Firefighters and their housing woes

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					The magazine of   the Fire Brigades Union           >               October 2006

                                                                       United we
                                                                       Union-busting in

                                                                       Dying for
                                                                       a fag
                                                                       They wouldn’t
                                                                       would save
                                                                       have coped
                                                                       under spate

                     can you

                                                                       Me and my

                                                                       Jacqui Slack
                                                                       hits the ground

                       THIS?        Firefighters and their
                                            housing woes
general secretary’s comment


                                                                             rob bremner
                  As I predicted      denied that he is anti-union
                  last month,         or that he has a union-busting
                  our members         agenda. Yet the evidence
                  in Merseyside       is clearly against him. Our
                  have regrettably    arrangement for collecting
                  had to take         union subs ended by the local
                  to the picket       employer – without even
                  lines again.        formally notifying us. Union
Merseyside FBU members                noticeboards have been removed
returned a magnificent Yes            from fire stations. We have seen
vote in their ballot. They have       a marked reluctance to allow in
demonstrated again the determi-       the National Joint Secretaries
nation to defend the service          to give assistance in resolving
their working conditions.             the dispute, although, as I write,
    I hope that by the time this      finally discussions with the
magazine reaches you the              National Joint Secretaries have
dispute will be settled and we        started.
will have moved on. It is always          This – like all other disputes
sad to see industrial action in       – needs resolving. The FBU at
our service. I am sure that every     national level is willing to do
single one of us wishes that it       whatever is necessary to assist
could be avoided – that issues        in this. But equally we will not
could be resolved by discussion       stand by and see our members
and negotiation.                      on Merseyside defeated. That is
    The truth is that eventually      why I urge all members to ensure
disputes do have to be settled        that financial and moral support
by discussion and negotiation.        is given. A collection of just a few
So it is extremely unfortunate        pounds a week from all members
that the Merseyside fire and          can ensure that members are not
rescue authority could not have       starved back to work.
ensured that serious talks took           More importantly such
place so as to avoid this conflict.   solidarity will send a message                       to defend our service and our      of safety of firefighters and the
It seems that this has been           that we are all facing the same                      working conditions. They           public.
part of a pattern in industrial       fight. We are all determined to                      deserve the thanks of all of us.
relations in Merseyside in recent     defend our service and we will                                                          Regional Controls
months.                               not allow members in individual                      National Standards                 This summer’s surge in
    We have published evidence        brigades to be picked off and                        As we argued at TUC                emergency fire calls once again
which clearly suggests that the       isolated.                                            Congress in Brighton on 11-        reminded us of the massive
chief fire officer has followed           I have been extremely                            13 September, Merseyside           dangers of the Government’s
a union-bashing agenda. It is         pleased to see members from                          and other disputes over jobs       regional controls project. Under
all too often true that certain       across the UK attending picket                       and fire cover underline the       such spate conditions, there
individuals in the fire and rescue    lines in Merseyside to bring                         need for the reintroduction of     would be a very high likelihood
service see sidelining the FBU        support. This gives a huge boost                     national standards of emergency    of emergency calls from the
as a way of ensuring that there       to morale and sends a clear                          response. They should help         public not getting through.
wider agenda is delivered – and       message to our opponents.                            prevent fire authorities under     Following the criticisms in the
that wider agenda usually means           This dispute will be settled                     the deeply flawed Integrated       report by the House of Commons
cuts!                                 at some point. Our Merseyside                        Risk Management Planning           Select Committee, the Chief
                                      members will then be able to                         process from pursuing short        Fire Officer’s Association has
Union bashing                         look back with pride. They                           term financial advantage – or      talked of “huge challenges” facing
The CFO, Mr McGuirk, has              have made a determined stand                         anti-union agendas – at the cost   FireControl – diplomatic-speak

  FireFighter October 006
                                                                                                                                This month

                                                                          JoHn GILeS/PA/emPICS
                                                                                                 Fire and flood
                                                                                                 would have
                                                                                                 brought chaos
                                                                                                 to regional

                                                                                                 Regulars                                Features
                                                                                                 4 NewS                                  10 chAOS
                                                                                                 CPD: Ballot consultation                lOOMS?
                                                                                                 Cleveland members agree changes         Regional control rooms would
                                                                                                                                         have collapsed during the recent
                                                                                                 5 SOUNdiNg OFF!                         sharp increase in 999 calls
                                                                                                 Equality, diversity and
                                                                                                 the select committee                    12 cAN yOU
                                                                                                                                         AFFOrd A hOMe?
                                                                                                 7 FiFTh cOlUMN                          Firefighters are among the key
                                                                                                 He’s a celebrity CFO                    workers hit by soaring house prices
                                                                                                 Get him out of here
                                                                                                                                         14 UNiTed
                                                                                                 8 AeriAl lAdder                         we STANd
                                                                                                 PlATFOrM                                Union bashing
                                                                                                 Hands of our council homes              in Merseyside

                                                                                                 16 whAT dOeS ... dO?
                                                                                                 Trainee firefighter Emma
                                                                                                 Pass talks to Firefighter
                                                                                                                                          Take part in our
                                                                                                                                          prize quiz and win
                                                                                                                                                                     A Nintendo
                                                                                                                                          a Nintendo DS Lite.          dS lite
                                                                                                 18 heAlTh                                It has 3D graphics         see p22
                                                                                                 Arthritis is the UK’s single greatest    and ultra-bright
                                                                                                 source of physical disability            screens and enables
                                                                                                                                          you to connect wirelessly to
                                                                                                 19 legAl BeAgle                          Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection
                                                                                                 Compensation for mesothelioma            and challenge players around
                                                                                                                                          the world.
                                                                                                 20 dAy OFF                               The Nintendo DS Lite’s dual
                                                                                                 Jacqui Slack has got                     screens and touch-screen
                                                                                                 the triathlon bug                        technology allow you to
for major problems. The Union       CPD to kick in – extended from                                                                        interact with games like never
is pressing for an urgent meeting   the original July 1 deadline – was                           22 PUzzleS                               before. The lower screen offers
with ministers on the matter and    going to have to be pushed back                                                                       touch-screen capability so
members will be kept informed       beyond October 1.                                            23 STATiON cAT                           you can navigate menus
                                                                                                 Brings you news they                     or access
of progress on that front.              National employers refused to
                                                                                                 don’t want you to hear                   inventory items
                                    agree this at the time of writing.                                                                    by touching
CPD/LSi                             Brigade officials met in London                                                                       the screen
The status of negotiations          on September 8 and discussed the                                                                      with a stylus or
on Continual Professional           issue and in line with an Executive                          CoVer PICTUreS:                          fingertip.
                                                                                                 PAUL box/rePorTdIGITAL.Co.Uk
Development payments are no         Council decision, officials are                              SHoUT/rePorTdIGITAL.Co.Uk

doubt at the forefront of many      now consulting the membership
members’ minds. We have been        to seek authority to conduct a
working hard to get a result        ballot for industrial action up                              Published by the Fire Brigades Union, Bradley House,
                                                                                                 68 Coombe Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 7AE.
that was satisfactory to FBU        to and including strike action.
members. But by early September     Information is to be circulated.                             Tel: 020 8541 1765. Fax: 020 8546 5187
there was still much that hadn’t    Please attend your branch                                    Design by Edition Periodicals 241-251 Ferndale Road
been agreed and it became clear     meeting and make sure you have                               London SW9 8BJ.
that the deadline of September 30   your say in the consultation.                                Printed by Southernprint Ltd, 17-21 Factory Road,
for LSI to start phasing out and    Matt Wrack                                                   Upton Industrial Estate, Poole, Dorset BH 16 5SN.

                                                                                                                                            October 006 FireFighter 
News                                                                                                                          ocToBER 2006
                                                                                                                              > Latest news
                                                                                                                              > Sounding off
                                                                                                                              > In brief

                                 Firefighters remove their chemical
                                 protection suits after finishing an
                                 exercise simulating a chemical agent
                                 terrorist attack on Bank Underground
                                 station in london. The Union says
                                 cPd needs to recognise the new
                                 demands placed
                                 upon employees

              Union consults over action                                            The FBU has been demanding that LSI        ● Eligibility being from competence in
                                                                                 payments continue until agreement with           rank at joining

                                      BU officials were consulting members       employers is reached over the introduc-          The Union negotiators have pointed out to
                                      on a ballot for industrial action over     tion of CPD, in line with the national pay    employers that it was agreed from the outset
                                      continual professional development         agreement which states that LSI will not      that the methods of attracting CPD should
                                payments, as Firefighter went to press.          be stopped until CPD payments have been       be distinct from additional responsibility
                                This follows the failure of the employers’       made.                                         payments. These are payments for skills and
                                side of the CPD working party – which               The key areas that remain unresolved       activities required by the employer that are
                                has been considering the principles of and       include:                                      not contained within the agreed role-maps.
                                mechanism for CPD payments – to agree            ● Removeability                                  CPD must be made available to all NJC
                                to recommend that the payment of LSI be          ● National or local rate                      staff subject to agreement on qualifying
                                extended beyond October 1.                       ● Payment of CPD in relation to discipli-     periods/exclusions and so on.
                                    The Executive Council agreed in early           nary sanctions                                At the most fundamental level, the Union
                                September that in the event of there being       ● Method of payment (annual/monthly/          has argued, CPD payments must reward
                                no agreement on CPD and no extension                hourly rate etc.)                          personnel for their experience and loyalty,
                                of the payment of LSI beyond October 1,          ● Pensionability                              and address the issue of motivation.
                                consultation would commence among                ● Indications of commitment                      Members are urged to attend branch
                                members over authorising the EC to               ● When personnel can apply for CPD            meetings to take part in the consultation.
                                conduct the ballot for industrial action up to   ● Transitional arrangements                   n For more information visit:
                                and including strike action.                     ● Additional Responsibility Payments

                         FireFighter October 006
                                                                                                                                      sounding off!
Members agree new                                                                                                                      KeRRy BaigeNt (NWC)
                                                                                                                                       CaRL St PaUL (B&EMM)

authority proposals                              that the FBU recommended to its members.
                                                                                                                                      Pete gaLLagheR (NGLC)
                                                                                                                                         select committee –
            cLEvELanD DisPUTE
                                                 Cleveland fire crews have carefully consid-
                                                                                                                                        equality and diversity

        leveland members have agreed             ered them and have agreed them.                                                 The 1999 Thematic Review provided a central
        proposals on changes to the local            “The proposals significantly amend the                                      stage to the otherwise underrated and
        fire and rescue service after the fire   fire authority’s original Safety Improvement                                    unpopular subject matter of Equality and
authority put forward significant safeguards     Plan and satisfied many of our concerns                                         Diversity (E&D). The service was forced to
to protect firefighters and the public.          contained within the trade dispute. We still                                    look at its failings and weaknesses in this area
    The decision came after council-             have concerns about the fire safety implica-                                    and was made to focus and utilise resources
lors amended their original proposals.           tions of the de-staffing of a fire appliance                                    to achieve this aim. A further thematic review
Five firefighters will now crew the first        stationed at Hartlepool. And we will be                                         set to take place in 2003, failed to materialise
fire appliance attending life-threatening        monitoring the implementation of the                                            and we believe that this has contributed
emergencies from all fire stations in the        changes to the fire service to make sure that                                   to the slowing down of progress and lack
county, including from Billingham fire           they do not adversely affect the emergency                                      of commitment shown by some principle
station, where crewing levels had previ-         response capacity. We will continue to work                                     managers and Government. Ultimately it
ously been cut. Furthermore, emergency           with senior managers to tackle the issue of                                     is FBU members who have suffered from
response targets will now see the first          improving public protection.                                                    this and despite a few interested parties
appliance arriving in five minutes, the              “Cleveland members should be congrat-                                       continually asserting pressure; this pressure
second appliance in eight minutes and the        ulated. Their magnificent 74% backing for                                       has largely been ignored.
                                                                                                                                     The Select Committees conclusions are
third appliance (with persons reported) in       strike action enabled FBU brigade officials
                                                                                                                                 sadly echoed by B&EMM, the NWC and the
10 minutes.                                      to reach a negotiated settlement.”
                                                                                                                                 NGLC. We too have been very disappointed
    Steve Watson, Cleveland FBU brigade              John McGhee, FBU National Officer
                                                                                                                                 by the lack of progress made by the UK Fire
secretary said: “Fire crews were determined      responsible for health and safety who
                                                                                                                                 Service on E&D. Our members have become
to ensure that any changes to the local fire     advised local officials during the dispute,
                                                                                                                                 increasingly aware that this issue is no longer
service would not compromise the safety          said: “The agreement reached is a significant
                                                                                                                                 a priority and despite being well organised
of the Cleveland community or frontline          step in the Union’s overall IRMP strategy                                       and representative, the FBU equality groups
firefighters attending emergency incidents.      of achieving attendance of the appropriate                                      have been mainly ignored by Government and
They were ready to take strike action if         number of firefighters to incidents, thus                                       Principle management.
necessary.                                       ensuring their safety in carrying out their                                         We conclude:
    “Negotiations following the 3:1 vote in      duties to protect the public. It will have an                                   ≥ In line with the select committee we
favour of strike action produced revised         important impact when officials elsewhere in                                    endorse the utilisation of support groups for
proposals for change to the local fire service   the country are arguing over crewing levels.”                                   the Diversity Happens Forum; however we
                                                                                                                                 would urge the use of the existing support
                                                                                                                                 groups in the Fire Brigades Union who have
Delegates back FBU call for new national standards                                                                               accumulated years of experience, knowledge
                                                                                                                                 and empathy.
                                                                                                 JeSS HUrd/rePorTdIGITAL.Co.Uk

                                                                                                                                 ≥ We believe that the findings of the select

       elegates to the Trade Union                                                                                               committee regarding the Comprehensive
       Congress in September agreed                                                                                              Performance Assessment is a massive a
       to call on the Government                                                                                                 step in the right direction, however; a rating
to “urgently address” the FBU’s                                                                                                  of “failure” should be introduced for those
demands for new national standards                                                                                               authorities who have consistently failed to
of emergency response. Supporting                                                                                                progress or show commitment to E&D.
the FBU motion, delegates also                                                                                                   ≥ We would also support the reintroduction
agreed to demand that Government                                                                                                 of a Diversity Champion as long as the
“ensure sufficient investment is made                                                                                            individual is endorsed by all relevant stake
available to individual fire and rescue                                                                                          holders. Added to this we would further
services to ensure that they are able to                                                                                         suggest that a team of diversity champions
plan, control, manage and deliver the                                                                                            may be a positive step forward.
appropriate emergency response to all                                                                                            ≥ We fully support the recommendation of
incidents on all occasions.”                                                                                                     Government to conduct a thorough review
    The motion also noted “with                                                                                                  of E&D policies and initiatives and further
concern that the ‘modernisation’                                                                                                 suggest that the scope is broadened to review
agenda within the fire and rescue                                                                                                the impact caused by these.
service appears to be focused on                                                                                                 ≥ We believe that it is essential to share
cost-cutting and reducing levels of                                                                                              examples of E&D best practice across the
emergency cover rather than on                                                                                                   service and a mechanism to encourage and
                                           FBU general secretary matt Wrack, speaking at this
                                                                                                                                 accommodate this must be produced by
genuine improvement.”                      year’s tUc, was elected to the general council

                                                                                                                                                October 006 FireFighter 

                                                                                                                                                                  In brief
Legal help

                                                                                                                      MIKAL LUDLOW/gLOUcestershIre echO
                                                                                                                                                          ≥ The Commission for Racial 
                                                                                                                                                          Equality is awaiting responses from 
has never                                                                                                                                                 five fire and rescue authorities 
                                                                                                                                                          after it wrote to them over their 

been closer                                                                                                                                               Race Equality Schemes.  Two of 
                                                                                                                                                          these fire authorities were sent 

to hand
                                                                                                                                                          letters informing them that the 
                                                                                                                                                          CRE was ‘minded” to enforce 
                                                                                                                                                          compliance with their race equality 
                                                                                                                                                          duties under the Race Relations 
        LegAL servIces
                                                                                                                                                          Amendment Act. The CRE took 

        ew arrangements for                                                                                                                               these steps after receiving evidence 
        accessing the FBU’s                                                                                                                               gathered by the FBU’s B&EMM 
        legal services, aimed                                                                                                                             committee.
at making the process even
                                                                                                                                                          ≥ The FBU joined a trade 
simpler for all members, have
                                                                                                                                                          union delegation to Colombia 
been introduced.                                                                                                                                          where it heard testimonies from 
    The service can now be                                                                                                                                trade unionists of murder and 
accessed in three ways:                                                                                                                                   intimidation and of the collusion 
■ direct freephone 0808 100                                                                                                                               of the military and paramilitary 
   6061                                                                                                                                                   death squads. The delegation 
■ via the website                                                                                                                            will now be writing to ministers 
   uk/member/legal/index.php                                                                                                                              calling on the UK Government to 
■ by filling in a legal assist-                                                                                                                           halt to military aid to Colombia 
   ance form, available from                                                                                                                              and to exert pressure on the 
                                                                                                                                                          Colombian government to stop 
   your branch secretary, which
                                                                                                                                                          gross violations of human and 
   has been amended to cover                                                                                                                              trade union rights. The visit was 
   personal injury claims.                                                                                                                                organised by Justice for Colombia: 
    Paul Woolstenholmes, FBU                                                                                                                    
National Officer responsible for     At its height 100 firefighters and 20 appliances tackled this chemical fire at
legal services, said: “It seems      the Biolab plant near Cheltenham in september. “The building was totally

                                                                                                                                                                                              jOse gOMez/reUters
that in many cases members are       ablaze and uncontrollable within just a few minutes,” a witness said.

                                     FBU urges authority
not aware of the full extent of
the union’s personal injury legal
    “Too often members and
their families have fallen into
the trap of replying to the
                                     to reverse downgrade                                                                                                  Colombian soldiers mount a
advertising of privateer claims                      AFAs                     reduces its initial attendances                                              security check
companies who push ‘no win-                                                   to incidents like the one at

no fee’ schemes whilst hiding              he Union is calling on             Andoversford.                                                               ≥ The first FBU National School in 
the details in the small print.            Gloucestershire’s chief                Not only did the industrial                                             two years will take place at Wortley 
                                                                                                                                                          Hall, 30 October–4 November 
    “Many claims firms have                fire officer and the               unit in Andoversford get a
                                                                                                                                                          2006. The tutor for the residential 
taken advantage of injury            fire authority to overturn               reduced initial attendance                                                  school is once again Mary Davis 
victims in their push for profit.    its decision to restrict and             (before the change in policy                                                from London Metropolitan 
    “They claim to pay 100%          downgrade its traditional                two fire appliances would have                                              University. For more information 
compensation, but hidden             response to emergency calls              been dispatched) but the first                                              contact National Officer Dean Mills 
charges may include high             generated by automatic fire              appliance that did attend was                                               at FBU Head Office in Kingston.  
interest rates on loans to pay       alarm systems (AFAs).                    ordered to do so under normal
insurance premiums which                 This follows the recent huge         road conditions. That resulted                                              ≥ FBU members and supporters 
claimants are made to take out       chemical fire in Andoversford.           in a much longer time before                                                of the Scottish Cuba Solidarity 
in case their claim fails.”              The fire service has previ-          the appliance arrived and vital                                             Campaign (SCSC) were shocked 
    “The difference between          ously been warned by the                 minutes were lost.                                                          and saddened to learn of Katy 
                                                                                                                                                          Campbell’s sudden death on July 4. 
a claims firm and the FBU’s          FBU that the move to a policy                Local FBU official Phil
                                                                                                                                                          Katy worked closely with the FBU 
legal services is that the union’s   restricting firefighters from            Jordan said; “We will be writing                                            and helped to establish the SCSC 
services are absolutely free to      attending calls following the            to the Chief Fire Officer and                                               office within the Scottish Regional 
members, and their families.         activation of an AFA would be            urging him to withdraw,                                                     offices, dedicating herself to 
They will not deduct a penny         putting the public, firefighters         immediately, this dangerous and                                             strengthening the Cuban Solidarity 
from your compensation.              and the environment at an                unacceptable policy of ordering                                             movement in Scotland. She will be 
    FBU lawyers Thompsons are        unacceptable risk.                       fire appliances to respond to                                               missed by all who had the privilege 
the UK’s leading personal injury         On the recommendation of             emergencies under normal road                                               to know her but she will live on in 
law firm, expert in winning          the Chief Fire Officer, elected          conditions and also to withdraw                                             the minds, hearts and actions of 
justice for people injured due to    members of the County Council            his policy of reducing the initial                                          all her comrades, brothers, sisters 
                                                                                                                                                          and friends. We send our deepest 
the negligence of employers and      have voted through measures              amount of appliances he sends
                                                                                                                                                          sympathy to all of Katy’s family.
others.                              that means the fire service              to certain incidents.

  FireFighter October 200 

                                                                                                                                                    YUI mok/PA/emPICS
 members of the public
 outside the Big Brother
 house at elstree studios

                                             FiFTh coLUMn
                               An anonymous take on events in a brigade near you 

       he funny season of Big Brother, Celebrity Love            staffordshire                should know better. But they only see one thing. Yes,
       Island and Celebrity Only Fools on Horses is                                           you guessed it. It is their future they care about, not
       over. Enter the funny season of chief fire officers                                    the public’s.
– scrutinising their IRMPs to see if they can win                i’m a celebrity                  So let’s play a game. Let’s run a public campaign
some kind of reality prize by demonstrating to the                                            to oust councillors who turn up for their allowances,
Department of Communities and Local Government                  chief fire officer,           believe every word the chief officers tell them, don’t
how stupid and outrageous they can be by cutting the         get me out of here!              offer any opposition, but love the public office of
fire service to the bone, risking local people’s lives                                        sitting on the fire authority (well it looks good on
and putting firefighters in danger.                                                           election material doesn’t it!)
    The chief fire officer in Staffordshire is no exception. Alan Doig is     The chief has issued a press release stating we are being disingen-
downgrading three retained stations in rural areas leaving support uous. Well, that takes the biscuit. It’s like them being disingenuous
back up to the throw-of-a-dice strategy: if someone is available we will about the new shift review. It was stated that no decision was being
turn up, if not then tough! He is downgrading the busiest fire engine in taken on what we are to do with the dormitories – only to find out at
the county from the busiest wholetime station to retained status. He is Burton on Trent fire station architects’ drawings of a new design for the
downgrading two wholetime stations to retained but building one new fire station and lo and behold where there used to be a dormitory there
one, putting in just one fire engine. He’s also mulling the removal of is now an office. Talk about the cart before the horse. Is it any wonder
four wholetime fire engines at Hanley, Stafford, Burton and Newcastle we are sceptical of anything these so called professionals tell us?
fire stations.                                                                I’m sure Channel 4 could make a reality programme about the fire
    Forgive us for being cynical but if the public could phone in on this service. Or more appropriately, a comedy programme, with the chief
reality game I’m sure Alan Doig would be voted out in the first instant fire officer in the lead role.
– even with his senior officers constantly ringing in and texting, hoping     It’s time to reverse the trend. Let those who care about the fire
to get the next promotion.                                                 service win for a change. We are fed up of the bad guys winning. Let’s
    How can senior officers who have come through the system stand start now. Let’s start a campaign: I’m a celebrity chief fire officer, get
idly by while they can see what damage it is having on morale? They me out of here!

                                                                                                                     October 006 FireFighter 
city centre council flats in Bristol
pictUre: paul Box/
                                                                                  vieW From the aerial ladder platForm

hands off our homes
aLaN WaLteR, ChaiR oF DeFeND CoUNCiL hoUSiNg

               council tenants are being        is worth defending. like tenants they         england and the majority in Wales
               mugged. Behind all the fine      also suffer sustained bullying to accept      and scotland have opted for retention
               words of ‘choice’, ‘inclusion’   privatisation from senior managers who        – despite the government pressure.
and ‘empowerment’, government is trying         stand to gain big pay rises.                      this isn’t just a fight for 3 million
to take away our security, lower rents and         the fact is communities are                existing council tenants. We’re also
democratic tenure.                              ‘sustainable’ with adequate support and       fighting for everyone who would benefit
    they don’t like it when we see through      resources. Watching new posh neighbours       from a first class public housing service
their spin and join up the dots. Who            drive in to their gated home across the       as an altenative to the private market.
hasn’t heard their mock outrage when we         road or young professionals buying up         We need the support of trade unionists
name stock transfer, pFi and arms length        ex council homes as the first step on         to counter the glossy one-sided pro
management organisations (almos)                the home ownership ladder doesn’t             privatisation campaigns waged by local
as privatisation? they claim disbelief          lead to wealth rubbing off – it increases     authorities. Find out what’s happening in
when we point out that registered social        resentment and fragments communities at       your area and make sure FBU branches
landlords (rsls) are increasingly remote        the expense of those with least money.        offer support to tenants to help stop
and unaccountable multi million pound              precisely because the private market       privatisation and win the ‘fourth option’
national businesses generating huge             always fails to meet social need there is     of direct investment.
surpluses and that the almo formula was         a massive demand for council housing              every additional no vote adds to the
designed as a staging post to take council      today. give us the extra investment to        pressure on ministers. however arrogant
housing out of the public sector – but          improve our homes and estates and to          and confident they seem, they have to
each week’s housing news confirms it.           build new council homes to address the        contend with a political dynamic that
    systematic disinvestment from council       demand, and council tenants and council       demands change.
housing has created acute poverty on            estates would be proud once again.                We’ve made the financial case and
many estates. council housing has been          investment would also overcome the            clearly identified that decent, affordable,
deliberately stigmatised, to brand all of       desperation that fuels racism in places       secure and accountable council housing
us who won’t or can’t climb the home            like the london borough of dagenham           is financially viable. our homes and
ownership ladder as failures.                   and Barking and dagenham, where 12            estates can be improved if government
    the attack on council housing is part       Bnp councillors were elected in may.          ring fences all the money that belongs to
of a broader drive to privatise public             a once strong and independent tenants      council housing. We are not prepared to
services and the moves to undermine             movement has been systematically              trade our secure tenancies, lower rents
the role of democratically elected              undermined. those of us opposed to            and democratic landlord for new kitchens
local councils and replace them with            privatisation have to volunteer our own       and bathrooms and neither will we allow
private sector dominated quangos and            time - in between families and jobs - while   politicians to use the promise of building
‘partnerships’.                                 councils promote privatisation using our      new homes as an excuse to walk away
    We all share the hope of our parents        rents to pay senior managers, consultants     from their obligation to existing council
and grandparents that our children              and pr companies to run a professional        tenants and estates.
should enjoy a better life. But as we enter     marketing campaign against us.                    the government was elected on a clear
a new century we watch dismayed as the             all the polls show that a big majority     manifesto commitment: “By 2010 we will
major gains secured by past generations         oppose privatisation of public services.      ensure that all social tenants benefit from a
are being rolled back.                          nowhere are tenants lobbying for a            decent, warm home with modern
    our campaign for direct investment in       change of landlord. no stock transfer,        facilities.” We expect them to
council housing addresses the needs of 3        pFi scheme or almo would have got             keep it in spirit and in word.
million existing council tenants and their      through without tenants being subjected
families across the UK and the 1.5 million      to a campaign of bullying and blackmail,      > Local campaigns needing help fighting
on housing waiting lists (plus those who        threatening no improvements unless            privatisation include: Brighton, Chester le Street,
are discouraged from registering).              tenants comply. this is not ‘choice’. the     Crawley, Fenland, Gravesend, Gedling, Highlands,
    it also offers hope – and a secure          process discredits local and national         Lambeth, Liverpool, Manchester, Monmouthshire,
job with decent conditions – to council         government and their commitment to            Oswestry, Plymouth, Southwark, South Kesteven,
workers who want to provide a public            meaningful consultation or democracy.         Swansea, Salisbury, Stirling, Renfrewshire,
service and to local councillors who               the privatisation of council housing       Rhonda Cynon Taff, Taunton, Tower Hamlets,
believe that the provision of public            has proved much harder than its               Torfaen, Watford.
services by an elected public authority         supporters expected. 100 councils in
regional controls


                                                                                                  JoHn GILeS/PA/emPICS
The Government’s proposed regional fire
control rooms would have collapsed under the
strain of the recent sharp increase in 999 calls
to emergency incidents, the FBU has warned

         f regional controls had been up and
         running, the Union says, the fire
         service would have faced chaos dealing
         with the huge numbers of major fire
         and flooding incidents which have
happened across the country over the summer

    The Union says it was only the very close
working between local controls and their local
                                                     The summer months of July and August
                                                  were a very busy period with local controls
                                                  in every region dealing with “spate” condi-
                                                  tions. That would mean every regional control
                                                  would have been running at peak capacity,
                                                  with no spare capacity to take overflow calls
                                                  from other regions, even if that system could

fire brigades which enabled the service to deal   Staff cuts
coherently which incredibly busy conditions.      The staffing levels being proposed for the
The regional control system – which would         regional controls would have meant the
see calls “bounced” at busy periods to any        collapse would have been even more rapid.
regional control in England able to take the      There would be a very high likelihood of
call – would break the existing link between      emergency calls from the public not getting                             ilkley moor,
emergency fire controls and the brigade           through.                                                                august 2006
handling the incident.                               The proposed staffing cuts are between

                      cFoa: FiREconTRoL FacEs ‘hUgE chaLLEngEs’                                                          22% in the North East (from the current 109
 The Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) has responded to the House of Commons Select                                total in existing local controls, to 82 being
 Committee Report on the Fire and Rescue Service by saying that the FireControl project faces                            proposed in the regional control) to a 48%
 “huge challenges”. In its most sceptical remarks yet on the Government’s regional controls                              cut in the South West (from 168 currently
 plans, it said:                                                                                                         employed in existing local controls to 86 being
 “The specific comments of the Select Committee relating to the FiReControl project reflect                              proposed in the regional control).
 the broad concerns of both the FRS and were in fact those expressed by CFOA presented                                       Reports over the summer from FBU
 in both the written and oral evidence to the Committee. CFOA has been and continues to                                  control reps from just two regions gave
 be supportive of the project but continues to seek reassurance and information around a                                 a flavour of just how disastrous regional
 number of aspects of funding, the business case and the governance and legal issues. The                                controls would be.
 Association urges the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), to ensure
                                                                                                                             In Lancashire, which is already short of
 that the FRS community is provided with more detailed information relating to a robust
 business case, consistent with commercial considerations. That said, CFOA recognises the                                three posts – a shortfall soon to double – the
 huge challenges facing the FiReControl programme and continues to work closely with DCLG,                               control centre was busier than the same time
 providing a number of seconded staff to ensure that project deliverables are aligned with                               last year thanks to a surge in grass and gorse
 end user requirements.”                                                                                                 fires. One night, they had to deal with a ten-
                                                                                                                         pump moorland fire, and by 10pm had already

10 FireFighter October 006
                                      sPaTE conDiTions?
 A total of 124,600 fires were attended in the UK in the third quarter of 2005 (July to
 September), 14% more than in the corresponding third quarter of 2004. The number of
 primary fires fell (down by 6% to 42,600) compared to the same quarter in 2004.
 However, the number of secondary fires increased by 28% (to 81,300) compared to the
 corresponding third quarter of 2004, mainly due to an 80% increase in grassland fires (to
 29,600).” Source: Fire Statistics Monitor 20 July 2006 comparing the third quarter of 2004
 and the third quarter 2005 i.e like for like quarters.
  “The number of grassland and heathland fires is very dependent on weather conditions. In
 2004, there were 61,400 such fires recorded, 60% less than the previous year. This was due
 to a return to more seasonally average weather conditions after a dry 2003 saw 152,700
 grassland fires”. Source: Fire Statistics 2004, page 55.
 In three out of the last four years we have faced huge numbers of incidents caused by
 changing weather patterns. In 2003 we had 152,700 grassland fires which was a near record
 and officially attributed to warm weather. A year’s respite in 2004 was followed by an 80%
 increase in grassland fires in the third quarter of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.
 Reports from across the UK suggest that 2006 is even worse.

taken more than 200 calls.                         staff were having less breaks, which are shorter   staffing levels on their own would have seen
    In Cheshire – also currently under-staffed,    with workload constant.                            the regional controls collapse.
although new recruits will soon make up the                                                              “Regional controls would have caused
numbers – they were busier by about 1,000          Local controls resilient                           chaos across the fire service and put lives at
calls a year, thanks to grass fires. On one day    Said FBU President Ruth Winters: “Over the         risk with large numbers of 999 calls from the
they took 309 calls, instead of a daily average    summer local emergency fire controls have          public not getting through. People would have
of 70.                                             demonstrated how resilient they are and how        been held in a queue listening to Vivaldi’s Four
    In Greater Manchester, they were also          fragile any the regional controls system would     Seasons while the room filled with smoke.
suffering spate conditions with staff heading      be. It was only the very close working between        “The Government needs to start listening
into work in on their days off to provide cover.   the local emergency fire controls and the local    to fire service concerns over these plans. It
    In Wales, meanwhile, emergency fire            brigades they serve which kept the fire and        needs to listen to the recent Select Committee
control rooms in all three brigades were           rescue service going.                              report which confirmed the project had a
dealing with as many as three times as many           “Everyone in the fire service now knows         ‘high risk of total project failure’.”
incidents. There were large numbers of time-       the planned regional controls would have
consuming duplicate calls. There were two          been too remote to ensure a coherent fire          > More info:
instances of recall to duty in North Wales and     and rescue service response. The proposed          outofcontrol/

                                                                                                                      October 006 FireFighter 11
                                                                          a street in Bristol: on a
PAUL box/rePorTdIGITAL.Co.Uk

                                                                       firefighter’s wage there’s
                                                                           no chance of buying a
                                                                      decent-sized family home
                                                                              near the city centre

                                                              The housing boom
                                                             may have benefited
                                                             some homeowners,
                                                                     but for many
                                                                firefighters it is a
                                                               growing problem

                                              can yoU
                                          aFFoRD This?

                               1 FireFighter October 006
                                                                                                                              hoUsing crisis
                  ouse prices have doubled in the past        Anna James joined the service in Avon two and
                  five years and firefighters are among a half years ago. After years of working for herself,         kEy woRkER
                  key public sector workers now she was determined, at 30, to start buying her own
                  finding it increasingly hard to get place. But she couldn’t even think about buying near            Living
                  onto the property ladder, according Bedminster station, looking instead outside Weston
                  to a survey from the Halifax, issued Super Mare, where prices are not as steep. “I was
                  in late summer. Just two months lucky. I had some money saved up for a deposit. I                   government help for
later, as Firefighter went to press, both the Daily Mail bought a one-bedroomed flat on an interest-only              firefighters is restricted
and the Daily Express chose to lead on new gov- mortgage, but, even then, my mother had to act as                     to london, the South east
ernment figures which pointed to houses doubling guarantor because the ratio of earnings to borrow-                   and the east of england.
in price in four years – with first time buyers bor- ings wasn’t quite enough. I’ve got the bare minimum              The Keyworker living
rowing an average of 3.21 times their salary.              of housing possible and it has gone up £10,000 in          Programme, for which
     Official confirmation that the problem has spread two years, so I wouldn’t be able to afford it if I was         firefighters and other
way beyond London and the South East will come as trying to buy now.” She is converting to a repayment                uniformed staff below
little surprise to those who have recently joined the mortgage now she is on full pay.                                principal level in the fire
service in many areas of the country.                         In Edinburgh, the problem is also starting to bite.     and rescue service are
     Along with teachers, nurses, ambulance staff Andy Fulton, FBU brigade secretary for Lothian and                  among the “priority”
and police officers, many are resorting to renting Borders says prices have “gone through the roof”, and              groups, comprises:
for longer and find the cost of meeting the mortgage the effect is rippling out beyond the city to outlying
payments for an average property is                                      areas where crews now have to look for       n open Market homeBuy
way beyond their means, even if they ‘In 1991, all but                   a place they can afford. Back in 1991, all   – 'equity loans' to help
can stump up a deposit.                                                  but two out of 17 Green watch members        key workers buy a home
     The Halifax chose to focus on
                                              two out of 17              lived in the city. Now, only four do.        on the open market. Key
how these key public sector workers green watch                          Brian Banks is one of those who has          workers are typically
are getting frozen out of the housing members lived                      moved out. He lived in a “one up one         expected to raise a
market way beyond the M25. It found                                      down” in Leith with his wife and young       mortgage of around 75%
the average house was now unafford- in the city. Now,                    baby, but needed more space when             of the property's value.
able by these groups in 339 of 519 towns only four do’                   their second child was on the way. “We
                                                                                                                      n New Build homeBuy
surveyed, compared to 124 five years                                     needed a bigger house and that meant
ago. Increasingly, commuting is becoming a fact of more travelling. We moved out to Linlithgow, but                   – shared-ownership of
life for more firefighters as town and city prices soar. couldn’t afford to buy there now.”                           newly built properties. you
     The South West is identified as a property hotspot,      Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, has flagged up       buy at least 25% of the
as Chris Jackson Avon branch stalwart and a Labour how firefighters are being forced to live further and              home and pay a reduced
councillor in Bristol is well aware. He is based at further away from stations because of the dramatic                rent on the remaining
Bedminster station, in a rundown area a mile and surge in prices in parts of the country. The lack of                 share.
a half from the city centre. “It would cost around affordable rented housing, the sell-off of public housing          n ‘intermediate renting’
£120,000 to get a house that’s almost derelict,” says stock and the ruinous ratios of earnings to mortgages           where the rent is set
Chris. “ If you want to buy a couple of miles up the are increasingly being discussed at work, especially if a        at a level between that
road, it will cost around £220,000. With our wages, new recruit is finding it hard to buy or rent locally, or a       charged by social and
there is no chance of buying a decent-sized family crew member moves up from the south east with news                 private landlords and
property near the city centre now. Even renting a of allowances. When crew members move out, they
                                                                                                                      the accommodation is
small studio would cost up to £190 a week and it’s the have to foot the bill for travel costs. The problem may
                                                                                                                      provided by a registered
same in Bath. It’s a bit of a nightmare for new recruits.” not be huge yet, but as new firefighters are needed to
                                                                                                                      social landlord.
Chris says that five of his colleagues at Bedminster staff up stations in property hotspots, debate on what
now commute at least 40 miles each way to work.            could be done is likely to hot up.                         Just eight firefighters
                                                                                                                      – all from hertfordshire
   Unaffordable towns for fire service workers (all houses)                                                           – have purchased under
                                                                                                                      the ‘open market homebuy
                                                                                                                      scheme’ and a further
                                                                                                                      five – in Milton Keynes,
                                                                                                                      hillingdon, Ashford, Surrey
                                                                                                                      and hampshire – have
                                                                                                                      purchased with ‘shared
                                                                                                                      ownership schemes’
                                                                                                                      between 2004/2006,
                                                                                                                      according to housing
                                                                                                                      corp, which manages the
                                                                                                                      programme on behalf of the
                                                                                                                      government. This compares
                                                                                                                      to over 400 police officers
                                                                                                                      housed for the ‘open
                                                                                                                      market’ scheme alone.
                                                                                                                      n More info: www.
     Number of towns surveyed in brackets. *Data for 2001 not available. Source: Halifax                              index.asp?id=1151221

                                                                                                                       October 006 FireFighter 13
A union-busting
agenda is behind
Merseyside fire
authority’s bid to
cut over 100 jobs
and its reluctance
to negotiate

       n its July 2005 comprehensive per-
       formance assessment, the Audit
       Commission gave Merseyside Fire and
       Rescue Authority an “excellent” rating,
       partly on the back of its financial posi-
       tion. “Financial management is sound
       and is supported by effective plans,”
said the Audit Commission, “including a
five-year medium-term financial strategy.
This allows the authority to plan ahead, antici-
pating the implications of future income and
expenditure. There is a well-developed finan-
cial risk management process and rigorous
   “The authority has strengthened its finan-

cial position in recent years … Members are
fully involved in key financial decisions and
are kept informed by comprehensive quar-
                                                       They also wanted the loss of 15 emergency
                                                   fire control operator posts –one in four of
                                                   those working in control. Four pumps were to
                                                                                                          New Zealand firefighters’ leaders had met
                                                                                                      chief officer Tony McGuirk in Wellington,
                                                                                                      New Zealand in October 2005. They were so
terly budget monitoring reports.”                  be axed at night from city centre stations. And,   concerned by the content of the meeting they
    Exactly how Merseyside got from there to a     in the words of the fire authority, firefighters   telephoned General Secretary Matt Wrack
£6.5 million budget deficit a matter of months     were to be allowed to work more flexibly and       and relayed it to the FBU.
later has never been fully explained.              earn more money.                                       In a formal signed statement given to the
    It was this budget deficit that was to be          This turned out to be coded language           union’s lawyers Thompsons, New Zealand
used as the battering ram for major cuts across    for the 96-hour working week (yes, you are         firefighters’ leader Derek Best detailed Tony
a fire service which had faced serious cuts the    reading that correctly) the authority wanted       McGuirk’s agenda for the Merseyside fire
year before.                                       to introduce in up to six out of Merseyside’s      service.
    The authority, on the advice of chief fire     26 fire stations.                                      At the hour-long meeting he outlined
officer Tony McGuirk, pressed for the loss of          The fire authority showed great reluctance     the ‘radical changes’ he wanted to introduce,
120 firefighter posts – one in ten of the work-    to negotiate from the word go, but did not         some of which are already in place. Much of
force – on top of the 68 posts cut the previous    know the union had been tipped off that there      this agenda was driven by a desire to drive a
year. For good measure, they later added an        might be more to the dispute and cuts than         wedge between the FBU and its members and,
extra 18 job losses from Croxteth station.         first met the eye.                                 according to Derek Best, Mr McGuirk said he

1 FireFighter Octo ber 006
                                                                                                                                  merseyside dispUte

Merseyside hardship Fund
hSBc Bank
Sort code 40-29-28
A/c no 91320165

                                                                                                                   our members. We also have kept up constant

                                                                                                     rob bremner
                                                                                                                   pressure for talks before, during and after
                                                                                                                   strike action but the fire authority has been
                                                                                                                   reluctant to get into talks at all.
                                                                                                                       “They’ve told us they are too busy or they
                                                                                                                   are thinking about them and they won’t agree
                                                                                                                   dates for further talks for days. The national
                                                                                                                   joint secretaries were finally allowed in on 14
                                                                                                                   September – after five written requests from
                                                                                                                   the union – after the fire authority dropped its
                                                                                                                   opposition to their involvement.
                                                                                                                       “We have dragged them kicking and
                                                                                                                   screaming into almost every set of talks. In
                                                                                                                   the early discussions, before the involvement
                                                                                                                   of the joint secretaries, we’d think we were
                                                                                                                   heading in the right direction then they would
                                                                                                                   go into reverse at the next meeting and harden
                                                                                                                   their position.”
                                                                                                                       Merseyside FBU chair Mark Dunne said:
                                                                                                                   “The members are absolutely determined to
                                                                                                                   maintain momentum and keep up pressure
                                                                                                                   on the fire authority. Morale is high our deter-
                                                                                                                   mination is unwavering.
                                                                                                                       “The public support has been tremendous.
                                                                                                                   FBU members from across the UK have been
                                                                                                                   sending us supporting messages and money
                                                                                                                   for the hardship fund. Messages of support
                                                                                                                   have come in from across the world. It has
                                                                                                                   been astonishing.”
                                                                                                                       While the union was building support, the
                                                                                                                   fire authority seemed determined to move
                                                                                                                   in the opposite direction, with fire authority

                                                                                                                          whaT’s iT aBoUT?
                                                                                          Merseyside members are on strike to defend jobs,
                                                                                          conditions and fire cover
                                                                                          n 120 job losses (one in 10 operational posts)
                                                                                          n Four of the busiest fire engines removed at night
                                                                                          n 96-hour working shift for less than minimum wage

‘anticipated even further opposition from the           “The determination of our members on                       councillors and the chief fire officer becoming
Fire Brigades Union to many of the changes’.        Merseyside to fight these cuts is enormous.                    increasingly gaffe-prone.
    The changes were “simply part of his            The support they are getting is a real morale                      They managed to publicly rebuff offers to
overplan to marginalise the FBU and to attack       booster which I don’t think they’ll forget.”                   assist from two of the most senior councillors
and undermine the authority of the FBU and              As Firefighter went to press there had                     in the north west.
its local officials.”                               already been two sets of four-day strikes                          Warren Bradley, the Lib Dem leader of
    General secretary Matt Wrack described          followed by an eight-day strike. Two more sets                 Liverpool City Council, and an FBU member
it as a “union-busting” agenda. The fire            of four-day strikes had also been announced                    based in Toxteth, was effectively told to mind
authority issued a formal denial on Mr              up to 28 September.                                            his own business one day with Liverpool
McGuirk’s behalf.                                       The first strike started on 31 August with                 Labour leader Joe Anderson getting the same
    Matt Wrack said: “It has all the hallmarks of   cover being provided by senior officers and                    treatment the following day. Fire authority
a union busting agenda tied into a cuts agenda.     some non-FBU members. Also providing                           member councillor Dave Hanratty got more
We’re backing our members on Merseyside all         cover were former operational firefighters                     of the same.
the way and we’re getting terrific support, not     and office staff given minimal training (see                       As we went to press discussions with the
just from FBU members across the UK as we           Station Cat, p23).                                             national joint secretaries were set to start. As
would expect, but from our colleagues in fire           Les Skarratts, FBU brigade secretary said:                 full a report as possible will be included in the
services across the world.                          “The dispute has been solidly supported by                     next Firefighter.

                                                                                                                                   October 006 FireFighter 15

whaT DoEs a TRainEE

                              NeW NatioNaL
                              SeLeCtioN PRoCeSS
                              To secure her place on the training course,
                              Emma had to complete successfully
                              the new national firefighter selection
                              process. This consists of an application
                              form, paper-based tests, physical tests
                              and an interview. Staffordshire was one
                              of the first fire services to use the new
                              tests that may soon be coming to a fire
                              service near you. While it is designed to
                              ensure that successful candidates do
                              have the potential to carry out the role of
                              a firefighter, it is not for the faint-hearted.
                              In this particular campaign, Staffordshire
                              selected approximately 30 candidates
 emma Pass: A career in the   from the successful group at the end of the
 fire service provides the    process, having had hundreds apply.
 perfect work /life balance

16 FireFighter October 006
                                                                                                                                                     working For you
                                            When you join a watch on your first station, you’re a                                                             johN PURSeR
                                            firefighter from day one, says trainee firefighter Emma Pass                                                        Brigade secretary

                                                                                                                                                                North Wales
                                                       mma Pass is a 26-year-old sports sci-   those trapped inside. The final part of the
                                                       ence graduate from Loughborough         course was on equality and diversity. Emma
                                                       University. She has just started out    was a bit sceptical about this at first, but says
                                                       as a firefighter with Staffordshire     it made good sense to be aware of different
                                                       Fire and Rescue Service and recently    cultural sensibilities and avoiding causing
                                            completed an eight-week induction course           needless offence if possible – it was a view
                                            at the service’s headquarters. Firefighting is     shared by others on the course.
                                            a highly sought after career choice: it seems          Emma also plays basketball for Great
                                            harder to get taken on as a crew member these      Britain, one of a surprising number of elite
                                            days than to get into an Oxbridge college.         sportswomen and men who combine their
                                                When Emma finished her induction               talents with a career fighting fires (although
                                            course, she reported for duty as a member          this isn’t a requirement for the job!).
                                            of blue watch at Tamworth station and was              “I certainly see the fire service as a worth-
                                            welcomed as a new crew member. She was             while and rewarding career. Basketball is
                                            ready for the challenge – determined to swim       very important to me, and I’ve always been          John Purser is both the NVQ Coordinator for
                                            not sink whatever calls came in. “When             very open about it. For me, a career in the         North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and
                                            you join a watch on your first station, you        fire service provides the perfect work /life        FBU brigade secretary for the area. Along
                                            are actually a firefighter from day one,” she      balance, enabling me to train and compete as        with colleagues, he has helped to build up
                                            reflects. “You are one of the crew, part of the    well as pursue my career in the fire service. I’m   union membership through an outreach
                                            team and have to be ready to get stuck in and      convinced I’ve made the right choice. There         programme. The team tries to ensure it has
                                            do what’s needed.”                                 are lots of opportunities to progress, and I        regular contact with retained duty system
                                                Emma feels the intensive induction course      hope to take them in the future. I’ve always        firefighters, who work out of the many small
                                            gave her a solid grounding in core skills, but     been a great believer in learning through life.”    stations peppered throughout the patch,
                                                                                                                                                   which stretches from the Cheshire border to
                                            is quick to add that she continues to learn on
                                                                                                                                                   the Dovey estuary in the south.
                                            the job, working alongside highly experienced      Confidence, agility and stamina                         The outreach strategy, which includes
                                            colleagues. “Colleagues on the watch are very      Six months after starting work at Tamworth,         turning up at drill nights, seems to have
                                            supportive. It sounds a bit corny, but they’re     Emma will begin working towards an NVQ              paid off. Since the national pay dispute,
                                            a really good bunch. I’ve been assigned a          level 111 in emergency operations, where her        union membership has risen by 25 per cent.
                                            mentor and the crew commander is happy             competences will be assessed by her watch           “Most of the increase came in the two or
                                            to go over any procedures I’m not quite sure       manager, based on practical and written             three weeks before the strike,” says John,
                                            about, when there’s a quiet moment. When           evidence she provides of the skills needed for      who spent 26 years on the appliances as
                                            you get on station you know enough to be safe      the job. This is now standard for new trainees.     firefighter and crew manager.
                                            and should pick things up quite quickly as you        Those starting out in the fire service soon          With other union officials in North
                                                                                                                                                   Wales, John is keen to ensure that all
                                            get more experienced. It’s sink or swim. You       learn that they will need confidence, agility
                                                                                                                                                   members receive support when needed.
                                            don’t have a choice.”                              and stamina while on duty, not to mention           “We are certainly not just a wholetime
                                                The induction course focussed on               the ability to crawl through a smoke-filled         union. Members working the retained duty
                                            common physical tasks a firefighter would be       walkway using breathing apparatus, vision           system (RDS) can feel isolated, so it’s very
                                            expected to carry out using personal protec-       obscured, unable to hear or talk.                   important we keep in contact and ensure we
                                            tion equipment, including climbing and                But perhaps above all, they will have to         are working on their behalf. It‘s very much
                                            lifting ladders, crawling and walking wearing      grasp the importance of being a team player         a team effort here”. There have been recent
                                            a face mask with vision obscured and aware-        – something that is already second nature to        successes, including the re-instatement
                                            ness of hazardous substances. There were           Emma as an elite sportswoman. After a stint         through negotiation of extra statutory
                                            also sessions on rescuing people from road         on the watch, it should soon become second          holidays for RDS personnel, which was lost
                                                                                                                                                   after the pay dispute. The union is regularly
                                            accidents, including cutting up cars to release    nature to all new trainees.
                                                                                                                                                   consulted by management on a range of
                                                                                                                                                   issues including the RDS review.
PICTUrES: john harrIS/rEPorTdIgITal.Co.Uk

                                                                                                                     emma has been assigned
                                                                                                                                                       Though never an RDS firefighter himself,
                                                                                                                           a mentor and the
                                                                                                                                                   John has had family members who were and
                                                                                                                           crew commander
                                                                                                                                                   understands the pressures the system exerts
                                                                                                                                 is happy to
                                                                                                                                                   on members. RDS firefighters make up the
                                                                                                                                 go over any
                                                                                                                                                   bulk of union members in North Wales. “We
                                                                                                                                                   have around 800 members, two thirds of
                                                                                                                                      she is
                                                                                                                                                   whom are RDS firefighters. Thirty six of our
                                                                                                                                    not sure
                                                                                                                                                   44 stations are run solely by RDS personnel,
                                                                                                                                                   and the rest have a RDS complement.”
                                                                                                                                                       John is now co-ordinating NVQ’s for all
                                                                                                                                                   staff, and is keen to ensure RDS personnel
                                                                                                                                                   don’t miss out on professional development
                                                                                                                                                   and training. RDS personnel are already
                                                                                                                                                   signing up for a pilot scheme, aimed at
                                                                                                                                                   making NVQ’s more accessible to all.

                                                                                                                                                                  October 006 FireFighter 17
yoUr WelFare health

       Them bones, them bones …
                  This condition is the UK’s single greatest cause of physical disability
                                                                                                        defending it, RA inflames joint linings and
               arthritis                                SyMPTOMS                 SyMPTOMS OF            tendon sheaths. RA can affect anyone but
                                                           OF                    rheUMATOid
                                                                                                        generally strikes women aged 30-50.

                                                      OSTeOArThriTiS               ArThriTiS
           ctober 12 is World Arthritis Day.                                                               Early diagnosis is crucial because
           Over nine million people in the          ≥ Swollen,                 ≥ Red, inflamed          disease-modifying drugs can slow RA
           UK have arthritis, making it the            creaking joints            joints, warm to       down, and control its flare-ups. If blood tests
           country’s single greatest cause of       ≥ Bony swellings in           touch.                indicate RA, your GP will probably refer you
physical disability. So what is it, who gets it,       fingers                 ≥ Often starts in        to a rheumatologist for ongoing care.
and what can you do about it?                                                     wrists, hands,
    Arthritis means inflammation of the             ≥ Pain and                                          Managing arthritis
                                                       stiffness                  or feet
joints. There are some 200 variations, from                                                             Obtaining medical treatment, like
gout and RSI to psoriasis and lupus, each           ≥ Restricted               ≥ Pain and               injections, drug therapy, or joint surgery is
causing pain and loss of mobility. Arthritis           movement                                         important, but so is helping yourself – and
strikes people of all ages, including children.                                                         it’s never too early or too late to start.
Its cause is unknown, and there is currently                                                                 Arthritis is long-term so quality of life for
no cure.                                                                                                people affected depends on their ability to
    People severely affected by arthritis may                                                           ‘self-manage’ the condition in partnership
qualify as disabled under the Disability                                                                with healthcare professionals. While the
Discrimination Act, whose protection                                                                    doctor’s job is to relieve your pain, it is your
now extends to firefighters. This means                                                                 job to stay healthy and active.

                                                                                                                                                              zePHYr/SCIenCe PHoTo LIbrArY
FBU members with arthritis can request                                                                       Eat properly, maximising vitamin and
reasonable workplace adaptations to help                                                                mineral intake. A varied diet including oily
them perform their job.                                                                                 fish and plentiful fruit and vegetables may
                                                                                                        support joint mobility and help reduce
osteoarthritis                                                                                          weight.
The most common arthritis is osteoarthritis                                                                  Keep moving, even when you are in
(OA), a degenerative form which damages                                                                  pain. Your physiotherapist will devise a safe
cartilage, the smooth ‘elastic’ designed to                                                              exercise programme: low-impact, aerobic
help bones glide over each other. The                                                                   exercise like walking, swimming and cycling
major weight-bearing joints                                                                             is usually recommended, whereas jogging or
– spine, hips, and knees                                                                                contact sports may strain damaged joints.
– are particularly affected,                                                                                 Shed extra pounds, so you do not over-
ruining the body’s ‘shock                                                                                 burden damaged weight-bearing joints.
absorbers’. OA is frequently                                                                               Excess body fat also increases inflam-
triggered by injury, so sports                                                                              mation, making joints more painful.
players are highly susceptible.                                                                                 Challenge pain and the fatigue and
Without injury, it is unusual to                                                                             depression that it may cause. As well as
develop OA before the age of 40,                                                                             prescription drugs, try hot or cold packs,
and unusual not to have it after 50.                                                                        acupuncture, massage, yoga, pilates, and
                                                                                                           homeopathic treatments to see what works
getting a diagnosis                                                                                       for you. Discuss any changes with your
Immediately consult your GP if                                                                           doctor.
you have painful joints. Where OA                                                                            Mobilise! Why not join Arthritis Care,
is diagnosed, maintaining mobility                                                                      the largest voluntary organisation working
is vital. Analgesics and non-steroidal                                                                  with and for people with arthritis in the
anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) are often                                                                  UK. It provides information, support and
prescribed for pain, and a physiother-                                                                  self-help courses, and campaigns for better
apist may offer muscle strengthening and                                                                treatment and services.
mobility exercises to combat stiffening.
If degeneration is advanced, you may be                                                                  > Visit the website for
referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for joint                                                              free downloadable resources, details of courses,
surgery.                                                                                                  or join the online discussion zone to share
                                                                                                          experiences with others living with arthritis. If
Rheumatoid arthritis                                                                                    you have any questions about arthritis, contact the
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is also common.                                                               Arthritis Care helpline on 0808 800 4050 (week-
An inflammatory disease in which the               coloured X-ray of the right hand of a patient with   days 10am-4pm). Calls are free and confidential
immune system attacks the body instead of          rheumatoid arthritis                                 and the lines are staffed by trained counsellors.

18 FireFighter October 006
                                                                                              yoUr WelFare yoU and the laW

mesothelioma                                                                                                         However, if the reason why
                                                                                                                 you have been told that your
– claiming                                                                                                       condition is not yet likely to
compensation                                                                                                     be permanent is that you have
                                                                                                                 not yet explored all possible

q    i have
the fatal lung cancer
                                                                                                                 treatment options, you should
                                                                                                                  seek to use your rights under
                                                                                                                   the Grey Book, section 5, to try
related to asbestos.                                                                                                to ensure that your employers
i have a claim                                                                                                       provide you with the best
against the Brigade                                                                                                     possible treatment, even if
but also against my                                                                                                       that is on a private basis,
previous employers                                                                                                          to give you the best
who were a small                                                                                                             available opportunity
lagging company                                                                                                              to return to work.
which went bust                                                                                                                  If that treatment
years ago. i’ve heard                                                                                                        is unsuccessful and
that i can now only                                                                                                        you remain unfit for
claim a proportion                                                                                                           work, you will be
of my damages                                                                                                                 able to return to
against the Brigade                                                                                                           your employers for a
– is that right?                                                                                                              revised decision on
                                                                                                                           your entitlement to an
a    It did look like
     that was going
to be the case after
                                                                                                                             ill-health pension.

the House of Lords                                                                                                           pregnancy
decided in Barker                                                                                                           and sick leave
v Corus that mes-
othelioma claims
should be appor-
tioned between
                                                                                                                            q   i am pregnant.
                                                                                                                                can i take sick
defendants. That
would have meant
that victims would                                                                                                         a      Yes, you should
                                                                                                                                  follow your
                                                                                                                              employer’s normal
be under-compen-
sated when one or                                                                                                            sickness reporting
more of the com-                                                                                                            policy. You are entitled
panies who exposed them                                                                                                  to any sick pay that your
had gone bust and their                                                                                          employer normally gives.
insurers could not be traced.                                                                                        Your employer should record
   However, after successful                                                                                     any pregnancy-related sick leave
lobbying by the unions and                                                                  SAToSHI kAmbAYASHI   separately from other sick leave
their lawyers, the government                                                                                    and it should not count towards
amended the Compensation Act                                                                                     your total sickness absence for
that has recently been passed so                                                                                 disciplinary or redundancy
that the pre-Barker position has
been restored.
                                                     Legal Beagle                                                purposes.
                                                                                                                     It is against the law for your
                                                                                                                 employer to dismiss you or treat
   Although all reasonable
                                                                                                                 you less favourably because of
inquiries still have to be made       Answers to some frequently asked legal                                     your pregnancy or for having
into other employers, so long
as a claim can be established         questions that members put to the FBU                                      taken sick leave during your
against one defendant, you                                                                                       pregnancy.
should recover 100% of your                                                                                          Your employer can only
damages.                                                                                                         ‘trigger’ your maternity leave if
                                   unfit. is there anything i can do   your union representative for             you are off sick for a pregnancy-
                                   about this?                         assistance with that appeal.              related reason in the four weeks
ill-health retirement                                                       Where you have already               before your baby is due.

q    i applied for ill-health
     early retirement under the
                                   a   If the decision to which you
                                       are thinking of appealing is
                                   the initial decision made by the
                                                                       followed that route and have
                                                                       been refused a pension again,             > Write in with your legal problem
Firefighter’s Pension Scheme                                           it is likely that application for         to and those
but was refused, even though       Brigade Medical Adviser, then       judicial review is the only way           of widest relevance to FBU members
i have been off sick for a year,   there will be a further appeal      forward. You need to seek legal           in the workplace will be selected and
because the doctors decided        possible to the Board of Medical    advice through your union on              answered in future editions. With
that i was not permanently         Referees. You should ask            that.                                     thanks to Thompsons solicitors.

FBU FReePhoNe LegaL aDviCe LiNe 0808 100 6061                                                                      October 006 FireFighter 19
day oFF me and my triathlons

‘i got the triathlon

                                                                                                                                                       nIGeL FArroW
 bug and knew it was
 something i wanted
 to keep on doing’
Stafford firefighter Jacqui Slack relaxes after a full day’s work by 
training for up to 0 hours a week to take part – very successfully – in 
one of the most gruelling athletic endeavours she can find

       acqui Slack, a probationary firefighter        “That’s when it all started. I’d got the         with her ambitions as an
       based at Stafford station, is extremely    triathlon bug and knew it was something I            athlete. “I’m really enjoying
       keen on swimming, cycling and              wanted to keep on doing,” says Jacqui. And           the job, which involves
       running – and it all adds up to more       she hasn’t looked back. In July this year, she       helping the community
       than just a hobby. Last month the 23-      came in as the “first overall lady” at a race        and advising on safety
year-old competed in the Triathlon World          in Ironbridge and was the overall female             as well as going out on
Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.           winner in a triathlon held in Trentham               emergency calls. It’s really
Coming ninth in the swim and ninth on the         Gardens in Nottinghamshire last year.                satisfying work and the shift
bike, she finished in 15th place overall in her       Jacqui relishes the challenge of competing       patterns allow me to train
age group and was the third Brit home.            in Olympic-style triathlons, which involve           when not on duty.”
    Back on White Watch in Stafford, Jacqui       a 1,500 metre swim, followed by a 40,000
enjoys station life – from drills to putting      metre cycle ride and end with a 10,000 metre         determination and stamina
newly acquired skills into practice when          run. On average, it takes her just two hours         Though determination and
the crew is called out on emergencies. But,       and 16 minutes to complete all three and she         stamina are certainly needed,
of course, she also puts in rigorous bouts of     can complete the run in 40 minutes.                  support and encouragement during training
training when not on duty, working on her             Jacqui also plans to start competing in          for races can play an important role in
performance as an endurance athlete. Every        even longer distance events, such as the             helping endurance athletes achieve the
week, Jacqui spends between eight and 20          gruelling-sounding “half ironman” where              results they are after. Endurance sports
hours training in a bid to achieve even faster    a 2,000 metre swim is followed by an                 seem to be all about pushing yourself
completion times in her chosen sporting           85,000 metre bike race and a 20,000 metre            as far as you can, and it must help to
discipline.                                       run. She was due to enter her first half             have strong encouragement from
    She started out as a serious swimmer          ironman a week after the Triathlon World             highly focused sporting professionals.
when she was just nine and in her early           Championships in early September.                    Jacqui currently trains with Subsixty
teens was competing in galas all over the             She is finding life as a firefighter fits well   Coaching, under the supervision of
country, representing both Staffordshire and                                                           head coach Gavin Rogers who founded
the North Midlands in team and individual                                                              the Didsbury Triathlon Club in Greater
events.                                                                                                Manchester.
                                                  ‘It’s really satisfying                                  The two first met after Jacqui came
appetite whetted                                                                                       third in a local Triathlon two years ago.
She took three years out from competitive          work and the shift                                  “I joined the club’s training scheme
sport at 16, but carried on going to the gym                                                           with eight triathlons under my belt and
to keep herself on top form. Then, at 19, she
bought herself a bike and entered her first
                                                   patterns allow                                      Gavin has given me the confidence and
                                                                                                       support to compete among the world’s
triathlon, at Much Wenlock. She came in as                                                             best in my age range. Jacqui competes in
“second overall female” and her appetite for       me to train when                                    her age category, against female athletes
competing in triathlons was well and truly                                                             who are aged between 20-24 years old. Elite
whetted.                                           not on duty’                                        athletes form the next tier up, and Jacqui is

0 FireFighter October 006
                                                     domInIC FAVre/ArC/reUTerS
           jaCqUi SL aCK
Jacqui slack, a probationary firefighter
at stafford station, is extremely keen
on swimming, cycling and running.
so keen that last month the 23-
year-old competed in the triathlon
World championships in lausanne,

                                                                                 contestants at lausanne swam 1,50o metres,
                                                                                 cycled 40 kilometres and ran 10 kilometres

                                                                                                             domInIC FAVre/ArC/reUTerS

                                                                                 keen to raise her game.
                                                                                     She joined Staffordshire Fire and Rescue
                                                                                 Service earlier this year, after a six year career
                                                                                 in leisure management, working her way
                                                                                 up from life-guard to gym manager duty
                                                                                 manager, and acquiring an NVQ Level 111
                                                                                 on the way.
                                                                                     “I decided I needed a change, and fire-
                                                                                 fighting appealed to me. I think it helps to
                                                                                 be focussed and willing to have a go and
                                                                                 see things through.” So far, she is more than
                                                                                 happy with her new career choice and would
                                                                                 like to progress within the service, maybe
                                                                                 aspiring to team manager or watch manager
                                                                                 as her career advances. The fire service has its
                                                                                 own triathlon team, and there’s the national
                                                                                 firefighter games. Jacqui is interested in
                               Jacqui slack taking                               taking part. Watch this space.
                              part in the lausanne
                              triathlon last month                               >

                                                                                                Octo ber 006 FireFighter 21

                                                                                                                           PAUL ConnorS/AP/emPICS
              quick crossword

                                                                                                                                                               Prize quiz
                                                                                                                                                        Win a Nintendo DS Lite
                                                                                                                                                       Enter our prize quiz and it could be 
                                                                                                                                                    yours. This month fire and heat ‘in food’. 
                                                                                                                                                     Just name the food associated with the 
                                                                                                                                                                following clues.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Originally served by the Aztecs to the
                                                                                                                                                    invading Spanish in the 16th century, this
                                                                                                                                                    well know Mexican dish cooked wrapped in a
                                                                                                                                                    corn husk is hot.
aCRoSS                              DoWN
                                                                                                                                                    2 Originating in Germany but adopted
 7 Mobile holiday home or convoy     1 Seafarer (7)
   (of camels?) (7)
                                                                                                                                                    and loved by Americans this take away
                                     2 Table of dates (8)
                                                                                                                                                    food can be livened up with
                                                                                                            PAUL Vernon/AP/emPICS

 8 Corpse, especially in USA! (7)    3 Inflamable material infamously
                                                                                                                                                    onions, mustard, chilli
10 Film house (6)                      used as weapon in Vietnam (6)
                                                                                                                                                    sauce or cheese.
11 Lift, especially in USA! (8)      4 Such behaviour causes
12 Give temporary possession to
   another (4)
13 No cuts wanted here – or
                                       fires (8)
                                     5 Waterways (6)
                                     6 They tick away... (7)
                                                                                                                                                    3 A Hungarian
                                                                                                                                                    national dish, this
                                                                                                                                                    thick meat and potato
   anywhere else, for that           9 Fell in value (11)                                                                                           soup is spiced up with
   matter (10)                      15 Taken to counter effect of                                                                                   paprika.
14 One who transmits on TV or          poison (8)
   radio (11)                                                                                                                                                      4 Eaten predominantly in India
                                                                           ALASTAIr GrAnT/AP/emPICS

                                    16 Wants to get as much out of
19 Not nice for mice (10)              you for as little as possible (8)                                                                                           and Thailand, this food can be
22 Liquid measure – 20 fluid        17 Military rank (7)                                                                                                           prepared in numerous ways
                                                                                                                                                                   and can go from mild to ‘blow

   ounces (4)                       18 Motors (7)
23 Stir, for breakfast! (8)         20 Slow, easy walk (6)
                                                                                                                                                                   your socks off’ fiery.
24 Novice, greenhorn (6)            21 Found in 10 (6)                                                                                                            5 Not so much a food as
25 Let air out of (7)                                                                                                                                             a style of cooking, warm
26 sports adjudicator (7)                                                                                                                                         weather will normally bring it
                                                                                                                                                    on, needs a watchful eye as there is a thin
                                                                                                                                                    line between char-grilled and plain old burnt!
                                                                                                                                                    6 Traditionally a spicy minced beef or pork
                                                                                                                                                    pie with a yellowish coloured dough whose
                                                                                                                                                    name reflects its origins in the caribbean.
                                                                                                                                                                   hoW to eNteR
                                                                                                                                                    Send your answers to the prize quiz by
                                                                                                                                                    31 October on a postcard to: Prize Competition
                                                                                       Answers to                                                   (October 2006) FBU Head Office,
                                                                                       September quiz
                                                                                       1. frying pan                                                Bradley House, 68
                                                                                       2. baptism
                                                                                       3. master
                                                                                                                                                    Coombe Road, Kingston
                                                                                       4. napalm                                                    upon Thames, KT2 7AE.
                                                                                       5. burned
                                                                                                                                                    Include your name,
                                                                                                                                                    address and membership
                                                                                       The winner of the
                                                                                       Pure digital oasis                                           number. The winner will
                                                        Solution to                    radio in our July/
                                                                                                                                                    be selected at random
                                                        September                      August quiz was
                                                                                       robbie Taylor of                                             from all correct entries.
                                                        crossword                      Cornwall

 FireFighter October 006

                                  … brings you the news they don’t want you to hear

Fantasy firefighters …                               that his quote making a general point was        sports centres closest to Bovingdon retained
                                                     included at the end of an article under such     station have these recruitment adverts.
             We could not have a Station Cat         a headline and such a subject.                   Proving once again that Whitehall does not
              column during a dispute in                 Perhaps solicitor Dave – along with other    really know what is happening out in the real
              Merseyside without a mention.          chief officers tempted to follow suit – need     world. Bovingdon closed on 31 July.
              Let’s start with a Dave Wright,        to refresh their memory on the law on gross          And possibly the most inappropriate
head of legal services for the authority who         negligence manslaughter and numerous             location yet found for these recruitment
put out his first ever fire in Orrell on the first   health and safety laws. But what do I know,      ads? Top of the list so far has to be Torquay’s
day of the dispute.                                  I’m just the Station Cat.                        Riviera Centre. The large ads to help recruit
    Dave was pictured on the front page of                                                            more women into the fire service are up
the Liverpool Daily Post in full colour, in          … and in the real world                          on the walls of one of the changing rooms.
his best ‘firefighter holding branch’ pose. He                                                        That’s the men’s changing room. A female
wasn’t the only member of Merseyside fire                       I have previously pointed out (July   feline assures me there are none in the
authority staff given minimal training, given                   Firefighter) that the Department of   female changing room.
the kit and sent on the run putting out fires.                  Communities and Local
    Pictured under the headline: “Lives                         Government (DCLoG) advertising        poor dears
‘being put at risk by fantasy firefighters’,” Mr     campaign to recruit more women into the
Wright said: “I didn’t realise there was so          fire service was suffering from some                      And, a suggestion from one chief
much to it at first. I thought it was just point     worrying decisions regarding the location of              officer that Government isn’t really
and squirt …” while denying he or anyone             adverts. Both Berkhamsted and Hemel                       that interested in recruiting more
else was at risk.                                    Hempstead sports centres, for example, have               women reaches my ears. Some of the
    The article ends with an unfortunate             the large poster adverts.                        poor dears (the white, male, middle aged
and purely coincidental quote from CFOA                  I can now report that DCloG have made        chiefs, that is) think it will all blow over and
President Phil Toase backing the fire                it a hat-trick with a third Sports Centre        it will be back to business as usual when it
authority in its drive for modernisation             – Chesham – boasting poster adverts and          does.
which “inevitably means some changes                 leaflets. The leaflets also extol the virtues        Let me assist them. Look at the
to working practices”. And no I can’t find           (and quite right too) of recruiting women to     ministerial team of the Department which
a single chief officer – other than Tony             the retained duty system.                        has responsibility for the fire service: Ruth
McGuirk – who thinks sending minimally                   It reads: “Those of us working on the        Kelly, Yvette Cooper, Angela Smith, Meg
trained office staff as firefighters is either       retained duty system live or work mainly in      Munn, Baroness Andrews … and Phil
safe, desirable or an acceptable working             rural areas, near the fire station, and work     Woolas, who helps ensure men have at least
practice.                                            on an ‘on call’ basis.”                          some representation. The penny will drop at
    Mr Toase will no doubt be mortified                  The inclusion of Chesham means all three     CFOA some time.

                                                                                                                     October 006 FireFighter 23
            25 year badges
                                                                                                                    FBU REgionaL oFFicEs
                                                                                                               > region 1 Scotland
                                                                                                               52 St Enoch Square, Glasgow,
                                                                                                               Scotland g1 4aa
                                                                                                               0141 221 2309
                                                                                                               > region 2 N. Ireland
                                                                                                               14 Bachelors Walk, Lisburn,
                                                                                                               Co Antrim, bt28 1xj
                                                                                                               02892 664622
                                                                                                               > region 3 Cleveland, Durham,
                                                                                                               Northumberland, Tyne and Wear
                                                                                                               1 Carlton Court, 5th Avenue, Team Valley,
                                                                                                               Gateshead, ne11 0az
                                                                                                               0191 487 4142
                                                                                                               > region 4 Yorkshire and Humberside
                                                                                                               9 Marsh Street, Rothwell,
                                                                                                               Leeds, ls26 0ag
                                                                                                               0113 288 7000
                                                                                                               > region 5 Greater Manchester, Lancashire,
dorset firefighters Stuart rowland, John claxton, Jeff Shuttleworth,        crew manager gordon harvey         Isle of Man, Cumbria, Merseyside, Cheshire
                                                                                                               The Lighthouse, Lower Mersey St,
John gaunt, graham Beevers, Martin reed, Pete King, russell                 (right) receiving his 25 year      Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, ch65 2al
lockwood (left to right) receive their 25 year badges from John drake,      badge from station rep Watch
                                                                                                               0151 357 4400
regional official (far left) and Karen adams, Brigade secretary (far        manager martin cutler, Walton-     > region 6 Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire,
right)                                                                      on-thames Fire station, surrey     Lincolnshire, Leicestershire,
                                                                                                               6 Bridgford Road, West Bridgford,
                                                                                                               Nottingham, ng2 6ab
                                                                                                               0115 982 7202
                                                                                                               > region 7 West Midlands, Staffordshire,
                                                                                                               Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcester, Salop
                                                                                                               195/7 Halesowen Rd, Old Hill,
                                                                                                               West Midlands, b64 6he
                                                                                                               01384 413633
                                                                                                               > region 8 Mid and West Wales, North
                                                                                                               Wales, South Wales
                                                                                                               4 Ffordd yr Hen Gae, Pencoed,
                                                                                                               Bridgend, cf35 5lj
                                                                                                               01656 867910
                                                                                                               > region 9 Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire,
                                                                                                               Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk
dave Moore, red Watch orsett            graham richardson, community        Watch manager Alan Vincent         28 Atlantic Square, Station Road,
fire station, essex, (right)            Fire safety,t&Bcc,essex (right)     (right) receiving his 25 year      Witham, Essex, cm8 2tl
                                                                                                               01376 521521
receiving his 25 year badge from        receiving his 25 year badge from    badge from station rep Watch
Branch rep/chair tony Benham            Branch rep/chair tony Benham        manager martin cutler Walton-
                                                                                                               > region 10 London
                                                                            on-thames Fire station, surrey     John Horner Mews, Frome Street,
                                                                                                               Islington, London, n1 8pb
                                                                                                               020 7359 3638
                                                                                                               > region 11 Kent, Surrey, Sussex
                                                                                                               Fire Station, Coldharbour Road,
                                                                                                               Northfleet, Kent, da11 8nt
                                                                                                               01474 320473
                                                                                                               > region 12 Buckinghamshire, Berkshire,
                                                                                                               Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Isle of Wight
                                                                                                               The Fire Station, St Mary Street, High
                                                                                                               Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, hp11 2he
                                                                                                               01494 513034
                                                                                                               > region 13 Cornwall, Somerset, Devon,
                                                                                                               Avon, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset
                                                                                                               158 Muller Road, Horfield,
Martin Brown, Blue Watch orsett fire station(right), receiving his 25       david Trotter-King (left) of c03   Bristol, bs7 9re
                                                                                                               0117 935 5132
year badge from Branch rep/chair tony Benham                                clarkston receiving his 25 year

                                                                            badge from paul Wilson (right)     Change of address
                                                                                                               or next of kin
 please send photographic                                                                                      Advise your Brigade Membership
                                                                                                               Secretary of any change of address and
 prints or digital picture files to:                                                                           Head Office of changes to next of kin or
 Firefighter, FBU, 68 coombe road,                                                                             nominations for benefits.
 Kingston upon thames, Kt2 7ae
 or (please                                                                               FBU FReePhoNe
 note that inkjet prints from digital                                                                            LegaL aDviCe LiNe
 pictures reproduce very poorly).
 please include FUll details
                                                                                                                 0808 100 6061
                                                                                                                 The line provides advice for
 for every picture – full names                                                                                  personal injury, family law, wills,
 of everyone who is in it; their                                                                                 conveyancing, personal finance
 station/brigade/watch etc; where                                                                                and consumer issues.
 they are in the picture (eg: left to                                                                            For disciplinary and
 right); their union posts/branch if    sub officer dave James and his brother graham James, tenbury Wells       employment-
                                                                                                                 related queries
 relevant; and where and when it        fire station, hereford and Worcester, receiving their 25 year badges     contact your local
 was taken.                             from ray price, vice chair national retained committee                   FBU representative.

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