Sunday, March 31, 2013

Not Yet Nigel

Today when you reset your clocks, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue suggest you check your smoke alarm. 

BUT there are always a million reasons why you never do 

Not yet  Nigel, its only 5 to 6,
I'm waiting for the Easter bun
To bring my chocolate fix

Not yet Nigel, there's such a lot to do
The rabbits chewed the carpet
So I've put them in stew

Not yet Nigel, its time to cook some lunch
But its not quite 11 yet
I think i'll call it "brunch"

Not yet Nigel, its time watch TV
Nigellas on and licking spoons
Food porn it is to me

Not yet Nigel, I'm off to B & Q
I'm British, on bank holidays
Its what the natives do

Not yet Nigel its time to make some tea
Shopping for shelves and gloss paint
Gives an appetite you see

Not yet Nigel, I'm tired and need a snooze
My feet up on the sofa
And I'll watch the evening news

Not yet Nigel,its time to go to bed
I've drunk too much  (of gin I think)
I have a pounding head!

Oh shit Nigel the house is burning down
I didn't check the smoke alarm
It didn't make a sound

I'm DEAD Nigel, whatever shall i do
I should have checked the batteries
like you had told me to

Tomorrow check your smoke alarm,
No go do it NOW!
Cos West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
Need to get the risk rate down


(but contrary to what they will have youthink they don't reduce the risk of you having a fire - they just prevent you dying in it. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Riots over Cuts in Fire and Rescue Provision

Sadly today we heard of actual riots (including the throwing of petrol bombs) due to the proposed privatisation of a Fire Station. 

Although we at FCCL may sometimes sail close to the wind in our vocal opposition of cuts in fire service provision, actions such as these WE CANNOT CONDONE . 

Therefore to read  an account of what happened please click


And just a note to let you know that in  Leeds City Centre on April 20th  there is a protest in regard to the Bedroom Tax which will come into force on April 1st. We hope it will be a well organised event where everybody  exercises their democratic right to protest. If you need more information regarding how the bedroom tax may affect you and your family please click here to link to the HOOH site

Friday, March 29, 2013

And the answer to the question is ..........

The answer to 

The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything 

is usually taken to be 

but today in a chic Leeds Coffee Shop in a Victorian arcade 
(not that awful cloned shopping centre they have just built) 
we had an FCCL  team meeting. 

we have come up with the real answer to 
The Question of Life, The Universe and Everything, 

it's not 42 it is 

We can't i am afraid at this moment in time explain 
exactly what 712  pertains to (data protection and all that) 


it involves many managers at WYFRS. 
 (we have this in writing)  


there is one manager we can name,

Assistant Chief Fire Officer David Walton 

who knows ALL ABOUT IT 

 - ask him nicely he might just tell you........... 

his contact details are available  here


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Labour Party to the Rescue (well in Bradford)

Lets face it folks it not often we give a round of applause 


BUT TODAY we are making an exception.........................

We have decided to give 

Bradford Metropolitan District Council 

our very first 

"Pat On the Back Award "  

for doing something right in regard to fire and rescue in West Yorkshire.  

Our first award - will Leeds be next we wonder ? 

The transcript in full is as follows

The Council notes the Government’s plans to privatise Fire Services by the back door.
This Council believes that essential emergency services such as the Fire Service should be concerned with protecting the public and not with the pursuit of profit. 
We believe that the privatisation of fire services would put lives at risk and undermine the principle of a service for all people whenever they need it.
The Council therefore resolves to:

1) Oppose the Government’s proposals for the back door privatisation of fire services.
2) Write to Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Communities and Local Government and to the Chair of the House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee making clear its opposition to Fire Service privatisation and its concerns about the impact that such a move would have on the safety and security of the residents and businesses of Bradford District.
3) Call on the District’s MPs to oppose the privatisation of fire services.
4) Call on the other West Yorkshire Authorities to take similar action to protect the County’s fire services from privatisation.

The full BMDC decision list from the meeting of the 26th March 2013 is available here

And please don't forget

 But before we sign off for the evening - remember  the clocks go forward on Sunday - the perfect time to  test your smoke alarms, see here  on the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue website for advice on home fire safety. 

Rather ironically we note on the page link listed above it says 

In West Yorkshire, 29% of smoke alarms fail to operate, mostly because of missing or flat batteries.  Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week, it could save your life!

Well actually WYFRS  - YES WE DID   - which is why FCCL will continue to campaign against cuts in provision to the fire and rescue service. 

Fire cuts really will cost lives! 

So if your smoke alarm doesn't go BEEP BEEP BEEP when you  test it on Sunday  (before stuffing your face with chocolate) 

And if your smoke alarm was provided by WYFRS in the first place and the battery has failed please drop us a line to let us know. Our email address is available here

Monday, March 25, 2013

These fires are messing our figures up

We at FCCL have known since starting this blog that 
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue have always been 
economical with 


And we at FCCL are also very fond of Friedrich Nietzsche. So the quote below covers how we feel when we hear of WYFRS yet again not giving the full story on their incident log, well actually not giving any story on their incident log........ so to quote Fred yet again 

" I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you"   

So tonight we are going to tell you of two fires in Keighley that NEVER MADE  the WYFRS incident log.  

But first we need to explain about Keighley .........

On December 21st 2012 the West Yorkshire Fire Authority made the decision to reduce Keighley Fire Station from two pumps to one. The consultation document issued by WYFRS in regard to response times said 

"The time it takes for a fire engine to get to a fire is an extremely important part of the overall ambition of “Making West Yorkshire Safer”, so it is vital that, with limited resources, fire engines are located in the best places where fires are most likely to occur."

Keighley is made up of three areas - 
Central -  Very High Risk 
East - High Risk 
West - Low Risk 

So many people, firefighters included were gobsmacked when Simon Pilling & Co announced that the second pump at Keighley was to be removed with much haste and no thought  at the end of February 2012.  

Since then we  have had several reports of WYFRS struggling to make pumps three when a house fire with persons reported is logged in the Keighley area. 

Lets take a look at  two  recent examples  

On Wednesday 20th March there was a house fire in Belgrave Road in Central Keighley, 
(a very high risk area)

As we have explained before a house fire with persons reported requires the attendance of THREE pumps. Keighley duly turned out, followed by Silsden.  The third pump should have come from either Keighley or Silsden but both have had them removed by WYFRS. 

The third pump had to come all the way from Shipley  (which is also due to close soon!)  

Using the RAC routefinder  Shipley Fire Station   to Belgrave Road is 6.96 miles and takes 17 minutes, so even if you half it to  8.5 minutes for being able to put your foot down and blue light it all the way,  it is still  4.42 minutes over the current predicted response time for Keighley Central.

And not two days later the second fire with persons reported was in Branby Avenue (Keighley East - a high risk area)

Not just one person this time but an entire family who required oxygen therapy at the scene of the fire. This fire was attended by Keighley and BIngley.   It was more than good luck got the family out,,,,,, the dishwasher  ignited (we assume an electrical fault) and  caused the fuse box to trip the main switch. This set the burglar alarm off which woke the occupants of the house. As the kitchen door was shut the smoke alarm did not sound until the kitchen door was opened. This family have had a very lucky escape. 

And not a fire but a road traffic accident in Keighley on the 20th March  - sadly  two people died  and one was cut free by Keighley crews - no mention of this either on the incident log. 



WHY ? 

well we have it on good authority senior staff at Keighley have said 

And there is only one response to that 

 We at FCCL think with a little help from our friends we will learn of more invisible incidents that never make the public logs. You would think that WYFRS would be proud to demonstrate what they do, instead of hiding brave men and womens deeds because it messes up their highly manipulated figures. 

60,000 and counting

Over the weekend FCCL tipped the 60,000 hits mark. 

Not bad for a little blog site that aimed to get 1,751 hits .....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Morley ... round two commences

Fire engines are RED ....

Appliance lights BLUE

They want  to turn Morley to day only crew

But it's here in a paper

It's in Black and White

It works only for low risk

So try as they might

It wont cut the cost

And response times will  rise

So Simon and Co  wipe the dust from  your eyes

The fight it’s not over , the battle not won

Because Mps and Councillors  are acting as one

Its wrong to tweak figures

And wrong now to lie

So read  this appendix  - we will tell you why .

We are pleased to report that both Robert Finnegan (Morley Independents )  and Ed Balls (Labour ) agree that changing Morley to day crewing is irresponsible. So a new campaign to save Morley has been started. 

Morley Independents blog can be read   HERE

We have also blogged about  response times and funding implications before here at So whats new !

The Fire Futures Funding Report is available in full here from the Local Government association website. 

Strangely enough the LGA  chair for the Safer and Stronger Communities Board is Mehboob Khan who is also the Chair of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority - we at FCCL think it strange his documents for one association say one thing and something different for another, we can only assume it depends on who is paying him! 

Friday, March 08, 2013

House Calls

We would like to know 
your views on response times. 

And before you complete the survey below - please take a minute to watch how quickly a fire can take hold in a domestic setting. AND REMEMBER - a fire doubles in size every minute!

So now you have watched what happens in TWO minutes - please complete the survey below. 

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

2 Days - 2 Fires - 2 Deaths

It is with great sadness we  have to report that in the last two days we have read of  two fire fatalities in Leeds,  West Yorkshire. 

The first was in Bawn Vale  in Farnley where fire fighters found the body of an elderly man at 3.30am  on March 5th.  The fire was so severe that neighbours have had to be evacuated as the  building is structurally unsafe. Bawn Vales postcode reveals to us that it was in an area designated "High Risk"  by WYFRS. 

More details of the incident can be found  here  on the BBC news website 

Bawn Vale _Courtesy of the Yorkshire Post 

The next fire was also in Leeds, Harehills to be precise. Again an elderly person was the victim, who sadly died after being rescued by fire crews.  Brownhill Crescent is currently designated a "Very High Risk" area and was a back to back house (a subject on which we blogged many moons ago - see here  for details) 

Brownhill Crescent _ Courtesy of the Yorkshire Evening Post 
A firefighter who attended the scene told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Once the fire was brought under control, firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and located a female and brought her out. She was unconscious and was taken to hospital.”

Please note it was a qualified and experienced  firefighter who rescued the lady concerned

 NOT a smoke alarm!!!!  

Both as FCCL and COVEN  we have repeatedly told of our concerns regarding the closure of Gipton Fire Station as the areas of Very High Risk are  closer to it than the proposed new "superstation" at Killingbeck. 

We are now hearing of ways and means that may allow WYFRS to legitimately increase response times across all West Yorkshires Very High Risk Areas and we will shortly  reveal  these to the public, but until noon Friday our lips are sealed. 

Will you be shocked - YES 

Will you be disgusted - YES 

Ironically  the Harehills fatality was in the Burmantofts &  Richmond Hill Ward  of Cllr Ron Grahame, who in  2011 voted to close Gipton and Stanks fire stations.  We wonder how you are feeling now Ron, because  you can be guaranteed fires in your ward will eventually go up, smoke and mirrors can only last for so long.

As ACO Martyn Redfearn said to the select committee - people will die because of these cuts in service. The post  is available HERE

Poverty is rising, the population is ageing - both of these increase the risk of fire. It has not gone un noticed by FCCL that   both of these fatalities were elderly people living in socially disadvantaged areas of the city. 

When FCCL first  set up, and was less than 24 hours old we were phoned by Hannah Stoneman of WYFRS who tried to tell us that the death of  James Whitburn of Chapeltown was "nothing to do with the IRMP"  So we can only assume that were we to ask them WYFRS would say exactly the same about the two fires above.