Seems West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are to hold an internal enquiry in to the absolute mess that was Sunday 3rd July. The day that West Yorkshire Fire did what every body with half a brain knew would eventually happen - they ran out of fire engines.
So lets go back to 2011 when all of these horrendous cuts started in earnest and see what they said.
It's quite a read, a bit like a comic. Safer Place, Fewer Fires, Emergency response times will reflect our planning assumptions, delivering effective services in optimum places.
We can't say it better than a serving fire fighter who posted the lines below on Facebook, Sadly we cannot imagine his honesty being appreciated up at FSHQ.
For the very first time in living memory WYFRS ran out of fire engines to send to incidents. This is due to the continual reduction in front line services.
3rd July 2016 @ 11.41 twelve fire engines called to a large fire at Halifax. At 16.15 on the same day the incident commander at a different incident, Morrisons bakery sent an urgent assistance message to WYFRS control requesting the attendance of ten fire engines and 2 aerial appliances. He was informed that he could only... have 7 !?!?!?
The thin red line was stretched to breaking point by 3 incidents running concurrently. The third incident was a HGV fire that occupied 5 fire engines. This third incident is not recorded on the WYFRS website incident page. I wonder why?
WYFRS legal department has never been busier. The insurance companies have started to ask some very searching questions in the aftermath of such expensive debacles.
The fire engine that was tasked to cover the largest city in West Yorkshire, Leeds, was from Selby. I have experience in fighting fires in city centre high rise accommodation gained from years working in such environments. It is safe to say that with the best will in the world the Selby crew do not share this experience. This is no fault of there own and I empathise with this crew entirely. They and the people of Leeds and the surrounding suburbs were placed at an unnecessary level of risk due to the continued cutting of funding for your fire service. If an incident in a high rise building had occurred concurrently, such as a standard flat fire then WYFRS would have been unable to respond in a suitable fashion.
The level of fire deaths in West Yorkshire is at an unacceptably high level for a Metropolitan Brigade.People are dying due to the closure of fire stations.
So the next time you see one of WYFRS management trumpeting the opening of a 'Super Station' (two stations closed one opened - Gipton & Stanks = Killingbeck) in the media, treat it with the utter contempt that it deserves.
Super Station? It is quite the contrary!
Way back in 2012 we blogged about insurance here seems we were right all along.
BUT - He missed a bit,
in a small rural suburb of Huddersfield there was a pump, all alone in Cumberworth Road, SKELMANTHORPE. Trouble is, it is alleged that it was "forgotten" and sort of fell off the map on WYFRS busiest day ever.
How dreadfully careless of them.
Now it might not have had enough crew, or a qualified driver, as yet we don't know (it is a retained station). But I reckon even I could, at a pinch and maybe with a large gin in hand, name every fire station in West Yorkshire.
One would think the white shirts in charge would be able to too!
Pumps are big and red and very difficult to misplace (unless you are a CFO at a fire in Wetherby and you leave one a bit to close to the fireyou are trying to put out).
Why wasn't Skelmanthorpe mobilised? It isn't as though they haven't been quite busy recently - just look at the figures and how they have rocketed.
There was also the unreported incident of an elderly person having a panic attack whilst stuck in a lift waiting to be rescued, a pump took over 15 mins to attend that incident.
So to finish off where we started with ACO Walton. It appears he is to conduct an internal review of the mess that was Sunday 3rd July. It will be an interesting read and I can't in all fairness see that it will uncover the truth - that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are understaffed, under resourced and stretched past breaking point. He will make excuses, whitewash facts and paper and polyfilla cracks.
We here at FCCL intend to conduct our own review - so watch this space.