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. 


Anonymous said...

You have hit the nail on the head there.

Pete W said...

Toothless - no balls more likely.