Many of us here at firecutscosts lives are to say the least “getting on a bit”. According to a recent BBC news article it is considered that middle age starts at 55. View the article here
However, for fire fighters 55 is the age that retirement arrives as it is considered the age that you are no longer fit for operational duties. Add in the potential stresses your body has endured such as lifting heavy equipment and also thermal stress from exposure to intense heat and you are much more prone to injury than Joe Average in the workplace.
Prior to acceptance for fire fighter training you are required to complete various fitness tests and pass appropriate health checks. They also check you have a head for heights and are good with ladders !!!!!
Fire fighting is often portrayed as a glamorous profession – how many times have we been told here at FCCL HQ that “everybody” loves fire fighters? Trust me we would be rich............ however we do appreciate the occasional “phwoar” factor and today at FCCL HQ several of our female members have been ogling the new West Yorkshire Fire Fighters Charity Calendar If you want a peek, click here
But of course fire fighters do age (apart from Fireman Sam) and the toll on the body can be harsh and debilitating. It is fair to say that for all of us as we age that task performance in particular of physical activities decreases, and operational duties for fire fighters become more of a stress on an ageing body.
This is going to be an increasing problem for West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue – if last year’s Integrated Risk Management Plans is instigated and a minimal number of fire fighters are recruited over the coming years; this combined with staff losses in this years plans which aim to reduce the workforce even more (and eventually by up to 40%) then the average age of fire fighters will shoot up and potential issues of injury and workplace stress will no doubt increase.
THERE IS NO MENTION OF THE ISSUE OF AN AGEING WORKFORCE IN ANY OF THE DOCUMENTS SUPPLIED BY WYFRS REGARDING THE CURRENT ROUND OF CUTS !
But there is one area where WYFRS are recruiting – the TOP TABLE . Before you read the advertisement below you need to be aware that the average “coal face” fire fighter annual salary is £28,000 a year.
WANTED : New Assistant Chief Fire Officer
Assistant Chief Fire Officer
£115712 to £121646 (plus lease car allowance)
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual to be part of the Management Board and take responsibility for the newly created Service Support directorate.
As the successful candidate will be conditioned to the Principal Officer continuous duty system he/she will be required to reside within West Yorkshire. The service offers a relocation allowance.
For an informal discussion about the role please contact Simon Pilling, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, 01274 655701.
For the full job specificationclick here
What can we say ---- its disgraceful.
The next article will be on the Fire Authority Councillors –Who they are, who they represent and what they do!!! (or don't)