluntary, as it requires staff to live within  5 minutes of the station.  
Firefighters are suitably recompensed with an on-call allowance, 
turnout fees and rent/fuel allowance.  In theory, there are sufficient staff  living within the 5 minute zone at all stations proposed to change to the Day Crewing system but further work is required to establish interest in working this duty system.

We are told time and time again that crews are not willing to day crew and we understand that volunteers are not queueing to sign on the dotted line. So what WYFRS say in theory cannot be transferred to practice. We wrote about it here 

So Ed we wish you luck in your dealing with CFO Pilling -  and whatever you do take detailed notes as you will  no doubt need them to remind Simon of what he has said. Because if we the community don't win this fight we think at some point our words written way back in September 2012 will come back to haunt him. 

Kindest Regards

Simple Simon* met a fireman looking at a fire
Said simple Simon* to the fire man, “those flames are getting higher”
Said the fire man to simple Simon*  “we haven’t got a hope
Those IRMP plans you passed are really not a joke”

 Said simple Simon*to the fireman –“ I don’t know what you mean
These cuts in staff and engines, it will make us slick and lean!”
Said the fire man to simple Simon* – “oh no you’ve got it wrong
With increased tavel time and less staff too –  soon it will go all wrong”

This fire will spread,   we have no staff to help us  put it out
These cuts you love will kill a child,  the politicians shout
“It wasn’t us it, was that man – he told us what to do
And Simon* got it wrong it seems  – and now what shall we do?”

If Simon* wasn’t simple but a decent man with faith
We  wouldn’t have to write this poem  (And our homes would  all be safe!)