Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Strike

We here at FCCL will be supporting the
Fire Brigades Union Strike Tomorrow.

That's a bit of a "No Shit Sherlock" moment for most of our readers.
But it's because we don't want to see this happen
We wish everybody who is withdrawing their labour for four hours tomorrow the very best of ........
well we would say luck but we reckon the scab labour that is being brought in as
cover will need all of that. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Near Miss in Bingley !!

On Friday evening we read in the Telegraph and Argus that an elderly woman was rescued from a burning flat in “medium risk” Bingley. By Saturday,  we had discovered quite how burnt she nearly was!    It was actually reported on the WYFRS incident log an adult female was rescued by 105 ladder, the bit they missed out was by the time the first pump got there the elderly lady was hanging out of the window!
Courtesy of Telegraph and Argus

Bingley was (obviously) the nearest station to the incident BUT they were off practising their water training so weren’t available. The nearest stations to Bingley are Shipley, Fairweather Green and Keighley.

Bingley could have got there in less than 2 minutes (as per RAC route finder) but as we have said, the pump wasn’t available.

The pumps deployed were from :
Bradford (7 miles away, 19 mins normal driving)
Keighley (3.8 miles away, 7 mins normal driving)
Leeds (a whopping 13.7 miles away and 33 minutes normal driving)
Shipley* (2.6 miles, 7 mins normal driving)
and Idle* (2.7 miles and 7 minutes normal driving)

*Don’t forget Shipley and Idle are both to close under the IRMP approved in 2011and will merge and lose a pump.
Keighley has already lost a pump earlier this year. Fairweather Green is also to close.

Also remember if it is a “person reported” incident
it needs the attendance of a
minimum of THREE PUMPS!

BUT IT GETS WORSE………………. They needed an aerial ladder platform (ALP).

Under normal circumstances this would have been provided by Bradford BUT required the tactic known as “cross jumping” where a crew drive back to the station, hop off the “bog standard” pump and drive away again in the ALP (or in some cases CARP- combined aerial rescue pump) but Bradford did not have a qualified driver for the ALP, so had to call for assistance from Leeds over 13.7 miles away. We have quite a lot to say about ALP and CARPs but will save that for another day.

This incident brings together things
we have talked about in the past year at FCCL.

Reducing pump (and fire fighter) numbers is foolish  as when the need arises there are insufficient pumps to attend an  incident within a decent response time – the gold standard being 6 mins. Less pumps and crews will inevitably mean that fire fighters however professional will  be tempted to take risks.

We assume the fire fighter who went up the ladder and rescued the elderly lady was physically fit and  under 55 and operationally fit.  With the proposed “reforms” that may soon not be the case. As well as insufficient engines you may end up with a rescue,  such as was executed on Friday resulting in the ending of somebodies operational career. Injuries increase with age and as WYFRS hasn’t recruited for many years, fire fighters are getting older with no young blood coming through the ranks. The fire fighter going up that ladder is getter older............

And just a thought………….. IF  the old lady had jumped, broken her back and died she wouldn’t feature in the death column of the fire statistics. Only if you die IN A FIRE  do you feature. Sad but True.

There is no mention on the incident logs of a working, disabled or not fitted smoke alarm. Bradford Areas  strategic plan states it is to

"deliver a proactive fire prevention and protection programme. Stopping fires before they occur is our first priority. To date, our actions have delivered significant success and we want to build upon this. We believe our successful community safety strategy lies in the links we maintain with our partners and we plan to strengthen and increase these to deliver a professional and resilient emergency response service"

We here at FCCL aren't convinced this is so. Neither are we optimistic about their claims to provide
"effective and ethical governance and achieve value for money in managing resources".

Value for money, managing resources -
no mention of saving lives , just money !

We think WYFRS had a very miss on Friday ………………

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us !

It is an important day for us here at FCCL.
It is a year to the day since we started blogging!

And before we doing anything else we have to say a BIG THANK YOU to the very kind person who sent flowers to Sarah's office this morning. We wrongly assumed  they were from the FBU and tried to say thank you, but apart from a Happy 1st Birthday tag there was no name.  Tomorrow evening we will place them on the Fire Fighters Memorial in Burley, Leeds  in recognition of all the fire fighters who have died carrying out their duties and serving the public without thought for their personal safety but for now they have pride of place in the house.

I think most people know why we started this blog. In December 2011 after fighting hard to try and save both Gipton and Stanks Fire Stations from closure in East Leeds  we read with incredulity the fact that WYFRS were publicly crowing that the IRMP Consultation Proposals pages of their website had had 1,750 hits. We as  the community and indeed the FBU concurred with us, that for 12 weeks of consultation it was pathetic, especially as many WYFRS staff would have taken a peek to see exactly what the website said from their computers at home. FCCL itself had been on the site from at least 5 different IP addresses.

1750 works out at approx  21 hits a day
for an area that has over a million residents!

So in September 2012 when the next round of cuts consultation was announced, we decided to set up a little experiment to TRY and get 1751 hits to prove to the public how much positive spin WYFRS put on their literature. A little blog with at that time no publicity apart from a few postings in the comments section of the local newspapers.  (we didn't set up our facebook page till later in September).
In the three months of consultation in 2012  the FCCL blog got 41,0001 views. 

We would like to share with you some of our vital statistics to date;

102,480 hits as of 7pm this evening.

Wednesday  7th November 2012 was our best ever day with over 5,500 hits which was triggered by retired Firefighter Joe O'Keefe - Morals don't pay the mortgage post

Our Top Three locations are

1. Leeds
2. London (which is indicative of  smart phone usage)
3. Cleckheaton 

Our Top Three Service Providers are

1. IP Pools
2. Business static locations

and way down at  No 53  - West Yorkshire Fire and Civil Defence Authority which has visited us 34  times. The last being earlier today (sorry we didn't update the blog in time for you to see).


BOUNCE RATE  =   14.98%

Most websites expect to get a bounce rate of at least 40% . We have all done it - that "whoops that's not the site we expected"  when you  jump straight off a website because it is the wrong one. A bounce rate of 14.98%   makes us the envy of our friends in the IT world. (and we work in IT remember)  In fact in November 2012 it was less than 6% and even in the wilderness months of January / February  never went past 20%.

 FCCL is without a doubt attracting
its' target audience!

Mind you we knew from day two (and only 56 hits) we were onto a winner. But more about that tomorrow when we will tell you about a very unusual phone call from Hannah Stoneman of WYFRS and follow up emails from CFO Pilling.


We owe so many people THANK YOU's

David Williams of the West Yorks FBU

and all of the WYFBU  team who have taken a great deal of stick for what we have done.

Andy Killingbeck - retired Gipton Fire fighter  who even though he wasn't and isn't responsible for FCCL has undergone a malicious pension review because of FCCL.

All at South Yorks FBU - and their comrades in Doncaster who made us very welcome.

Joe O'Keefe (retired fire fighter Keighley) who has fought hard to bring the truth into the public domain.

Anthea Orchard - ex WYFRS employee 

And perhaps the biggest THANK YOU OF ALL  needs to go to all the people who help us that we cannot ever name.

Without your help this  site would not be as successful
 as it has been.

We look forward to our next 365 days of blogging. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Truth -Every Second Counts !

Above is a video by London FBU which clearly demonstrates that what politicians

SAY and what they DO

are two different things.

 REMEMBER - we, the public working together with the Fire Brigades Union


In 2011 WYFRS agreed to close 10 Fire Stations and bragged about getting
1750 hits on their website.

In 2012 working in partnership the public and FBU saved 3 stations from closure and modified the fire authority's plans dramatically.  This blog in 3 months received 41,000 hits and to date has clocked up over 100,000 views which proves to us

People can make a difference
 if they work together !

Monday, September 02, 2013

Death In East Ardsley - a low risk area.

We have posted many times now about Morley Fire Station and WYFRS wish to turn it to a day crewed station in January 2014.Morley on Saturday night attended a fire where sadly a death occurred.

Without the required number of staff residing within the 5 minute radius and the logistics screaming out it is not a practical option Stubborn Simon will plough on and  Morley will be day crewed next year. Adding to fires like the one below an additional minimum of FIVE MINUTES to the response times.

Morley consists of two areas.. one high and one low risk. This particular fire was in the adjoining ward of Ardsley and Robin Hood which is also categorised as low risk. But as we have demonstrated in Keighley which has a similar risk demographics Fire is no respecter of these boundaries.

On Saturday  evening in East Ardsley a man in his 60's died in a house fire. Two engines were sent in the first instance as it was not known until they arrived at the scene  that the fire was a "persons reported" incident and a third engine was dispatched to Laburnum Close (WF3 2HZ)  which looks to have been built originally as social housing.

Our sincere condolences go to his family.

This incident was not reported on the WYFRS incident logs and as of 10am Monday morning we can see no trace of it in the papers. We have never questioned WYFRS about their adhoc use of the public incident logs on their website; perhaps we should as it  most certainly do not reflect the incidents their crews attend. A bird stuck up a tree may get a mention but most often a death is not likely to feature.

Is this because they wish to shelter the citizens of
West Yorks from the devastation fire can deal out?

Surely not, does not a month will go by without some TV soap having to dial 999 and engines
turn up to either dramatically rescue people or stand and watch a ceiling collapse so a long running actor can be permanently dispatched to TV heaven!

We can therefore only assume it is to continue the
 gross manipulation of fire and rescue figures in our area.


as the Fire Brigades Union now has a mandate from its members to strike and the scab "operatives" are being trained to stand in for them when the strike is undertaken we cant help but think that if this death were to have taken place during the strike the newspapers would be queuing up to accuse the FBU of murder! It will actually be interesting to see how the reporting of incidents changes in particular on the WYFRS site  during the legal industrial action ( which is always a last resort )and we sincerely hope that the negotiating teams can resolve the matter and that it does not have to take place.

But we hold true to what is being said by fire fighters the length and breadth of the country, this strike is necessary now  to save lives in the future.

We will close with a BRILLIANT statement made by a fire fighter from Hertfordshire FBU. Which we re posted on our facebook page and got our best ever response for a plain and simple post with over 1,300 views in less than 24 hours.

By Herts FBU

Please help educate as many people as possible about the facts and in this day and age we are able to have a big influence on the media machine!!!

Over the next few weeks, the public are going to hear stories in the media about 'greedy, ungrateful, lazy firefighters' that want to strike over their 'gold plated, expensive to the tax-payer, generous pensions' that are 'given' to them by the government, and that our pensions are the 'best around'.

The facts are these, I pay 14% into my pension, £400 per month (feel free to compare that to what any of you pay). The Gov are changing my pension and are going to make me work an EXTRA 10years to receive a LOWER pension, making me work until I'm 60. Over that 10years ill pay an EXTRA £45,000 into MY pension, and receive less per year than I would of under the current scheme! If I'm lucky to live until I'm 80 then this change will cost me PERSONALLY over £100,000!

Would you want a 60year old male or female firefighter coming into your home to rescue you and your  family?

On top of this, they are bringing in a new scheme, that if I don't meet their fitness standards at 50-60, they can dismiss me and keep ALL my pension until I'm 67. So the 40odd years of paying £400 a month into the scheme, they would keep! The Gov themselves had an independent review done that found it would be highly unlikely for FFs to carry out the duties or meet the fitness standards at age 60. They are now ignoring their own review!

 It's true that under my current scheme I retire at 50 having worked 30 years. They might seem early to many people, but it's because I pay in the 14% and accumulate enough money to be able to retire at an earlier age. Maybe its a small perk for working Christmas Days, family Birthdays, Weekends and Evenings, and New Years etc for the 30 years as well as putting the publics safety before my own.

This Government are obsessed with tearing the public sector apart, this is the start. Mark my words that in a few years there will be talk of privatising the Fire Brigade and other public services. A way for the Government to make money off people's misery.

Firefighters need support, please ignore the medias spin on the facts.

Firefighters DO NOT want to strike. But the Gov have us against the wall and are unwilling to listen to our concerns.