Category Archives: Fire Service

As the UK braces for more flooding, watch this firefighter’s plea (VIDEO)

Riccardo: “The claim that Boris Johnson is a friend of workers is laughable.”

After a month of flooding in northern England, the UK is bracing itself for more severe weather, with Devon now facing flooding.

There are currently 77 flood alerts across England and Wales and nine severe flood warnings across England.

Firefighters like Riccardo have been run ragged, trying to cope with the scale of a disaster that could have been reduced if the Conservatives had not cut funding for flood defences.

Watch him explain why, for him and many in his profession, Labour is the only choice in the December 2019 general election:

If you are affected by the next wave of flooding – or were affected by the last – the choice Riccardo presents is clear.

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Vox Political proved right again as London Fire Brigade scapegoated for Grenfell fire

Inferno: The Grenfell Tower blaze caused the greatest single loss of life in London since World War II, with official figures showing 72 people lost their lives.

This should make your blood boil.

After their heroism on the night of the Grenfell Tower inferno, it seems the London Fire Brigade is being blamed for the loss of 72 lives as a result of the blaze.

This Site predicted as much in September, when LFB members were interviewed under caution by police over potential health and safety breaches to do with the policy to tell people to stay in their flats while the fire raged outside.

Now retired high court judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick, who led the inquiry, has said many lives could have been saved if her officers had identified sooner that the fire was out of control and told residents to evacuate.

But isn’t it true that the “stay put” policy had been imposed by landlords the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) and was standard policy for a high-rise building in the United Kingdom?

He found that the LFB failed to train its incident commanders and firefighters in how to recognise the need for evacuation or in the dangers of combustible cladding.

But he also said there was “compelling evidence that the external walls of the building failed to comply with requirements” of building regulations governing fire safety. They didn’t adequately resist the spread of fire – “on the contrary they actively promoted it”.

And his conclusion that “the principal reason why the flames spread so rapidly up the building” was its aluminium composite panels and the “melting and dripping of burning polyethylene” was contrary to the evidence of cladding panel manufacturer Arconic.

This suggests that, even though senior officers had been briefed on the risk of cladding fires from high-rise blazes abroad, they had no reason to believe that Grenfell might fall prey to such an event.

So the LFB had no way of knowing that Grenfell would suffer such a cladding fire and in any case it was bound by a policy imposed by the tower’s landlord.

And we are expected to accept that the LFB deserves the blame for it. What a travesty.

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Is this an attempt to scapegoat the London Fire Brigade for the Grenfell disaster?

Ruin: Firefighters risked their lives in Grenfell Tower – not just while the building was burning but afterwards, as they searched among the rubble for residents.

This seems extremely sinister.

We know that the Grenfell Tower disaster was caused by a faulty kitchen appliance.

It was then accelerated by the fact that the tower had no sprinkler system because landlords working for Kensington and Chelsea Council did not consider it necessary.

And of course the same landlords had installed “fire resistant” cladding that instead hugely worsened the blaze.

Right?

But no real action has been taken against either the landlord organisation or the council.

And now the fire brigade that handled the blaze has been interviewed under caution by police over potential health and safety breaches to do with the policy to tell people to stay in their flats while the fire raged outside.

But the “stay put” policy had been imposed by landlords the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) and was standard policy for a high-rise building in the United Kingdom. 

It relies on the assumption that construction standards such as concrete and fire-resistant doors will allow firefighters to contain a fire within one flat – which was impossible in Grenfell Tower, which was not built to a standard that made this possible.

It seems clear that firefighters followed nationwide guidelines that were understood to be the best course at the time, and changed their plans when they realised that these guidelines had proved ineffective.

Blame for this ineffectiveness must fall on builders who used substandard materials, the landlord who decided that the proper materials and safety methods were not necessary, the council that employed that landlord, and the Tory government that relaxed safety requirements – making it possible for actions that endangered residents to happen.

I remember the eyewitness accounts of firefighters coming out of that inferno. It was clear that not only had they done everything they could to get as many people as possible out of danger; they had put themselves in considerable danger to do so.

But now it seems attempts are being made to blame them.

Who ordered this investigation into the Fire Service? What was their motivation for doing so?

And shouldn’t they be made to feel ashamed?

London Fire Brigade officials have been interviewed under caution by police investigating the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Scotland Yard detectives questioned the body over its duty to protect the public and its own employees from health and safety risks.

Source: Grenfell Tower fire: London Fire Brigade officials interviewed under caution by police over disaster | The Independent

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Huge fire in NEWLY-BUILT block of flats. Is this how the Tory government learned the lessons of Grenfell?

As I type these words, around 100 firefighters are battling a blaze in a tower block on De Pass Gardens, Barking, in London.

The cause is not known. There are no known injuries, and evacuation procedures are in place.

But there is no avoiding the obvious question: Why has this happened after the Tory government promised to learn the lessons of Grenfell?

Look at the strength of this fire, as shown in the following footage:

And did you read the comment about the cladding? Builders had been challenge about it only weeks ago, and said it was “fire retardant and perfectly safe”.

Does it look safe to you?

Sadly, it seems to be exactly the same stupidity as at Grenfell.

I’m sure you and I will look forward to the mealy-mouthed excuses that will flow from the same sources we heard after Grenfell. I hope there will be much less tolerance for them this time.

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While you were looking the other way, the government inflicted another huge cut on the fire service

Remember when the Tories changed firefighters’ pensions and retirement age, meaning firefighters could lose their jobs – and pensions – if they failed a fitness test in their 50s?

Cuts in fire service budgets added to the agony, triggering a huge increase in fire-related deaths. Or are we about to hear the hoary old “correlation does not mean causation” line repeated?

Well, the Tories have been at it again:

The Westminster government will cut fire and rescue service funding in England by 15% over the next year, analysis from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has found, despite claiming that “austerity is over”. Firefighters warn that the government is refusing to learn the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire, nearly two years on from the tragedy.

Full details are here: Government “sneaks through” 15% cut to fire service | Fire Brigades Union

Expect reports on another rise in fire-related deaths soon – or another Grenfell Tower-type tragedy.


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Want to know what Brandon Lewis’s privatised fire service will look like? It’ll look like this

<RING RING!> <RING RING!> <RING RING!>

<click>

“Nine-nine-nine emergency; which service do you require?”

“Fire service, please.”

“Thank you! Your fire service today will be provided by G5S/CrApiTOS. Putting you through…”

<click>

“Hi! Your fire and rescue services today are sponsored by U-None Insurance – when U need a payout from us, U get None!”

“At last! I need you to come to -”

“One moment, caller! How will you be paying for today’s service? We take Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, PayPal, Bitcoin or blood.”

“Huh?”

“We take-”

“Forget it. It’s too late now. The fire is everywhere. There’s no way out for me, even if you could get here in time.”

“Okay. We’ll bill your heirs for this call.”

That’s the Conservative privatised fire and rescue service – if it is ever allowed to happen.

They’ll make you pay, or they’ll make you pay with your life. Is your credit good enough?

Don’t let it happen.

All 46 fire and rescue services in England could be sold off to private firms under secret Government plans.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis calls for new laws that “would enable fire and rescue authorities in England to contract out their full range of services to a suitable provider” in a letter obtained by the Mirror.

He continues: “I appreciate that the proposals are not without controversy; however these changes will help remove barriers and to increase choices that fire and rescue authorities have to contract out their services.”

Source: Privatised fire and rescue services: Secret Government plans to sell off 46 fire and rescue services revealed – Mirror Online

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Have firefighters been conned into giving hospital patients lifts home?

[Image: West Midlands Fire Service.]


It is the Fire and Rescue Service, but This Writer can’t really see how hospital patient transportation can be considered a rescue.

And if the contract is supposed to be worth £2 million over three years but has only raised £300,000 in half that time, then it seems the West Midlands service has been conned.

I know councils are strapped for cash, but it occurs that taking firefighters away from their main responsibilities and paying them less than the agreed amount is counterproductive.

There is a petition to stop firefighters being asked to work in this manner and to make them fully available for emergencies once again.

Please consider signing it here.

Firefighters have lost front-line staff and engines to fulfil ‘loss-making’ care contracts, sources have claimed.

West Midlands Fire Service had agreed a two-year contract with councils to respond to emergency call-outs from OAPs who have fallen at home, while one local authority is also paying for hospital patient transportation.

Firefighters and civilian staff can and have volunteered to take part in the flexible contract scheme, which can boost their wages by 25 per cent.

Sources say employees had been told that the social care agreements would earn the cash-strapped Fire Service £2 million over three years.

But it is claimed just £300,000 has been raised so far in 18 months, while some firefighters and engines have been taken off the frontline to take part in the schemes.

Source: Fury as firefighters ‘taken off frontline to drive elderly home from hospital to meet care contracts’ – Birmingham Mail


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Remember this: Tories CHEERED when they won the vote to deny fire crews and nurses a pay rise

[Image: Kanjin Tor.]

Yes, the Conservatives cheered when they learned that they – with their new little helpers, the DUP – had achieved their goal.

What goal? Why, to treat the police who handled the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the firefighters who ran into the burning Grenfell Tower to save lives, and the NHS doctors and nurses who cared for the victims of all of these disasters with contempt.

Here’s the moment, captured on camera – see it for yourself:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had earlier signalled his intention to demand an end to the public sector pay cap, which limits pay rises to just one per cent every year:

You can read more about his reasons for doing so in this Guardian article:

The unfairness of the pay cap was underlined by the decision to give the Queen a massive £40 million pay rise:

Labour MPs walked into Parliament for the vote on Wednesday wearing these badges:

And then this happened:

Commentators were quick to accuse the Tories and their newly-bribed friends, the DUP, pointing out that Theresa May found £1.5 billion to ensure she could remain as prime minister easily enough. Clearly the reason similar amounts aren’t available for nurses, firefighters, the police and all the others who actually work hard for the benefit of the UK is that Mrs May doesn’t think she needs them.

Worse still was the hypocrisy of some of the Conservative MPs.

https://twitter.com/Barkercartoons/status/880158509299638272

Here’s Heidi Allen, tweeting about the DUP deal:

Ms Allen was also filmed speaking about this in Parliament:

Great – so she voted with Labour to scrap the cap, right?

Wrong:

I wonder if she joined in the cheers.

Ms Allen tried to justify her hypocrisy after the vote:

The report in the Huffington Post quotes her as follows:

Tory MP Heidi Allen – who would like to see the cap lifted – said she was unable to back Labour’s amendment as it was “too partisan”.

She also queried introducing a blanket pay rise for all public sector workers.

“Public services includes the very highest paid chief executives, managers, Whitehall chiefs too.

“I cannot support a blanket pay rise to all of those.

“We need to focus on those public sector workers such as nurses, healthcare assistants and all those on the front line.”

So she was falling back on the basic Tory strategy – ‘divide and rule’. She’ll happily agree to a pay rise for the lower-paid if it will upset those on higher grades. Why not agree a rise for all of them that is commensurate with the work they do?

Of course, we all saw straight through her mealy-mouthed excuse, right?

Here’s another hypocrite – Loathsome Lucy Allan, who is somehow still MP for Telford, despite being a despicable louse:

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/880331712001167360

Worse still are Johnny Mercer – who called the bid to scrap the cap a “political game” – and Gary Streeter, who actually had the arrogance to claim that those of us who spoke up for our valued doctors, nurses, fire and rescue services and police “don’t deserve” a say.

Well put, Paul.

The result of Wednesday’s vote clearly shows the contempt felt by Theresa May, every single Conservative MP, and every single DUP MP, for the bravery of people like policeman Wayne Marques.

He’s the officer who fought terrorists on London Bridge, armed only with a baton, and suffered horrific injuries as a result. Here he is, talking to Channel 4’s Jon Snow about those events:

This betrayal is not going to leave our consciousness any time soon. With another election likely within the next few months, it is worth marking the words of The Angry Nurse:

https://twitter.com/The_Angry_Nurse/status/880143939264798720

Personally, I would go further.

We all know that Conservatives want a two-tier system in the UK, with the rich getting the best healthcare, security, law enforcement and so on that money can buy, and the rest of us having to make do with whatever we can afford.

Perhaps Tory MPs should get a taste of that system – whenever they need help from the police, the ambulance service, the fire and rescue service, or any other public sector worker.

Perhaps, when Tory MPs need help, their needs should be prioritised according to their actions – and they should be put at the end of the lengthening queue that they were determined to create.

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