Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Does Charity Begin at Home ?

We here at FCCL  enjoy surfing the web, 
working in IT it's sort of mandatory! 
 amongst all the spam and junk mail 
we do occasionally discover 

And whilst looking at the What Do They Know website, whilst incidentally checking our own FOI on water charges and allotments (its a long story - don't ask) we found a Freedom of Information Request to West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue  asking for information about charity events. Now we have once been sent information about this ourselves so we read the request with  interest. We also know that WYFRS have  on occasion fallen foul of the Information Commissioners Office and we wrote about it here  way back in October 2012. 

Here is the FOI request we found .......

Dear West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service,

Please supply me with all information (times, dates and locations)
regarding charity or fund raising events where on duty Fire
Fighters were allowed to participate in the last 3 years. Eg. car
washing events, transporting equipment for such events as boxing
tournaments. I would like to be informed also of the name/s of
supervisory officers and rank who gave permission for this to take
place and how this time was recorded on the SAP system. I would
also like to see any policy where this is allowed to happen.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Hamilton Formerly Stn O 2714 of Gipton Fire Station

Well Mark,as we have said we have been told of times when crews have been sent from one area to cover crews carwashing in another.  And to be honest until this week I considered it on line suicide to blog about it. 


after careful consideration, in particular as private companies are being threatened with a  charge of £350 an hour  per fire engine and crew for false alarm calls, it seems pretty rich to "donate" crews and time to cover whilst charity events take place. 

I will watch the FOI with interest as FCCL was told specifically of Gipton being sent to cover whilst Wetherby washed cars a few months ago.   

That's a very high risk station covering for a 
medium risk one.

FCCL has the greatest respect for the Firefighters Charity, we know you do amazing work  for fire-fighters and their families


All voluntary organisations are feeling the pinch and trade unions (and we know this includes the Fire Brigades Union) are having their right to facility time questioned. I think Mark has asked the right question at the right time.
Perhaps it is time for WYFRS managers to rein in the use of public facilities for charitable activities. 

If you would like to donate to the Firefighters Charity or learn more about their activities, please click here for further details.  

Or they are just a click away on Face Book

Whoops and we almost forgot - the full FOI is available here to read.


Anonymous said...

I thought you supported firefighters not attack their own charity events, the firefighters charity is what they raise money for!!! Are you attacking everything?

Sarah Covell said...

I am not attacking the charity, i know first hand of fire fighters it has helped.

I just (along with others it seems) think that it is wrong to use public money to facilitate fundraising.

Anonymous said...

So in that case you are stopping firefighters supporting their charity whilst at work. I do hope they all appreciate your efforts to stop them!!

Sarah Covell said...

I don't think as WYFRS claim to be stretched financially that they should be sending resilience pumps to cover for charity events. And i think they appreciate mine and others efforts to save jobs and stations. Charities should use volunteers in their own time.

Strikes cost lives said...

So you don't agree with charity work that is for the benefit of those involved in fire! What is wrong with you?

Sarah Covell said...

The key word is charity. If you are using resilience crews to provide cover whilst crews wash cars then i do object yes.