Friday, June 28, 2013

Screwed !!!!

Non of us should forget any  firefighter who has given their life to save others. And  back at the end of April we told you of the anniversary of the fire that 10 weeks later was to kill Keighley Firefighter Jeff Naylor.

Jeff bravely fought the injuries he received rescuing children from a house fire and died on July 10th 1983 of his injuries.

At the engine naming ceremony at Keighley Fire Station on April 27th CFO Simon Pilling said 

In my opinion, the term ‘hero’ is often overused by certain individuals and by some in the media, but there’s no other word to describe fireman Jeff Naylor.

Mr Naylor's children at naming ceremony  (Keighley News) 
           And we agree unreservedly with CFO Pilling - BUT he forgot to mention a few  things

Last year Keighley got a new pump a  MAN 4x4 Rural pump the same type of appliance that Holmfirth and Todmorden have.  Since they have had the vehicle we are given to understand there have been issues about whether it is fit for purpose due to driving problems and crew cab space is also an issue.This was recently discussed with the Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley  when he spent the day at Keighley (coincidentally the MAN pump was at workshops out of the way).

FCCL have reason to believe  that management are considering removing the pump from Keighley and giving them a normal Volvo pump instead and then giving the MAN pump to Slaithwaite which seems to be admitting that they have bought a pump that is not fit to use in the area it was actually bought for!  

BUT MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THAT ..............................

In  April this pump was named in memory of Jeff Naylor and now it seems that that doesn't 

matter and it means nothing. So maybe even in Early July - perhaps even next Monday  the
pump named in honour of Jeff Naylor will be shipped out  to the retained station at Slaithwaite. We understand  the memorial  plate will be simply unscrewed and added to whatever pump replaces is (we understand a straight swap is likely).  

Unless Simon P and his staff make these decisions in an adhoc way  (which as highly paid managers is an allegation they would surely refute) Simon knew  two  months ago that naming the MAN pump was a sham!  If the above is true and the swap will take place shortly, we to would  make a statement,and it would probably go something like this....

In  FCCLs  opinion, the term ‘hypocrite’ is often overused by certain  
individuals and by some in the media, but there’s no other word to describe CFO Pilling.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jaime, Jaime Give us your answer do ?

CFO Jaime Courtney 

Jaime, Jaime give us your answer do
Are they ready, will they know what  to do ?
They’ll  only have  three weeks training
The  fire chief  we’re blaming , 
They aren’t well trained, the officers lame 
When it goes wrong, who will they sue? 

FCCL are very concerned about the use of scab labour within the fire and rescue service should industrial action take place. 
We know in any union it is the ultimate sanction - the withdrawal of labour is only used as a last resort and is a democratic decision not lightly taken by the FBU.

However in South Yorkshire  the Chief Fire Officer,Jaime Courtney has taken the unprecendented step  of recruiting and training  scab  labour in an effort to pre empt any possible action by the Fire Brigades Union. This creates loads of issues - and the first one has to be for the safety  of the people employed  to  do the job.   

So as well as hiring new staff who will receive minimum training on a zero hours contracts, FCCL understand they are also looking at sending managers with these new crews to incidents. The majority of managers in SYFR are members of the toothless Fire Officers Association. 

These  managers are surely  worried and concerned that should something go wrong at an incident then the blame could shift to them, the professionals, who will be overseeing the  totally inexperienced  workforce! 

The new "fire operatives"  are being trained in the use of breathing apparatus but what other training can you  compress into three weeks (when a normal fire fighter takes THREE MONTHS  to train to minimum standards). Normally when a Firefighter completes their initial training, they are not immediately allowed to use BA operationally. The officer in charge of the watch lets the individual gain some experience first and introduces them gradually to fires. They will normally only enter a premises when the main fire is extinguished and they will just dampen down etc. Eventually the officer in charge will allow them to go into a fire but only with an experienced Firefighter. It is normally around at least 6 months before the officer in charge  feels they are capable of being a competent BA wearer. 


Driving under blue light conditions, a  new driver would have most likely  been in the brigade for a number of years before becoming a driver. . Because of this they would have the experience of being in the back of an appliance which means they already know what is expected of them should they decide to take the plunge. 

Is driving a conventional HGV vehicle the same as driving a fire appliance under blue light conditions 


FCCLS  advice to managers would be to join the Fire Brigades Union and strike with their colleagues instead of leaving firefighters to lose pay and fight for their pensions whilst they will they will still be getting paid to supervise  far from competent staff, even though managers have got the most to lose from the proposed change in pensions.


(for  the right to retire at 55? )

Health and safety is at the heart of fire and rescue -  and nothing is more important than the health and safety of the fire fighters who carry out this dangerous role.  One of the major factors in improving safety is the one thing that is taught in theory but  in the main is learnt by practise - TEAMWORK.   How can people with only three weeks training have the ability to operate as a team and be competent in what they do? 


But does the Chief Fire Officer even care ? 

At a recent community consultation event in Sheffield  where FCCL was one of only two members of the public attending  FCCL asked Jaime Courtney about  the competency of these proposed "fire operatives" His answer was so off the cuff we actually wrote it down so as not to mis quote him. 


Willing to what exactly Jaime  - DIE ?

And we here at FCCL after discussing what he said  with operational and very experienced firefighters think that  its the strike breaking officers who will be  the scapegoats in all of this - they are even now they are being told to attend incidents with crews - so that if and when a strike takes place it can be said that attending fires is part of their everyday role. 

And of course it begs the question, are the officers who will supervise these incompetent but willing crews when something goes horrendously wrong be the ones to carry the can?  

Well with 18 months of campaigning under our belt we at FCCL have learnt one thing.

Chief Fire Officers most certainly do not take the blame for anything if they can dump it on  somebody else! 

It's going to be the Officers In Charge 
who carry the can for any accidents. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

60 year old Fire Fighters ?

 Please Click here to  view a very interesting video. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Are you being .......watched ?

Sadly we are  hearing reports of WYFRS employees being threatened with disciplinary proceedings for liking our Facebook page, which is available by clicking  HERE. apparently  exercising free will outside of working hours is potentially detrimental to your career!

People here at FCCL are too having issues with WYFRS management, where it seems hearsay is rife about the magical effects of  our website. Sorry we cant tell you more but we did drop  big hints here and here. 

We have always been aware that support for our facebook page and blog has been tremendous and that the number of likes and comments hasn't been commensurate with the traffic either site receives. 


FCCL are  very much aware that firefighters and non operational staffs jobs are much more important than people  liking the work we do. People have mortgages, financial commitment and family's to consider..........please do not put yourself at risk by liking our pages. We know we have firefighter Facebook friends who suddenly disappear and block us and believe me we do not  take offence. 

But its not just us who are conspiracy theorists. This Freedom of Information Request via the website  is very interesting too. It is about WYFRS using surveillance to watch their staff.

Please provide me the amount of times in the years   the authority's employees have been placed under surveillance.    ( Surveillance meaning when the West Yorkshire Fire Authority has put an employee under observation by a procured third party.)





And the response was 

 2009 – 0

2010 – 1

2011 – 2

2012 – 1

We wonder if WYFRS has ever had a tracker placed on an employees car ? Or maybe  has all their station cats microchipped !   Perhaps we should FOI them and ask (nicely of course). 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

6 minutes response time vital - why ?

We bang on about fires a  lot here at FCCL  and  don't mention rescues very often, the video below is about texting whilst  driving  but demonstrates clearly (and graphically! ) why response times for rescues are just as important as response times for fires. 

Because if you are trapped in a car and injured,  a increase in response time of a couple of minutes  from Fire and Rescue  can be the difference between 



In emergency medicine, the golden hour (also known as golden time) refers to a time period lasting from a few minutes to several hours following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty, during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical treatment will prevent death. It is well established that the patient's chances of survival are greatest if they receive care within a short period of time after a severe injury.
In cases of severe trauma, especially internal bleeding, surgical intervention is required. Complications such as shock may occur if the patient is not managed appropriately and expeditiously. 

It therefore becomes a priority to transport patients suffering from severe trauma as fast as possible to specialists, most often found at a hospital trauma center, for definitive treatment. Because some injuries can cause a trauma patient to deteriorate extremely rapidly, the lag time between injury and treatment should ideally be kept to a bare minimum; over time, this lag time has come to be specified as a now-standard time frame of no more than 60 minutes, after which time the survival rate for traumatic patients is alleged to fall off dramatically

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue are currently consulting about response times in their  area 

----Just CLICK HERE 
to take you directly to the consultation questions.

More information about their Integrated Risk Management Plan can be found HERE

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hold The Front Page - And Squint !!!!

We had a bit of a discussion on twitter this morning  

The conversation went like this: 

At  this point  we better explain that PROMINENT  means 


  [prom-uh-nuhnt]  Show IPA
standing out so as to be seen easily; conspicuous; particularly noticeable: Her eyes are her mostprominent feature.
standing out beyond the adjacent surface or lineprojecting.
leading, important, or well-known: a prominent citizen.

Anyway  - you  decide!

Prominent  or 

hidden halfway down in minuscule print!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Officers - 1 Firefighters - Nil

Righty before you read anymore - watch this video

Regardless of whatever South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue try to convince you about response times,  you have THREE MINUTES to evacuate your house if  you have a fire. 

 Fire and Rescue response times matter !

Scared................Concerned ............Frightened .................  GOOD         so you should be 

FIRE KILLS  - and you will never ever see a smoke alarm rescue somebody 
from a burning building. That is a fire fighters job, some would say a vocation. 


the Karma Fairy has been waving her wand again and  as we start to blog about South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue the  news  is full of incidents  that have over the past few days stretched South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue to breaking point. 

On the 29th May  there was an explosion  in Dundas Road, Tinsley, Sheffield. 

At approximately 9am Agostinho Jesus went to leave his property when a huge explosion ripped through the house.  Mr Jesus describes the incident on the BBC website here and thought he was burning alive!  

Courtesy of the BBC
4 pumps and support vehicles  attended that incident, including those from the local station Darnell which has been earmarked for closure in this years rounds of cuts in provision
Retained staff had to be brought in to crew resilience pumps there as South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were so stretched that day. 

The incident made the national news, it was on several times during the day. And if you had looked very closely at the screen you might have seen something  to shock you. ........

Even though the incident commenced at 9am and went on until 8pm in the evening - the fire fighters on duty remained the same.   The officers changed though,  i bet you cant guess when it was .............

 A)  Tea time  ?

  B) Lunchtime  ?  

Yes you guessed it -  the firefighters (the ones who do the dirty dangerous work) didn't get relieved at all, but the officers were, just in time for lunch.  

We bet the Chief Fire Officer was just relieved there 

wasn't another major incident that day !

BUT ONLY TWO DAYS LATER .......................

In the early hours of  June 1st  fire crews were called to Cow House Lane, Doncaster . The fire was in a yard used to store pallets. The alarm was raised at approx  1.30am . 

Now  I know I am not an expert - but having seen many bonfires that consist in the main of  (yes you guessed it) 
even I,  a rank amateur  would probably on balance 
if I had received a 999 call saying 

 would have hedged my bets and sent a couple of engines 
 ( just to be on the safe side )

BUT NO  - South Yorkshire  FRS in line with their "challenging policy" sent just the one engine on a recce !

Oh to be a fly on the wall when they rang back for assistance!

And although on the SYFRS site as a separate incident, we are assured that  the fire spread to a nearby industrial park. At the height of the incident over 70 firefighters were involved and engines had to be brought in from West Yorkshire. 
Courtesy of SYFRS 

And at 9am the same day   -  another large fire  this time in Sheffield attended by 5 pumps and 25 fire fighters at a rubber recycling plant in Monckton. 

Fires such as these can happen at anytime - as CFO Jamie Courtney said only last week, "we can reduce the chances of a fire with good fire prevention  BUT we cant reduce the severity once it takes place"  

Please oppose the cuts in provision in South Yorkshire.

If you wish to voice your opposition please use the link HERE to take you to the SYFRS website