Wednesday, May 29, 2013

South Yorkshire Consulation ..................

Good Morning South Yorkshire 

Ok so its a bit early for humour! 

The Fire Brigades Union represents Fire Fighters all over the country, the Union like fire has no boundaries. So when we heard of our neighbours in South Yorkshire we did the ONLY   thing  possible and have offered to put our little blog at  our South Yorks comrades disposal. Because like us here at Fire Cuts Cost Lives the FBU believe a solid coalition of fire professionals and community are the  way to save the fire service from these irresponsible cuts in provision.

We hope the FCCL effect of gentle banter combined with solid facts will  ensure that the citizens of South Yorkshire have the full facts in regard to the current consultation at their disposal. And as the fire and rescue service learnt to their cost in West Yorkshire in 2012 social media can have a massive effect on how the process of public consultation works.

So over  the coming few weeks we hope the FCCL effect will rub off on to the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and they will start to realise that the community do not back  the cuts in provision and response times that they propose.

Ask yourself a question  ,,,,to get the correct information about response times who would you trust to give an honest answer?


lets start with the easy stuff,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, if you want to know more about how you can support you local firefighters get in touch with 

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union. 

Their  website is HERE  and their brigade organiser is Matt Winslow and  you can email him by clicking   HERE 

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

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



TUESDAY at Doncaster Mansion House there will be  an opportunity to view the plans and have you say ---- details are available HERE  

Shocked or Sanguine ?

Well i think it is safe to say we here at FCCL float between both of these emotions most days in regard to fire and rescue...........some days if you didnt laugh you would cry.

Lets start with 


Although we haven't been able to glean any more details there was an incident in Beck Road , Harehills, Leeds. LS8 4EJ  in the early hours ( 03:30 ) of Saturday morning - a VERY HIGH RISK WARD. A male was rescued by the crews from Gipton and Moortown who turned out BUT he was pronounced dead at the scene. Again no mention of this on the public  WYFRS incident logs. 

Beck Road 
Beck Road is a perfect example of a very high risk area -dense housing including back to backs, high poverty and high ethnic population of whom english is a second language. WYFRS voted to move the local station further away from areas such as these! 

We have reported several deaths in the East Leeds Area since this blog started - in  fact not one but  THREE of the local East Leeds councilllors sit on the fire authority. 

Cllr Brian Selby  - - who last year didn't bat an eyelid when fire deaths rose in his ward by 18% 

Brian Selby  - Labour - Killingbeck and Seacroft. 

Cllr Arif Hussain  -  who in the two times we have visited the fire authority proceedings has not spoken at all. - we wonder how he is feeling about a fire death in his ward?  

Arif Hussain - Labour - Gipton and Harehills 
Cllr Ron Grahame  - who has now since 

a) promising to support the FBU in 2011 and then coming out with the phrase "Sorry Boys i have been whipped"   - for futher details please read this  
 b)  at the December 2013 IMRP vote didnt even bother to turn up! (too scared we reckon cos we have made his life quite miserable since 2011  as he was FCCLs local councillor! ) Ron since turning his back on his communities views and commonse has had two  deaths in the ward that we are aware of!!!  

Ron Grahame - Labour -  Burmantofts & Richmond Hill   

As all three have  had deaths in their wards in the last year we wonder if they are man enough to stand up and say  - i made an error of judgement - and get behind their communities and fight cuts in provision. 

Sadly we doubt it -  but it will be interesting to see what the Labour Party says in the 2014 local elections !!!

We do  of course offer our sincere condolences to 
the deceased mans family. And thanks to the crews at Gipton and Moortown, we know you did your very best. 

Anyway - lets get to SANGUINE .........

Monday was a bank holiday - one of those days you brave the sun, rain  or  hail to go to  worship at a D I Y centre.  And before you go,  you do without a shadow of a doubt use one of these 

A Tape Measure 

So if you are putting up shelves, buying a new washer or even a humblewashing up bowl you  know before you get the product home that it will FIT..... 

The Chief, Deputy Chief and 2 ACO's  cost the tax payers of West Yorkshire in excess of half a million pound a year in salaries alone, they have a drawer full of degrees between them (paid for by the taxpayers we suspect) and you would think when stumping up (OUR MONEY)  they would be able to use a tape measure to ensure the equipment they buy would be of the right size, after all  its what we pay them for. 

WYFRS have recently purchased a shiny new water ladder  which was to be based at Cleckheaton but was delivered to WYFRS Headquarters at Birkenshaw.  But when the new kit was taken to its new home it was discovered that the new ladder was 

Cleckheaton already has a dual level appliance bay as they once bought a piece of kit so big they had to dig a pit in the floor to allow it to fit! Talk about PLANNING  (not) 

We think Simon and Co should read this before making any other major or minor purchases and perhaps remember its the tax payers of West Yorkshire who pay for their errors. 


WHOOPS - we almost forgot..... WYFRS are particularly bad with tape measures. As you go into the main hall at Birkenshaw HQ to attend fire authority meetings you will see stuck to the outside of the building a rather large, ugly  and cumbersome lift shaft.  When that was installed  the doors didn't open correctly as they were not the right size for the hole - we swear you could not make it up. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

On Ilkley Moor B'aht Fire Engine

We here at FCCL promote Fridays as Fireplan Fridays   


We think WYFRS could  do with reviewing their plans 
after an incident on Friday  24th May 2013.  

At 07:56 a 999 call was received by WYFRS reporting an incident at St Pauls Grove in Ilkley  -  a nice leafy suburb - LS29 8JJ  and VERY LOW RISK. 

Now you would have thought with a fire station  not a quarter of a mile away the response time would have been been pretty damn good  BUT Ilkley is a retained fire station  ( a station where staff are on call, ie the station is not full time crewed)  So whatever the incident on Ikleys station ground an additional 5 minutes has to be added to allow the retained fire fighters to down tools and get to the station. As by the RAC route planner the station to St Pauls Grove would only take ONE MINUTE driving normally. Even so a five and a half minute response time would have been good for any incident (even if  you local station is just around the corner).


on Friday there was insufficient retained crew available to send  the engine from Ilkley.  

So WYFRS control mobilised OTLEY and RAWDON

OTLEY is a retained station and was nearest at 6 miles away 
(15 minute ordinary drive) 

Rawdon is full time crewed BUT is 8.5 miles away. 
(24 minutes ordinary drive)

Then things took a turn for the worse - the house fire became a "persons reported" incident  - which means that the number of pumps attending immediately goes to 


This means Silsden another retained station were  called out 

Silsden is a retained station and 7.5 miles away. 
(17 minute ordinary drive) 

By the time OTLEY turned the corner to St Pauls Grove 


The neighbours had rescued the  "person reported" via a ladder to the first floor window.  


1. Is it acceptable to have a response time of 13 minutes - even in a Very Low Risk Area 

2. Are WYFRS content with response times so dire that members of the public are forced to rescue other members of the public out of sheer  desperation! 

3. Will at some point somebody DIE because of these delays in response times.  
A neighbour, the home owner or  a fire fighter ? 

Yes we are aware that WYFRS are recruiting for retained fire fighters in Ilkley - BUT it can take up to 2 YEARS to train a  recruit to become a "competent fire fighter"  

Also  we would  like to point out that if Haworth had become involved in the incident, and as their parish council  wishes  becomes a "volunteer" fire service, they would NOT have been allowed to enter the building as volunteers are not allowed to use breathing apparatus.

We have said since we started this blog in  September 2012 that we genuinely believe that Fire Cuts Will Cost Lives -sadly we think this incident should be recorded as a  

(some would say a complete balls up!)

But this serious incident didn't even make it to the public incident log of the WYFRS website !  

What a good job some people believe in openness and transparency in the fire service.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Arson About !!!!

Oh dear, I  have been accused of slacking - by probably the one person who is allowed to tell me off without getting his head ripped off shortly after. So  grovelling apology to Dave from the FBU - i shall get back to my keyboard at once.

I do have a very good excuse though, i have moved house (from very high risk to low risk  area) and now live less than 200 yds from a fire station in West Yorkshire; so if there is to be afirefighters  strike at some point soon at least one FBU picket line will be getting regular deliveries of hot drinks and food. On the understanding i expect the best response times EVER if the house has a fire!!! Well till it's closed, sniff !

Anyway  - way back in March we talked about MORLEY , well that post lead to us doing some more research and we have discovered that Morley like many stations is not having incidents that they attend reported in the WYFRS public incident logs.

Lets demonstrate this with three recent incidents....all house fires 
(house fires =  those things that management would have you believe are going down )

20th April 2013  there were two house fires. .......both arson.

One at Askey Avenue LS27 0EG which is a HIGH RISK area  . This incident was a reported arson attack, fire fighters in breathing apparatus attended the fire in the kitchen and although the fire was contained the house was badly smoked damaged.

The same day in Wide Lane, Morley LS27 8BU yet again a HIGH RISK area an outhouse was ignited and the fire spread to the dwelling . This was definitely an arson attack as it was confirmed by the householder it was their  estranged spouse that was involved (the house has already been subject to arson intervention by WYFRS) and we suspect the spouse is even more estranged now!

9th April 2013,  there was yet another house fire  in Springbank Crescent,LS27 7DN which is deemed to be LOW RISK . It was a household appliance that ignited. (we have discussed these too recently , please click here to read the article )  It was a family with young children and potentially was a disaster in the making.


So three house  fires.................. two arson and one in a low risk area !

We can't help wondering why WYFRS are keeping Morley Fire Stations incidents under wraps .............could it be because in January 2014 WYFRS intend to turn Morley to DAY CREWING!!!!

FCCL are not advocates of day  crewing - for many reasons. The main two being 

1. we can add up 
2.  we can also interpret data  from oracle correctly.

we could add a third  


SO ........ how many firefighters currently at Morley fulfill the criteria above  (we will give you a bit of help,
 there are currently 27 staff at Morley) 

Can WYFRS even start to contemplate shifting staff around to enable them to have a full compliment of staff living within 5 mins by 2014. Surely they will have done their home work,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

NOPE it seems not. Mind you neither have the labour councillors who sit on the LABOUR CONTROLLED Fire Authority. 
Ed Balls MP

A few weeks ago Ed Balls visited Morley Fire Station along with several of the local labour councillors.  CFO Pilling sent a couple of his senior staff along to ensure that the  CREWS DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN STAFFING. Simons henchmen failed miserably as Ed kicked off the conversation by talking about the IRMP and proposed changes at Morley. Apparently CFO Pillings henchmen got rather uncomfortable as when it was said that the fire authority had approved  the proposed system of day  crewing one of the councillors said "Oh No it wasnt !"  Apparently what had been discussed was  closing Morley and Hunslet and the construction of a two pump"superstation" at a site indentified near the White Rose Centre OR removing a pump at Hunslet and having  two one pump stations. Day crewing was NOT DISCUSSED. 

Sadly we also hear that intimidation  and  a culture of top down bullying is rife at WYFRS, something we have heard time and time again but we sincerely hope that  crews and members of the Fire Brigades Union have the courage of their (correct) convictions and continue to fight these ridiculous proposals of day crewing. 

Is Simon Pilling  seriously so blind and arrogant to think he can pull the wool over the eyes of the community of Morley?  

As we said way back in December, the FBU, FCCL and the local community of West Yorkshire have driven a wedge of transparency   into the strangle hold  he seemed to have over the fire authority in previous years. We commend the crews and community at Morley and will do anything we can to assist them in their fight to keep Morley fully staffed and  24 hour operational. 

Who in their right mind would want to add FIVE MINUTES TO RESPONSE  TIMES  ?   It's time to remind a certain CFO that he is the monkey NOT the organ grinder at WYFRS - he serves the community NOT the other way round. 

We are sure the campaign to keep Morley  24 hour crewed will be featuring again in this blog ................... watch this space. 

And finally, tomorrows post will be  around the subject of  a tape measure, 4 inches and a shiny new fire engine !  ( we swear you couldn't make it up ) 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

St Florians Day

May 4th is 
St Florian is the patron saint of Firefighters - and today fire fighters all over the world celebrate 
International Fire Fighters Day.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Low Risk, High Price

In a matter of minutes


 and can 

turn you into one of these  

or  (if one of the FCCL team was involved )one of  these   really quickly................ 
Don't you think he has a look of BossHooch about him? 

But,  both of the above can  be prevented  by a teensy weensy addition to the family home of one or two of these

Sadly we have to report that a lady in Kippax died a few days ago  - she didn't have a smoke alarm.  

The incident postcode was LS25 7JE designated  by WYFRS own risk registers  a VERY LOW RISK area . 

Now the other thing to notice about this particular fire is the the time of the call to WYFRS 

5.16 PM

A time when people are about in the street, the nights are light and you would expect a fire to be  noticed fairly early on (the smokes a bit of a give away) 

This lady was rescued by crews from 

Castleford,   Rothwell   and   Garforth 
(3 engines for a persons reported housefire  remember) 

But sadly she  was pronounced dead at hospital  - we offer our sincere condolences to her family 

A report by the BBC can be found here and it seems the fire was caused by a discarded cigarette and also the property had no working smoke alarm.  Yet again this incident did not feature on the WYFRS incident log. 

Now the lady concerned WAS RESCUED ALIVE , BUT had this incident occured in January 2014 the scenario may have been different. From  then  Rothwell & Garforth will convert to the system of DAY CREWING.  This is when a station is staffed from 7am till 5pm, then the firefighters are at home ON CALL. 

So if they get a "shout" they have to leave home and get to the fire station - this takes 

5 minutes 

SO if this particular fire in a very low risk area had happened 10 months hence,  

2 of the three engines would have turned up 
5 minutes later than they did earlier this week. 

Yes we are happy that  Garforth and Rothwell were not closed completely - but what the fire authority Councillors failed to realise is that  day crewing actually significantly reduces cover and gives a much worse service  at arguably  the times (evenings) when cover is most needed. 

We wrote about the technical side of day crewing here in our post 

it's an interesting read. 

Now,  we can excuse Councillors being 
un - knowledgeable about the  technical details 
of fire and rescue 


these proposals were made by a chappie who is supposed to know what he is doing!!!!!

We have doubted his technical abilities before 


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