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 ………………


Anonymous said...

There have been no plans published for Fairweather Green fire station to close. Is this an exclusive announcement, are you misinformed or are you making things up? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Don't you think it was a good job she was hanging out of the window and still breathing.? This site is getting ever more bizarre. Now if the same thing happens mid afternoon a week tomorrow she might not get rescued and responsibility for that won't be down to Ron

Anonymous said...

If Ms Covell's house is on fire next Wednesday, think she'll refuse the fire service response on principle?

Anonymous said...

No she may be a bit mad but she is not totally mad. Anyhow let's hope common sense prevails on both sides

Anonymous said...

She will have to leave a note on her door then. She is in meetings all day with me.

Anonymous said...

Well I hope you don't have an accident on the way home from the meeting because it will not be real FFs who cut you out but ones who care enough to provide public with an emergency service.

Anonymous said...

That depends doesn't it anonymous. Because if the car is on it's side, or on it's roof or down a ditch, or into a building or a lorry then the ones who care to work during a strike, (a think there's a name for those peope) won't be able to rescue her because of the pathetic 3 weeks training. Its a joke! Besides station mangers are worried to death about how they are going to re-act at a job! I know several and they've all said the same.

Mr Smith said...

Yes but its still helpful that someone will actually try rather than no one turning up at all. It doesn't always need the most expertly trained person to rescue someone as is demonstrated daily. The FBU scaremongers must be really worried the temps might able to prove they are capable of doing the job

Anonymous said...

Mr Smith. An incompetent fire operative may cause more harm that good. But all of you posting seem to have just one individual you wish well or harm. I don't know her but she must be quite a woman to provoke such a response

Mr Smith said...

Silly response and no idea who or what you are talking about but what I do know is better someone tries to help than no one bothers and as we know from a number of cases even the so called experts manage to get it badly wrong like the chap who drowned in Hull and the woman down the mine shaft in Scotland who the so called experts failed to save

Anonymous said...

Get a grip mr smith

Mrs Brown said...

Well Mr Smith has a point - no one is perfect but the permanent firefighters would obviously do a much better job overall such a shame they have to go on strike

Joe O'Keeffe said...

To Mr Smith and anyone of a similar mind, this strike is not being caused by Fire-fighters or the FBU.
This strike and any subsequent strikes can only be avoided if the government enter into meaningful negotiation or Fire-fighters accept the current offer.

The current offer; pay 93% of your pension contributions into the scheme and receive a 50% pension because you can't make it to 60 years old on full operational duties.

Now if Mr Smith and friends would happily lie down and accept such a deal then that is their choice, but I very much doubt that is the case.

The strike is a last resort caused by the failure of this government to negotiate. The managers who will be helping to "man" (I use that term loosely) the pumps today would not accept this deal either, but lucky for them they will neither have to retire at 60 or have 50% of their pension stolen.

So Mr Smith and Co. moan to your MP, your District Councillor or to the Fire Minister who is lining the Fire Service up for privatisation. Do not target your anger at dedicated Firefighters looking for nothing more than fair treatment.

Good luck to everyone standing up for their rights today, you are 100% correct in the action you are taking because you have been given no other choice.

To those working today, you have your own reasons and that is also your choice.

To those dispicable people who have taken a full Fire Service Pension and are working to jeopardise the pensions of their former colleagues, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Bit of a distorted picture you are painting there Joe what you really mean is that the elected Government of the people has to give in to what the union militants want or the strike continues. The fact is and it is an inconvenient fact for the union but less than half of the members voted for this strike and before you say it I agree that majority who didn't vote only have themselves to blame but it still does not provide the union with a moral mandate. Any union which puts public safety at stake and misleads it's members does not deserve to win.

Anonymous said...

Oh I get it now, so you're saying that because less than 50% voted for strike then it should be null and void....

if that's the case can I have a new government please because they only got 36.1% of the vote......

Dave Williams
Brigade Secretary
West Yorks FBU

Anonymous said...

2 wrongs do not make a right and i agree this Government has no mandate either. The fact remains that the majority of your members did not vote for this strike and if your high command makes the mistake of calling longer strikes it will no doubt fizzle out as your members leave in droves. Is this why the union hides behind technicalities to refuse to disclose how many local members voted for this strike - do you even know ?