Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Goodbye Marsden We Will Miss You..............

As of  Midnight tonight, fire and rescue cover in the Colne Valley is significantly reduced. 

Marsden Fire Station Closes at Midnight 

WYFRA seem to think that it is no longer necessary 
- as cover can be provided by
 Slaithwaite  further down the Colne Valley.

Here is what WYFRS say about Marsden ........

Marsden Fire Station, built in 1956, is located on the A62 just outside the village centre and is set in the dramatic and beautiful scenery of the Peak District National Park and the South Pennine moorland.  There is a population of 3832 and the area incorporates 1690 dwellings. The station is managed by a station commander who is also responsible for Slaithwaite and Meltham fire stations. The station is staffed by a full time local retained support officer and retained firefighters who operate the 'on call' retained duty system.  The staff take a pride and perform an active role within the community supporting many community events with the village and raising money for local charities through car wash days.The biggest risk within the station is Standedge tunnel, the longest and deepest rail and canal tunnel in the country.  Marsden also has large tracks of moorland much of which is classified as SSI status with big areas owned by The National Trust.  The station borders with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

So we wonder what is going to happen if there is a light at either end of Standedge Tunnel ?  

We do know accidents happen  -  as can be read in the Saddleworth News HERE 

Lets just hope (and prayers might be handy too) that there isnt an incident in the tunnel,  as its a long drive from Diggle! Even in a fire engine...... 


We have been hearing rumours FOR MONTHS that at the end of April 2013, CFO Simon Pilling was going to announce (proudly no doubt) that West Yorkshire no  longer had any 

VERY HIGH RISK AREA's  - all remaining were to be down graded to "just"   HIGH 

As there have been deaths recently in VERY HIGH RISK areas in Leeds - we think it would be foolish of WYFRS to make any such announcements.

Tomorrow is MAY 1st  - we watch and will wait to see what happens ! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fireman Jeff Naylor

As an Aries who  had the (mis)  fortune to be born in the Chinese year of the Tiger it could be said that I  am astrologically pre programmed to be hot headed and  bad tempered  (ok that might be a rhetorical question)  it could also be said that i see things very much in black or white - no  50 Shades of Grey  for me  

BUT some times things are so obvious,  to ignore them is a crime. 

And in my opinion today WYFRS should have had on its news site a mention or memorial  to  Jeff Naylor the last firefighter to die whilst on operational duty in West Yorkshire. Lets hope in  10 weeks time after reading this they mark the anniversary of his actual death with significantly more respect. 

On Saturday a very important event took place, the naming of the last remaining pump
 at Keighley Fire Station  after   Jeff  Naylor a fireman at the station  30 years ago. 

Jeff was on duty on the 27th April 1983 when Keighley Fire Station attended an incident on Broomhill Walk,   a house fire in which 2 of the 5 children rescued died.  Jeff suffered horrific injuries at the incident  and died  aged 31 years ten weeks  later in Pinderfields Hospital , leaving two young children without a father. 

He was commended by the Queen for his bravery, an honour which was collected
 by his young son Mark the  year after. 

Fortunately, the death of fire fighters is a rare occurrence  31 firefighters have lost their lives in the execution of their duty in West Yorkshire, a roll of honour is listed below.

Leeds Brigade Memorial - courtesy of Mrs P  Leach 

It wouldn't have taken 10 minutes to compose a brief tribute to Jeff and post it, or maybe an outline of the events at Keighley on Saturday. Social media is a quick and easy way to transmit information to lots of people very quickly, and although this blog is usually written and published all in one fell swoop, it is possible to  programme it to release information at  certain  time  if we are not about to press PUBLISH. 

And nobody knows of the power  &  speed of social media more than the newest  Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton. He has a twitter account   @ACOwestyorksfire  which we watch with interest. For example he spent Sunday having a look around Haworth, a spot of shopping perhaps, a pub lunch maybe?

BUT on   Friday 26th April  he attended the crash on the M62 which resulted in a death and several injuries. 

He tweeted he was on his way  12:04 PM (we do hope he wasnt driving) 

Then he tweeted he had arrived 12:52PM  

And then he started to organise his press statements

And then after a few Thank You's  - he left.

Now we dont have a problem with him having a twitter account - but we aren't sure about him using it  to publicly  arrange press meetings and such (maybe thats a job for a discreet text or two)  and we most certainly arent convinced an Assistant Chief Fire Officer should use his account for telling the world about his  Sundays off.  Its either business or pleasure - not both!

We are of course familiar with the WYFRS social media policy - they reissued it to all staff  when this site started to become rather "popular" with WYFRS staff.  And in  that policy it states:-

"Access to social media and networking sites during paid working hours or usingAuthority facilities is strictly prohibited unless authorised at Director level for business purposes." 

We cant find any  paragraph that says its Ok to blog on a Sunday off  from what is essentially a company account. The "Views expressed are my own"  is interesting. Does that mean its a company account that is unregulated by WYFRS in which case surely he shouldn't be using it at shouts" or a company account which means he should NOT be using it for personal slightly cultured events!

Dave Walton

Dave Walton


ACO with West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. Tweeting about fire related issues. Views expressed are my own. In case of EMERGENCY always dial 999
West Yorkshire, UK · westyorksfire.gov.uk

We asked the Fire Brigades 

Union for their opinion  

"I'm saddened and disappointed to see that our Assistant Fire Officer found the time to update his Twitter account during operations at the tragic crash on the M62 on Friday. It's amazing that when WYFRA have a policy of "no phones" whilst at work, even if doing routine duties on station, Dave Walton thought it would be acceptable to organise Tv and Radio interviews via Twitter.

I have previously represented members who have broken the "Use of Social Media and Networking Sites Policy" one individual lost their temporary promotion position after being found to be in breach of the policy, but I'm not sure the same fate will be in store for ACO Walton."

David Williams  - WYFRS - Brigade Secretary 



HIS NUMBER IS  01274 655734 

Email Him by clicking   


Why not contact the 

Senior Information and Communications Manager

Gayle Cogan
01274 655802   |   

Absolutely Disgusted

Well I have to say I have see WYFRS sink to some lows in my time - but this morning when I logged on the the WYFRS website i did foolishly expect to see a reference to the the naming ceremony of the last remaining pump at  Keighley  - 

Fireman Jeff Naylor. 

But sadly work beckons, 

but tonight we will pay tribute to the last firefighter to die at incident in West Yorkshire. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Yet Another Death In Leeds (in a high risk area)

Today FireCutCostsLives  had every intention of posting a humorous blog called 101 Dalmations , with a picture of  a man shouting down the phone 

" I said 101 Blogs Sarah, Not 101 Dogs"  

because this posting is our 101st item on the site. It was to be a celebration of what we have achieved, who we have annoyed and a general round up of stuff. 

But it is with a sad heart we have to report 
that there has been a death overnight in Cottingley, Leeds. 

A 65 year old man died in a sheltered housing complex in Dulverton Court - which is deemed  a VERY HIGH RISK AREA according to the WYFRS risk log. You can find a short report on the incident here in the Yorkshire Evening Post. 

Dulverton Court is owned by  Aire Valley Homes an arms length body of Leeds City Council. 

BUT we do know a little more than they report - the incident was an AFA  - actuated fire alarm. There is the possibility that somebody raised the alarm  but a more likely scenario is that the alarm was triggered automatically  by a combination of heat and smoke  within the property. And of course Morley Fire Station attended, which will shortly be day crewed so their response times will increase after 7pm by FIVE MINUTES   - we wrote about this issue in December 

It raises questions such as was there a residential warden on site, were the correct detector heads in  the correct location and was the man capable of escaping? 

Rather ironically today is FirePlan Friday  But the above are conversations for after the fire investigation and coroners reports. 

We offer our sincere condolences to the gentleman's family. 

Our blog has been scattered with tragic events such as this. 

Our second ever post was about a man in Chapeltown who had died in a fire so fierce it burnt through to the shop below.  Less than 24 hours into FCCLs life  we posted this 

I shall never forget that day as Hannah Stoneman, Communications Officer at WYFRS rang me to protest that the article had "nothing to do with the IRMP "  - it was  in my opinion a blatant act of threatening  to try and SHUT ME UP.

Hannah was so keen to try and keep me  quiet  she actually told me  about the incident - prior to accident and investigation report and  most certainly before the coroners verdict on the death was given. 

We complained to WYFRS and they refuted the claim  that she had done anything wrong -  but we also know that a very large fib was told to FCCL to try and back track on what she had told  me.  

BUT  we are still here - and she has gone!

and hope we can celebrate our next significant milestone with  better news. A resignation might be nice!

Yours in Unity 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Its FBU's to Us.

We have  said if we had even a small fire we would prefer 

And when it comes to telling the truth about response times and incidents  we prefer 

Which is why  we support the Fire Brigades Union in the sterling work they do in regard to the Anti Cuts Agenda all over  the country, even though we concentrate our efforts in the West Yorkshire Region.   

Remember,  the Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling was proven by 
his own data we FOI'd  to have never attended an incident in 2011 /12! 

We wrote about  it way back in December 2012  here   

We cant help but wonder if any members of the FBU who are operational can say that  they never attended an incident in an entire year (whilst getting a tax free fancy car ! )

Occasionally  we have felt like packing in and giving up, but we haven't; opposing  cuts in provision is on occasions like being a goldfish that is repeatedly thrown into a tank of piranhas.   

And WHY ?

Simple - because the FBU is 

Choose Life - choose an experienced fire fighters word and their operational experience over a spreadsheet jockeys word EVERY TIME 

To contact the FBU - please see our page 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Look who we have pinched !!!

We are very proud to announce that we have 

a new member of the 

FCCL Team. 


Chloe - coming to a blog near you soon!

Now its confession time, we have pinched Chloe from London where she was studying  journalism at the prestigious Goldsmiths College. On graduating Chloe has decided to return to her home city of Leeds and has kindly volunteered to do some interviews for us here at FCCL. Chloe reported widely on the cuts in the London Fire Service in particular Southwark Fire  Station  and will bring,  we do not doubt a breath of fresh air to our cyber pages. 

See an example of her work here in East London Lines

So,  we have a list of  "victims" for Chloe  but would like to add to it.............

Would you be interested in being interviewed  about your role in Fire & Rescue ?  Are you a union rep who would like to share your concerns?  A member of the public who is worried about about "the cuts" 

Send us an email  and we promise we will get back to you ASAP. 

But for now we are introducing Chloe to FCCL by taking her for a very large drink, to welcome her on board. 

Its a double  G & T of course 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dragons and Dishwashers !

 A few weeks ago we posted about an incident in Keighley where a dishwasher had caused a fire in a kitchen and a family had a very lucky escape when the burglar alarm activated. You can read the entire article here. We obviously don't know if it was a Hotpoint model  but what we do know is that WYFRS did not log  it on their incident log, perhaps they didn't think it worthy of their  valuable time!  

And some people in WYFRS have very valuable time indeed - click here    to discover how much the Chief Fire Officer earns, and make sure you have a packet of hankies to wipe the tears from your eyes when they water! 

So today when the press is awash with news about potential fire hazards in regard to dishwashers you would think they might put a little something on their website - check your model of dishwasher or something (especially as they had  a demonstrable incident caused by one recently) 

But NO -

So if you want a job doing - do it yourself 

Below is a link to 

on which you can search for  electrical  items that have been recalled by the manufacturer. 

There is more about the dodgy dishwashers 

Other Fire and Rescue Services are tweeting, blogging and facebooking about incidents EVERYDAY

We do not understand why WYFRS  continues to  have such a blatant disregard for transparency! 

And remember - what West Yorkshire say when incidents occur   

Well if they don't start improving their warning notices

 - they will most likely be messed up 


And before we go as a token gesture to 
St Georges Day, we have been having a heated debate in the FCCL office. 

If and when a fire breathing dragon enters the office, should you extinguish its "breath" with   

a)   CO2 fire extinguisher
b)   Dry Powder extinguisher
c)    Wet Foam extinguisher
d)   Water CO2 extinguisher
e)   Wait till it triggers the sprinklers 
f)   Approach with caution and smother it with 
      a fire blanket
g)   Offer it an extra strong mint..... 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tomorrow is .................. ????

A. Another Day 

B  Test It Tuesday   

Well yes if you read our blog about Test It Tuesday  last week you will already know the answer  but  if you haven't  you can read it by  clicking this link . We have also told you about Fireplan Fridays  and the brilliant work of Watford Red Watch  which can be accessed here.  

But today is Monday - so we  have decided to rename it

 "Moan About it Monday" 

because we at FCCL are today  exceedingly grumpy, due in part to having a day job that today was spent staring at spreadsheets of various complexities;  but also due to the news that we have learnt that has annoyed us somewhat.   Ok annoyed us A LOT. 

As we have said many times before what is posted on the WYFRS incident logs and in other documents  and what actually happens in real life  are two completely  different things. And nothing demonstrates this better than  


In early 2013 in complete disregard of the community's wishes and firefighters common sense Keighley lost its second pump because Simon Pilling and Co decided it was no longer deemed necessary.  

So Keighley is now a one pump station. 

Which to us and many others seems rather strange as Keighley has three distinct areas of Risk 

Keighley Central  - Very High 
Keighley  East  - High 
Keighley West  - Very Low 

But as you can see from the photo below - the calculation of risk by ward 
is not worth the paper it is printed on 

We have referenced a nearby road Nashville Terrace for ease of viewing with a bold red line 

So you can make up your own mind about the difference between very high and very low risk areas  within Keighley. Ward,  FIRE is no respecter of boundaries. Statistics can prove and disprove a thousand things but  pictures like those above  are sometimes much better than words!  

But just to put it in perspective lets look at some figures too 
( the ones WYFRS dont want you, or more likely would have preferred FCCL NOT to see) 

Here are some figures we came across which start from Feb   

Total incidents on Keighley's station ground 145 of which 

Keighley ( pump 4601) attended 138 

Bingley have turned out 78 times in that same period of 

which 35 have been in their own area BUT 34 have been in 

to Keighley station area

Bingley have also turned out  7 times  to Shipley station 

ground (which of course is closing completely) 

Bingley have also turned out twice in other areas so if we 

add these out of area incidents  that Bingley are doing to the 

time they are spending in Keighley fitting smoke alarms  (we 

assume to try and get the very high risk areas reduced ) and 

the time they are off the run water rescue training......... it 

just leaves 


How often do the public of Bingley have a fire engine 

actually  available in Bingley? 

If Keighley is obviously  under resourced, why remove 

the 2nd Pump ? 

I am no fire expert, (but i have friends who are) 

 but from even my limited experience 

what happens if there is a job that requires 3 pumps or 

more in Keighley?  Would for example control ask for a 

pump to be released from the incident because they are 

short of cover in the Aire Valley  - which means to even my 

common sense  WYFRS should swallow their pride 

(even if it  means an acceptable period of choking)



To repeat the words of a very dear friend to FCCL 

"Is this the progress they had hoped for?" 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Page 3 - Important Information

After blogging two days ago about tits and getting a massive response I think it is safe to say that a lot of our readers will probably agree that page 3's  can  contain important information. So here is another one..............  

Page 3 to be precise of the 
Halifax Courier

Courtesy of Halifax Courier 

Although as usual page 1 was much more informative 

Courtesy of Halifax Courier 

The silver Rover 25 ignited (accident or foul play we don't know), rolled forward as consequence  and trapped an elderly couple in their flat.  

The fire took 45 minutes to extinguish 
( we are assuming because the petrol tank ruptured ) 

We understand that the average car fire takes approximately 15 minutes to extinguish, 

so this was quite a blaze ! 

But yet again not a word on the incident log of WYFRS. 

Fire Response Unit  -    picture courtesy of the 33A bus 
We also have  heard of a car fire in Bradford that was attended by the 
Fire Response Unit from Fairweather Green 


the fire had spread to a kitchen window so a proper engine had to intervene (speedily we hope !) 

Strangely enough we wrote a post about FRUs a few months ago which included the lines 

Once Simon took his FRU
To Moortown. long ago
I spoke to people crewing it
They told me  tales of woe
“It cannot put out car fires”
“This red vans such a farce”
So Simon take your FRU
And drive it up your.

you can find the whole poem here

So the moral of the tale is probably 

Therefore finally we deduce  you are much better with one of 

Courtesy of Sam Hirst 

these attending a small fire and having a significantly improved chance of less fire spread and consequential  damage 

Courtesy of the 33A bus

than one of these.

FRU's as spoken of by WYFRS
consist of


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