Thursday, November 01, 2012

Morals don't pay the mortgage!

Having woken up this morning to a comment in our inbox from retired Fire Fighter Joe O'Keefe that brought a lump to the throat of all FCCL members who have read it, we made the decision to repost it below. Joe we at FCCL salute you!

Having attended the public consultation at Keighley Civic Centre on Monday 29th October I came away feeling both angry and disappointed. I was initially very disappointed that our local award winning newspaper had both published the incorrect time of the meeting and failed to send a reporter along, reducing our fire cover to a life threatening level is obviously becoming old news.

Secondly how disappointing at such a poor turnout, it is true that we are only interested in the efficiency of the emergency services when we need them.

Furthermore it is bitterly disappointing to listen to members of the Fire Service justifying cutbacks that jeopardise the safety of people living in the Keighley area and Firefighters themselves.

In the world we live in there is more reward for the man who can say "I cut West Yorkshire Fire Service in half" than there is for the man who can boast " I stood up to the politicians and saved West Yorkshire Fire Service"

Morals don't pay the mortgage.

I was angry after the meeting (consultation) because as was pointed out the Fire Service Officers did not even take minutes. This shows that the whole consultation process is purely paying lip-service to what should be a proper open and honest debate.

Statistics can and do hide facts, why use accidental fire death stats when the Fire Service attend incidents both accidental and malicious? Does someone trapped in a deliberate house fire deserve a speedy response?

Next summer West Yorkshire Fire Service, led by Chief Officer Pilling will mark the 30th anniversary of the tragic loss of Fireman Jeff Naylor at a house fire in Keighley. With one Fire Engine covering the the whole of the Keighley and Haworth area under his proposals I fear for the Fire fighter awaiting backup in future years.

I worked at Keighley Fire Station for 27 years, I know that one fire engine cannot cover such a large area. Emergency services should at least stay the same if not improve, they should not be eroded to pay for the mistakes of greedy bankers. As a resident of Keighley I want the same level of protection from the Fire Service as was deemed necessary in the past, not a service backed up by misleading statistics.

The Fire Sevice costs the council tax payer about one pound per week. I pay £17 per moth incase my heating packs in, I pay £75 per year in the event my car breaks down, I am more than happy to pay a bit more to provide a proper Fire Service.

We are constantly told there is no money, yet there is loads for war, there is plenty to run the Olympics and one couple can win £140 million in a lottery!

It is time to stand up and fight for what we know to be right

TO send YOUR VIEWS on the proposed cuts in West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Provision Click
HERE  to view the consultation documents.
You can also send your comments via snail mail to 
Hannah Stoneman   or email her HERE
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
Oakroyd Hall
Bradford Road
West Yorkshire
BD11 2DY


Joe O'Keeffe said...

I very much appreciate the salutation!!

As a former school governor I have witnessed weak school governors being led up the garden path by an autocratic headteacher. In general school governors do not have the expertise to make important decisions regarding the education of our children, they are just well meaning volunteers.

There were some good points raised by councillors at the meeting on monday but I think I am right in saying that they acknowledged that they do not have the expertise to organise an effective Fire Service.

As a school governor I asked reasonable, but searching questions of the autocrat, questions that he found very uncomfortable to answer and that exposed what he really was about.

What I say to the Fire Authority is: acknowledge that you are not experts, that you are being totally guided by the Chief Fire Officer and start to ask some searching questions. If someone dies in a fire as a result of cutbacks based on "best case scenario" handpicked statistics, what price your conscience then?

In my time at Keighley Fire Station, one fire engine would always have to remain in close proximity to the town centre to enable the other one to carry out fire safety tasks in outlying areas. Under these proposals the solitary fire engine could be carrying out an inspection at Scar Top and be called to a house Fire at Steeton. This is too far, Keighley is a very large area and no one will convince me that removing a Fire Engine from Keighley and Haworth is in any way viable.

Sarah Covell said...

Joe may we use your words in a press release?

Joe O'Keeffe said...

Good morning Sarah, of course you can use my words in a press release.

If you type my name into the archives of the keighley News website (O'Keeffe with both one f and two) you will see I was Green Watch press liaison for many years.

Those were the days when you had to emphasise how fast you attended the incident and what you saved as opposed to what was lost. Once there is only one fire engine I can see that attendance times will be the last thing that get published in the press.



Anonymous said...

Thess cuts have nothing to do with affordability. They are about political idealogy. The present government is using this crises to push through their "privatisation" agenda. We have money for emergency services/schools/hospitals etc. Todays politicians would rather spend money on a decade long war. Why have we always got money to kill people but never got money to save them ?
We could make those who caused the crises pay it back -unlikely given they also fund the three main political parties. Despite all the illegal activity which took place to cause this crash not one banker has been charged. The banking institution has been fined, but not one person held to account. We have of course seen it all before and we must stand and fight for our sevices.

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorises it, and a moral code that glorifies it.”
Political economist Frederic Bastiat, The Law (1850

Joe O'Keeffe said...

Now that should make the headlines...we need more Frederic Bastiats to expose what is going on in this country...but those who can quote him is a start

Sarah Covell said...

This has been our most widely read post to date.
If like us you believe these cuts are wrong please take the time to email WYFRS and tell them your concerns.


Anonymous said...

Latest news indicates that Haworth parish council are looking in to the possibility of providing their own fire service