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The Burning Issue - Issue 25

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The Burning Issue - Issue 25 Powered By Docstoc
					                             ®    25th Edition




RAF Firefighters
in Afghanistan
Staffs firefighter’s   Fire disaster
inspiring story        commemorated
Publisher
United Awareness Publishing
                                                  Editors Letter
Editor
Brett Tudor
brett@theburningissue.co.uk
                                                                           One of the highlights of
Art Director
                                                                           the firefighting calendar is
Christopher Cope
chris@uapl.co.uk                                                           the Spirit of Fire Awards
                                                                           which this year, as always,
Ian Daltrey
Sales Manager                                                              highlighted the bravery and
ian@theburningissue.co.uk                                                  dedication of the UK fire
Customer Services                                                          services. There was also the
Carly Lonergan                                                             usual star-studded line-up
customerservices@theburningissue.co.uk
                                                                           of celebrity guests including
                                                  Bruce Forsyth and Nick Owen amongst others who
All editorial, advertising and circulation
enquiries to:                                     gave up their time to present the awards, in the
                                                  case of Bruce and Nick for the second year running.
The Burning Issue
United Awareness Publishing Limited
                                                  On page 49 you’ll find a review of the event plus
Goss Chambers, Goss Street                        photographs of those who received an award.
Chester, CH1 2BG

Tel: 01244 624 022                                In this issue we’ll also be featuring another important
Fax: 01244 624 023
                                                  event which took place in Scotland for very different
E-mail: info@theburningissue.co.uk
Web: www.theburningissue.co.uk                    reasons. Strathclyde Fire Service were in attendance
                                                  at the ceremony to remember the 14 firefighters
Disclaimer                                        and five salvagemen killed in the Cheapside Street
While we make every effort to ensure the          Disaster which occurred in the city 50 years ago and
factual correctness of every article we cannot
be held responsible if factual errors occur. We   turned out to be the biggest loss of life in the history
also would like to point to out that the views    of the UK Fire Service.
held within each article are not those from
the Burning Issue but of the original author of
the article. The Burning Issue is published by    Aside from these major events we’ll be looking at
United Awareness Publishing Limited and we
would like to make you aware that advertising     the initiatives and activities of the fire service this
space with in the magazine is purchased from      year, including Devon and Somerset FRS trying out
United Awareness Publishing Limited and not
the Fire Service.                                 the latest swift water rescue techniques. We will also
                                                  be looking at what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour
                                                  for firefighters outside of working hours, and in our
                                                  headline feature taking a look at RAF firefighters'
                                                  work in Afghanistan.

                                                  Enjoy the read!




                                                                                               Brett Tudor
                                                                                                     Editor




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50



                                      Contents

     Newsdesk                                                        4


     Guestcolumn
         Is your employer is watching?                               18
48
     Opinioncorner
         Juvenile Fire Setting - A dangerous fascination with fire   38

     Features

         Firefighter's inspirational story                           10
         RAF firefighters in Afghanistan                             12
         Jockey swaps horses for hoses                               15
         Crane accident survivor thanks firefighters                 16
         Devon & Somerset embrace swift water technology             20
         Yorkshire's new recruits                                    22
         Awards for fire heroes                                      24
         10,000th visitor for safety centre                          33
12       Innovative fire course launched                             34
         Tyne and Wear raise over 60s awareness                      36
         Toxic twins                                                 40
         Fire service backs Olympic dream                            42
         West Yorks safety record                                    44
         Downing Street visit for awards nominees                    46
         Fired up by health scheme                                   47
         The Spirit of Fire Awards                                   48
         Fire disaster commemorated                                  50
         Support wanted for children’s fire safety                   53


     Equipment&Technology                                            54



20
    Newsdesk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Newsdesk


    News From The Fire Service Community




    New joint hot desk                                                                                                                                                   Other serious deficiencies included a
                                                                                                                                                                         failure to ensure escape routes were kept
                                                                                                                                                                         clear and an inadequate fire separation in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             general public should feel safe from fire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             when they are out shopping. London Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Brigade will continue to take action when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Tesco pleaded guilty to five breaches of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the RRO and sentencing took place at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Wood Green Crown Court on 20 April
                                                                                                                                                                         the building due to doors being wedged              businesses, large or small, do not take         2010.
    Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Ilkeston Community Fire Station is providing space for a 'hot                                                                     open. London Fire Commissioner Ron                  their fire safety responsibilities seriously.
    desk' to be used by a new Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team.                                                                                                         Dobson said: “Fire safety is a key part             Failure to comply with the law can, as this
                                                                                                                                                                         of good business management and the                 case has shown, result in a prosecution.”

     The two emergency services already work
     in close partnership and each watch
     liaises with the local police team. Now this
     partnership has moved a step further with
     a new 'hot desk'.                                                                                                                                                   New community fire station opens in
     Station Manager Matt Reavill said: “We
     have a good relationship with the police
     and being based under the same roof will
                                                                                                                                                                         Chesterfield
     really help. If we know that fires are being                                                                                                                        200 guests turned up to the official open day of Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Chesterfield
     set deliberately we can quickly inform
     the police team. They can then increase                                                                                                                             Community Fire Station.
     their patrols and we can work with their
     officers going together into schools, talking                                                                                                                       The Duke of Devonshire officially opened
     to students about the dangers of playing                                                                                                                            the building, welcoming the Lord Lieutenant
     with fire, and if we find who is responsible,                                                                                                                       and High Sheriff, who had come to
     working with the antisocial behaviour team                                                                                                                          support the event, together with many
     to take further action.                         Above: Derbyshire Police Sergeant Doug Neeley and right Station Manager Matt Reavill.                               other dignitaries and Councillor Peter
                                                                                                                                                                         Makin, chair of Derbyshire Fire Authority
     Derbyshire Police Sergeant Doug Neeley          the Safer Neighbourhood policing teams in                    who deal with antisocial behaviour and                 with other Fire Authority members. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Left: The new
     said: “The hot desk will be used by all of      the area as well as our supporting officers                  specific problems in local schools.”                   Duke described the new building as a                                                                                        community fire station.
                                                                                                                                                                         “magnificent asset” for the fire and rescue
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Below: The Duke of
                                                                                                                                                                         service.                                                                                                                    Devonshire left and right
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Chief Fire Officer Brian



     Retailer successfully prosecuted for                                                                                                                                It took 12 months to build the station,                                                                                     Tregunna.

                                                                                                                                                                         which has photovoltaic panels on the roof
                                                                                                                                                                         producing 26 kilowatts of electricity. This


     fire safety breaches                                                                                                                                                is fed back into the national grid which
                                                                                                                                                                         reduces the bill for the fire and rescue
                                                                                                                                                                         service. It also has solar thermal panels on
     Retail giants, Tesco fined £95,000 and ordered to pay £24,321 in costs after pleading guilty to                                                                     the roof which produce more than 50 per
                                                                                                                                                                         cent of the building’s hot water needs.There
     serious breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.                                                                                                 is a gas fuelled real fire training facility, the
                                                                                                                                                                         first in Derbyshire.

     London Fire Brigade prosecuted Tesco            Firefighters discovered there had been a                     fire safety within the store and it was
                                                                                                                                                                         The building has the capacity to host
     following a fire and subsequent inspection      fire in the staff kitchen but it had been                    inspected by the Brigade the day after
                                                                                                                                                                         a range of modern rescue vehicles
     of a supermarket at Colney Hatch in             put out by staff using extinguishers and                     the fire. The inspector found a number
                                                                                                                                                                         and equipment. It includes the area
     Barnet. Firefighters were called to a fire at   a fire blanket. However , there was still a                  of breaches of fire legislation which
                                                                                                                                                                         headquarters and has facilities for
     the premises on 14 October 2007.                significant amount of smoke in the kitchen,                  included a failure to review the store's fire
                                                                                                                                                                         community based activities including a
                                                     the corridor and staff locker rooms. Fire                    risk assessment. The RRO requires that
                                                                                                                                                                         specially designed community meeting
     When they arrived, they found the premises      crews had to ask staff several times to                      the responsible person (in a workplace,
                                                                                                                                                                         room. There is also office accommodation
     was locked but managed to get the               evacuate the premises.                                       the employer) to carry out a suitable and
                                                                                                                                                                         for Chesterfield’s local strategic
     attention of a shop floor worker who was                                                                     sufficient fire risk assessment and act on
                                                                                                                                                                         partnership group.
     restocking the store after closing hours.       This incident led to concerns about                          its findings.


4 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                             www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                  The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 5
    Newsdesk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Newsdesk




     South Yorkshire FRS warn boat                                                                                                                                              workplace facilities.

                                                                                                                                                                                Separate awards were presented to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Speaking at the time, Chief Fire Officer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and Chief Executive Brian Tregunna
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 said: “I am absolutely delighted that we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               also to improve the delivery of our services
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               to local people. I hope that this accolade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               will help to spur us on to even greater


     owners                                                                                                                                                                     out-going CFO and the other members
                                                                                                                                                                                of SLT by Sir Ken Knight, Chief Fire and
                                                                                                                                                                                Rescue Adviser, at the awards event in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 received such recognition. We have always
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 placed equality and diversity at the heart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of everything we do, both to make the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               achievements in the future.”



                                                                                                                                                                                London.                                          workplace better for our employees and
     Firefighters have been touring South Yorkshire waterways in a bid to curb boat fires.

     South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue offered
     boat enthusiasts free boat fire risk checks
     and provided advice to avoid fatal blazes
     on the water, as part of National Boat Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                Staffs station project gets go ahead
     Safety Week.
                                                                                                                                                                                The rebuild of a further 10 fire stations in Staffordshire has been given the green light.
     Throughout June, firefighters from the
     organisation’s Technical Rescue Unit
                                                                                                                                                                                Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has
     (TRU) visited marinas including Sheffield’s
                                                                                                                                                                                received approval for a second private
     Victoria Quays, Doncaster’s Strawberry
                                                                                                                                                                                finance initiative (PFI) project. CLG invited
     Island and other local boat yards to offer
                                                                                                                                                                                authorities to submit expressions of interest
     fire safety advice to boaters.
                                                                                                                                                                                for Round 6 of Fire PFI in July 2008. Stoke
                                                                                                                                                                                on Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue
     SYFR’s head of community safety Steve
                                                                                                                                                                                Authority was invited to submit a full outline
     Makepeace, said: "Although boat fires on
                                                                                                                                                                                business case which was approved by
     inland waters are less common than fires
                                                                                                                                                                                Treasury which means the £50 million
     on land, when they do occur, they can
                                                                                                                                                                                project can now go ahead.
     have devastating consequences. Boats
                                                     Above: Firefighters, Pete Watts and Jez Lifsey fit free smoke alarms on boats moored at Victoria Quays, Sheffield.
     are often in remote locations with difficult
                                                                                                                                                                                The community fire stations to be rebuilt
     access, which may result in firefighters
                                                     that in the event of any emergency we can                       Checking items such as battery terminals                   under this project are: Burton-upon-Trent,
     taking longer to arrive at an incident and
                                                     get there as soon as possible."                                 and fuse box connections routinely for                     Kinver, Lichfield, Leek, Stone, Chase
     allowing a fire to totally destroy a boat and
                                                                                                                     damaged strands or signs of overheating                    Terrace, Rugeley, Codsall, Penkridge and
     everything onboard.
                                                     On a safety check, boaters are offered                          and taking care when doing repairs, and                    Ashley. Outline planning approval has been
                                                     advice on areas such as fitting a suitable                      keeping interiors well ventilated when                     received on all stations and the Service is in
     As well as taking into account fire safety on
                                                     smoke alarms; Taking extreme care when                          using adhesives, paints and spirit based                   the process of holding consultation events at
     the boat we would urge boaters to ensure
                                                     refueling or changing gas cylinders;                            products.                                                  all earmarked stations.
     that they know their location at all times so

                                                                                                                                                                                The news comes as the Service is mid-
                                                                                                                                                                                way through construction of its first PFI
                                                                                                                                                                                project which also involves the building of

    Derbyshire FRS scoop prestigious                                                                                                                                            ten community fire stations.

                                                                                                                                                                                Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Left: Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (standing) and Chairman of the Fire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bloomer (seated).


    award                                                                                                                                                                       “This is fantastic news for our organisation
                                                                                                                                                                                and the communities we serve. To secure
                                                                                                                                                                                funding for a second multi-million pound
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 said: “The Fire and Rescue Authority
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 fully endorses this second investment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               of the European Union. Companies and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               consortia interested in the design, build
    Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service has won a prestigious national equality and diversity award                                                                                rebuilding project is just unprecedented.        programme which will make a huge              and maintenance of the ten community
                                                                                                                                                                                Our vision to have community fire stations       difference to developing the Service’s        fire stations within the scheme were then
    for the work of its Strategic Leadership Team (SLT).
                                                                                                                                                                                is becoming reality - once they are built        capacity to deliver improved safety           invited to a market briefing day.
                                                                                                                                                                                almost two thirds of our fire stations will      and contribute to the well being of our
     SLT was selected as the winner of the           Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service into                           Fire Officers Association; the various roles               be modern, state of the art community            communities into the 21st Century and         A preferred bidder is expected to be
     leadership team category in this year’s Fire    becoming one of only six services to be                         of the Equality and Diversity ‘Champions’                  facilities.”                                     beyond.”                                      appointed in Autumn 2011, with the
     and Rescue Service Equality and Diversity       formally recognised as ‘Moving towards                          and securing additional resources to                                                                                                                      Contract being awarded in Spring 2012.
     Award Scheme for its achievements in a          Excellence’; the out-going Chief Fire                           support various improvements, including                    Chairman of the Fire and Rescue                  To initiate the formal procurement process,
     number of areas which included: leading         Officer’s, national lead role for the Chief                     specialist posts, positive action and                      Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer                a notice was placed in the Official Journal


6 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                                    www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                  The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 7
     Newsdesk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Newsdesk




    Fire Service Veteran’s Badges now                                                                                                                              Celebrating 30 years of service
    available                                                                                                                                                      Firefighters and support staff from across the West Midlands come together to celebrate
                                                                                                                                                                   reaching 30 years of loyal service to the organisation and serving the community.
     Veteran’s badges for past and present Fire Service Personnel are now available to order from
                                                                                                                                                                   Firefighters and support staff gathered at
     the British Fire Services Association (BFSA).                                                                                                                 West Midlands Fire Service Headquarters
                                                                                                                                                                   for the ceremony. Amid the celebrations,
     The BFSA is the UK’s only supplier of these      P and If you require more than one badge                                                                     colleagues had the chance to share
     eye-catching badges. For further details,        please include the appropriate fee with your                                                                 memories from the past and reflect on the
     please contact the General Secretary on          order. Please make cheque/postal order                                                                       many changes that have occurred in the fire
     BFSA8@aol.com or to request a boxed              payable to BFSA 7 Clover House, Boston                                                                       service over the years, as well as anticipating
     badge please provide the following details:      Road, Sleaford, Lincs. NG34 7HD or call                                                                      what the future might hold.
     name, address, phone number and email.           01526 830255 for further details.
                                                                                                                                                                   Crew Commander John McNaughton, said:
     Boxed Badges are priced at £5.50 Inc. P &                                                                                                                     “Working for the Fire Service and serving
                                                                                                                                                                   the community has been a most rewarding
                                                                                                                                                                   and interesting career and receiving this
                                                                                                                                                                   award means a great deal to me.”

     Triathlon win for Staffordshire                                                                                                                               Vij Randeniya, West Midlands Fire Service’s
                                                                                                                                                                   Chief Fire Officer said: “The presentation

     firefighter                                                                                                                                                   of the thirty-year service award is a great
                                                                                                                                                                   achievement, marking three decades of loyal
                                                                                                                                                                   and devoted service.” Each recipient was
     Staffordshire firefighter Jacqui Slack has triumphed as the winning female for a second year                                                                  also presented with a pocket-sized clock to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Above: Firefighters and support staff from the West Midlands FRS celebrate 30 years of service.
                                                                                                                                                                   mark the occasion.
     running in the National Emergency Services Triathlon Championships.
     The event took place at the National Water
     Sports Centre in Nottingham. Triathletes
     from emergency services all over the country
     took part in the race, which attracted over
     150 competitors. The overall emergency
                                                                                                                                                                   1,000th tenant receives fire safety
     service winners were the Police.

     The race involved a 500m swim, 20k cycle
                                                                                                                                                                   advice in Somerset
     and 5k run and Jacqui completed the                                                                                                                           The 1,000th tenant of North Somerset’s largest landlord has received fire safety advice in her
     course in just one hour and four seconds.                                                                                                                     home, thanks to a partnership involving Avon Fire & Rescue Service and the private sector.
     She regularly competes in triathlons
     worldwide and as of last year was ranked
     7th in Britain. She is currently taking a one                                                                                                                 Mary Amey, from Weston-super-Mare,                discuss fire safety issues with tenants and                    had a fire in 2006 – it was not a very
     year sabbatical from the Service to focus on                                                                                                                  was the latest tenant to receive a Home           provide information and leaflets. The most                     nice experience. Knowing the damage fire
     her triathlon training. She has spent the past                                                                                                                Fire Safety Visit since the partnership           at risk tenants are referred on to AF&RS                       can cause, I feel that I am more aware of
     four months training in Australia with world                                                                                                                  was formed in September 2009. Through             staff who revisit the home to provide more                     preventing fire in my home”
     class athletes and whilst there competed in                                                                                                                   the partnership, staff from Quadron,              specific help and advice. One of those
                                                      Above: Staffordshire firefighter Jacqui Slack in action.
     the ITU World Cup Triathlon.                                                                                                                                  which carries out maintenance for the             receiving advice, Mrs Amey, who has lived                      Barrie Houghton, AF&RS Group Manager
                                                                                                                                                                   housing association, have been trained            at the Laburnum Court residence for the                        for North Somerset added: “I’m delighted
     Speaking about winning the triathlon for a       - so hopefully it had set me in good stead for             Firefighters; Helen Hall, Andrew Cooke            by firefighters from AF&RS to deliver fire        last two and a half years, had already had                     that something that stemmed from such
     second time she said said: “I’m thrilled to      the rest of the season.”                                   and Tom Sandy, Burslem Firefighter, David         safety advice as part of their standard           experience of a fire in her home.                              a simple idea, has already led to 1,000
     win this race for a second year running. This                                                               Jones and Head of Communications, Philip          inspections.                                                                                                     residents being safer in their homes.”
     is the first triathlon I’ve competed in, since   Other competitors from Staffordshire Fire                  Gillingham.                                                                                         She said: “Me and my husband lived at
     returning to the UK at the start of the month    and Rescue Service included Stafford                                                                         During the visits to local homes they             Monica Wills House in Bedminster which


8 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                       www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                                           The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 9
                                                                Firefighter's
                                                                   inspirational story
                                                                Staffordshire firefighter Neal Evans had forgotten to take his door key on
                                                                a night out; an easy mistake to make, but his decision to take the difficult
                                                                route into the house and thus avoid waking his wife almost cost him his life.
                                                                Neal tells the Burning Issue the story of his remarkable recovery.

                                                                June 7th 2008, I went to my rugby clubs           paramedics, and luckily they quickly arrived.     huge part in getting me to where I am now.
                                                                annual dinner straight from work. Apparently      I was transported to Stoke by helicopter,         This is by no means exclusive, and I will
                                                                I had a good night. Austin Healey was the         while Michelle phoned her brother to collect      eternally grateful for the kindness that I
                                                                guest speaker, he was apparently superb!          her, to follow me too Stoke.                      and my family have received from so many
                                                                The night continued at a local nightclub.                                                           individuals and groups (you know who you
                                                                About 2.30 a.m. I started out for home.           I spent many days in life support, ten            are!). So on the second anniversary of my
                                                                I must have left my front door key in my          days in A&E, in total. I then transferred to      accident; I am going to walk the length of
                                                                locker at work.                                   Cannock Hospital where I remained for six         the Staffordshire Way.
                                                                                                                  months. I cannot remember any of this,
                                                                The sensible thing would have been                and don't remember anything for 3 months          92 miles through rural staffs, over three
                                                                to knock Michelle (My Wife) up, but I             after the accident. In fact I don't have any      days. Any sponsorship I receive will go to the
                                                                remember doing that before and promising          recollection of the night; I only remember        Fire Fighters Charity, and the Midlands Air-
                                                                not to do it again!!!! It was a warm night, so    playing rugby for the Brigade in early May!       Ambulance. I could have chosen more, but
                                                                being a firefighter I got the ladder out of the                                                     those two groups have had a particularly big
                                                                garage, and made my way up to my son’s            At first I was paralysed down one side and        part in my life recently! I want to ensure that
                                                                bedroom window.                                   immobile, though that got slowly better, I        they have enough funds to enable them to
                                                                                                                  still had to be helped to the toilet and was a    carry on providing care for others.
                                                                It was a warm night thank god, and he had         handful. I can only remember going to the
                                                                a habit of sleeping with a window open.           toilet and bathing on my own, which is no         My mum, Vera Evans, has been overseeing
                                                                What happened next I don't know. The              bad thing!                                        my training for the walk; she is a member
                                                                window was shut, and I probably made my                                                             of Staffordshire Long Distance Walkers
                                                                way back down. I didn't fall off the ladder!      Gradually recollection has returned, though       Association. One of their members is going
                                                                As some papers have reported! I must have         it's not perfect, and I still have some           to walk the whole way with me, and they
                                                                fallen from the first floor, landing on my        difficulty when speaking and spelling, or with    have been kind enough to allow me to
                                                                head. I suffered a double fracture of the         Maths. At first I did not always recognise my     accompany them on their walks. I have
                                                                skull, and a broken wrist.                        wife or kids, and had no recollection of my       done some challenging 20+ mile walks,
                                                                                                                  father passing away six years prior, so things    including 29m ‘Kipling Caper’ around the
                                                                I was spark out, in a heap, close to the          have improved!                                    Rudyard area and over the Roaches in April.
                                                                kitchen back door, and that’s where I stayed
                                                                till my wife came down to make her brew           I am eternally grateful to my wife for her care   Training continues, and I have walked
                                                                at 9.30am! I may not have been found, but         and patience; my mum for all the tender           about 35m of the Staffs Way in preparation,
                                                                fortunately she went out to put something in      care she has given, and my family and             and I will be doing more prior to when the
                                                                the recycling bin; Michelle screamed, and I       friends, for everything they have done for        walk begins!
                                                                imagine all hell broke loose.                     me. I am now back at work on light duties,
                                                                                                                  and my recovery is a credit to the care and       If you would like to support Neal’s
                                                                An ambulance was called, but when they            professionalism of many people who had a          fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.
                                                                arrived they elected to send me to A&E            part in it, however small.                        com/neal-evans which will remain open for
                                                                in Stoke. Due to my condition and the                                                               contributions until October.
                                                                location of our house, an air-ambulance was       I am determined to make a small thank
                                                                called. The kids were asked to meet the           you to two groups who have played a


10 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                    The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 11
                                                                RAF firefighters
                                                                  in Afghanistan
                                                                Story of the brave RAF firefighters who received a commendation from
                                                                US Commander in Afghanistan after extinguishing a huge blaze at an
                                                                American camp.
                                                                They may not be taking part in the              was absolute carnage, the smoke was           hit we just had to withdraw because the
                                                                conflict itself, but a US Major General was     that dense that you could hardly see the      conditions where unbelievable and we just
                                                                extremely grateful to RAF firefighters for      American firefighters, who were actually in   had to evacuate everyone that was in our
                                                                their role in helping to put out a major        there dealing with it. We got our guys into   area for safety.”
                                                                blaze at a US camp which threatened             breathing apparatus and got them guys to
                                                                lives as well as equipment. The team of         the front.”                                   A total of 55 RAF and American personnel
                                                                RAF firefighters were presented with a                                                        attended the fire, tackling the blaze
                                                                Certificate of Commendation by Major            Conditions were particularly difficult        through the night for 16 hours. Operational
                                                                General Richard P. Mills, US Commanding         as efforts to extinguish the fire were        effectiveness was not affected as the
                                                                General of 1st Marine Division, for their       hampered by strong winds and the terrain.     crews were put onto a resting rotation.
                                                                help in extinguishing the fire at Camp          At one point, a large sandstorm meant         Akrotiri based Sergeant Simon Marsh,
                                                                Leatherneck.                                    that firefighters had to withdraw for their   35, from Somerset, said: “We put the
                                                                                                                own safety.                                   main fire out and then moved from ISO
                                                                The fire started in the late afternoon on       Sergeant Steve                                to ISO to put out the spot fires. To put
                                                                16 May in a mixed storage unit which also       Pickston, 28,                                                the fire out we used a lot of
                                                                held flammable gas cylinders making the         from Oldham,                    Conditions were              water, utilising KBR (local
                                                                firefighting task particularly difficult. The   who is based at                    particularly              contractor) water bowsers
                                                                RAF were called out by their American           RAF Northolt said: “We were                                  as there is no water hydrant
                                                                colleagues as the blaze rapidly spread to       the off-duty crew at the time  difficult as efforts          system down there. It was
                                                                such an extent that within half an hour         when we saw the smoke, so                                    basically fighting the fire
                                                                the flames could be seen from over a mile       we went into work. The fire
                                                                                                                                                  to extinguish              ISO by ISO container being
                                                                away in Camp Bastion.                           was getting quite bad at the      the fire were              wary that there is a lot of
                                                                                                                time due to the wind and                                     risk there in the form of
                                                                Corporal James McInally, 40, based at           then we had the sandstorm        hampered by                 compressed cylinders and
                                                                RAF Kinloss but originally from Glasgow,        about 20 minutes later         strong winds and              petrol, oil and lubricants.
                                                                was the first RAF firefighter to arrive at      which was horrific. We tried
                                                                the camp. Describing the scene he said:         to hit [the fire] from all three    the terrain                       The fire eventually
                                                                We saw this large plume of smoke and            sides initially trying to create                                      destroyed an area
                                                                actually thought it was on Bastion 1. “It       a fire break, however when the sandstorm                             the size of two >>


12 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                            The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 13
     football pitches and took 16 hours to put
     out. All of the firefighters involved received
     medical attention with a couple treated
     for smoke inhalation and eye irritation. All
     were subsequently released from hospital.

     Talking about the commendation from
     US Major General Richard Mills, Sergeant
     Marsh added; “Having General Mills come
     down was a nice touch and goes a long
     way for morale. Some of us are at the end
     of our tour so it is a nice thing to end on.”

     The Commendation cited that: “due to
     the firefighters of the 903 EAW’s fierce
     determination, selfless service and
     steadfast devotion to duty, this huge fire
     cost 1st Marine Division only material
     losses and was quickly extinguished
     before lives were lost.”

     On presentation of the certificate Major
     General Mills said: This is just a tiny, tiny
     token of appreciation but it is symbolic




                                                                                                                                                                                Jockey swaps
     perhaps of the bravery, courage, skill and
     professionalism that each and every one
     of you exhibited that evening. I think that
     the highest thing that we can say is that
     in a situation where we could have had a
     catastrophic loss of life, because of the




                                                                                                                                                                                  horses for hoses
     way you fought that fire, we lost nobody. I
     can buy new things but I cannot buy new
     people.”

     He added; “Thank you for coming to
     our aid. I give you my personal and
     professional gratitude for your effort you
     all put in putting out that fire. It was the                                                                                                                               Professional jockey Alan Daly has put on two stone in weight to fulfil his
     biggest damn fire I’ve ever seen and I
     really didn’t know how it was going to
                                                                                                                                                                                burning desire to become a firefighter after hanging up his riding boots.
     turn out with that sandstorm coming in.
     I tell you what; it was a serious, serious,                                                                                                                                After 15 years in the saddle and 203 wins,      Simon Dow. From there, Daly’s riding career      recently finished a three-month induction
     serious threat, every one of you was in                                                                                                                                    a 34-year-old called Alan Daly has joined       snowballed and it was not long before he         programme at Esher fire station.
     dire personal danger. A lot of people think                                                                                                                                Surrey Fire and Rescue Service. Daly, who       was racing alongside top jockeys such as
     that the coalition fight is out beyond the                                                                                                                                 claimed a winner at Lingfield racecourse in     Frankie Dettori and competing in races in        A career as a jockey may not be the usual
     wire and it is, but it is also the coalition                                                                                                                               his final race, said: “Every sportsman will     America, Dubai, Australia and Kuwait.            stepping stone to a career in the service but
     forces inside the wire and the day to day                                                                                                                                  have his day and I wanted to get out when                                                        Daly believes that that there are transferable
     cooperation of all of our units here that        Top and middle: Scenes of devastation following the blaze. Above left: Corporal Jim McInally. Above right: Sergeant       the going was good.                             The 5ft 7in jockey, better known as Arthur to    skills – if you look hard enough. Daly said:
     allow us to conduct the fight and I think        Simon Marsh.                                                                                                                                                              his ex-colleagues in the weighing room, said:    “I can use some of the skills I learned as
     that this is a great example of that.”                                                                                                                                     I had a fantastic time racing and went          “There is no doubt I will miss racing and I      a jockey in my new role as a firefighter.
                                                      Division Officer David Legg, a civilian                        The investigation in to the cause of                       out with a bang but I am ready for a new        feel privileged to have lived that dream but     Obviously there is the fitness side of things
     RAF firefighter Corporal McInally said:          advisor who was on the scene within                            the fire is still ongoing. UK Forces are                   challenge. The more I looked into the fire      I was fed up of starving myself and sitting      but being able to communicate well with
     “It was amazing that General Mills came          five minutes to help liaise with the                           deployed to Afghanistan in support of the                  service, the more I liked it. Like jockeys,     in the sauna for two to three hours a day to     people is essential for both professions.
     down, it was something that we weren’t           Americans said: I am very proud of                             UN authorised, NATO led International                      firefighters always have to be at the top of    lose weight. It is so nice to be able to enjoy   Also, in a race you have got to think on your
     expecting. I think everybody can say that        the RAF firefighters who showed great                          Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission                   their game and be super fit. The fire service   food and eat more than one meal a day.”          feet and that is the same for a firefighter.
     their heart was in their mouth, especially       determination. The effort of the firefighters                  and as part of the US-led Operation                        also gives you the option of climbing the
     giving out the certificates. At the end of       meant that the fire was kept separated                         Enduring Freedom (OEF). UK operations                      career ladder if you want to.”                  In November, Daly, whose first success           Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council
     the day we were just doing our job and for       from the fuel farm. It was the largest fire                    in Afghanistan are being conducted under                                                                   was aboard Lying Eyes at Warwick in              Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
     someone to come down and appreciate              in very difficult conditions that I have seen                  the name Operation HERRICK.                                Daly had his big break in horse racing in       April 1994, completed the foundation             “By making sure we have the right people,
     that…actually coming here and saying             and probably the largest fire that most of                                                                                1995 when he won the Apprenticeship             firefighter course at Surrey Fire and            with the right skills in the right places we feel
     thanks, it means a lot.”                         these lads will see in their career.”                                                                                     Derby at Epsom with Global Dancer for           Rescue headquarters in Reigate and he            confident we can make Surrey safer.”


14 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                                   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                  The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 15
                                                                Crane accident survivor
                                                                thanks firefighters
                                                                When a crane collapsed in Liverpool city centre last year, the driver was given
                                                                a 15% chance of survival after he plummeted 200ft and was pulled from the
                                                                rubble by Merseyside firefighters.
                                                                The determination of Merseyside                through the hole and a lot of debris and      that he was conscious before he fell
                                                                firefighters to rescue a badly injured crane   my first thought was we needed to stop        through the hole from the roof.
                                                                driver meant that he was able to thank         him falling any further. So we used a rope
                                                                them in person during his recovery from        to tie around him and tied it round myself    By the time he arrived at the hospital,
                                                                his injuries.                                  and the rope was then tied around the wall    surgeons gave Iain just a 15% chance of
                                                                                                               to prevent any of us from falling. A team     surviving and told his wife there was a
                                                                Last month, he showed how he is defying        then managed to pull him out.”                20% chance of him dying on the operating
                                                                the odds, when he met some of his                                                            table. But he beat the odds, surviving
                                                                rescuers from Merseyside Fire and Rescue       Firefighter Ruth Millman from Red Watch       the 11 hours in surgery where rods and
                                                                Service.                                       at Toxteth Fire Station said: “I was pushed   fixators were attached to his spine. The
                                                                                                               through a tiny window to where they           road to recovery since then has been long
                                                                After surviving the accident Iain Gillham      had found the                                 and arduous but he has remained positive
                                                                is on the slow road to recovery, but           driver. He                                    throughout.
                                                                he is still in hospital after sustaining a     was still stuck
                                                                fractured skull, two chest fractures, 11       with rubble                     It was wonderful           He added: “For me to come
                                                                spine fractures, a brain haemorrhage a         on him and we                                              through this has little to do
                                                                collapsed lung and serious crush injuries      were trying to move him           to meet them.            with me and more to do with
                                                                to his left shoulder and arm.                  from the rubble, which was                                 the medical service, the fire
                                                                                                               still unstable, to a more
                                                                                                                                                   I wanted to            service that got me out, the
                                                                He is now paralysed below the waist, but       secure floor which we did         personally say           emergency team from A&E
                                                                last month he was determined to go along       using ropes. There was a                                   and doctors and nurses who
                                                                to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s        doctor and paramedic in
                                                                                                                                                  thank you. I            have all played a very great
                                                                Commendation event at the Maritime             there with us, the driver was   know how much              part in saving my life. It’s
                                                                Museum where some of the crews who             still coherent talking to me                               absolutely incredible and I
                                                                rescued him were presented with awards.        and I was holding his hand      they did and the           can’t thank them enough for
                                                                He said: “It was wonderful to meet them. I     reassuring him. I then had to                                             what they have
                                                                wanted to personally say thank you. I know     cut off his shirt and boots so
                                                                                                                                               risks they took...                        done.”
                                                                how much they did and the risks they took      that the medical team could
                                                                and I’m just so grateful to all of them.”      assess his injuries.”                                                     Iain is continuing
                                                                                                                                                                                     to recover in the
                                                                Following the crane collapse, a careful        Iain has no memory of the incident itself     Spinal Injuries Unit at Southport but hopes
                                                                plan was put in place to bring him out of      or anything of the immediate weeks            that he will be allowed to go home in the
                                                                the rubble safely. Firefighter Andy Lenwey     following. Details of what happened have      next few months, although he is having
                                                                from Croxteth Fire Station said: “When         been relayed to him by people he worked       to find a new place to live that will be
                                                                I first arrived the driver was in a hole up    with, friends and family. And last month      suitable for his wheelchair.
                                                                to his midriff. There was water pouring        he was surprised to learn from firefighters


16 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                            The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 17
    Guestcolumn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Guestcolumn


    Guest writers air their views




   Is your employer is watching?                                                                                                                    the Fire Authority required you to prove that
                                                                                                                                                    you were of good character and capable
                                                                                                                                                    of passing both physical and academic
                                                                                                                                                                                                      and you have been employed for a period
                                                                                                                                                                                                      of 12 months or more, you have a right
                                                                                                                                                                                                      not to be unfairly dismissed. However,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       must be even handed in their approach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to these matters. A dismissal will be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       unlawful if it amounts to less favourable
                                                                                                                                                    examinations. In performing your role you         your employer can fairly dismiss you if          treatment of an employee on grounds
     All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… but if you’re a firefighter, can play cost                                                         are required to maintain both that good           they have a fair reason for doing so, acted      of their sex, race, age, disability, sexual
                                                                                                                                                    character and a level of fitness to perform       reasonably in doing so, and followed             orientation or religion. So if a female
     you your job?                                                                                                                                  your job to the best of your ability.             proper procedures.                               officer was dismissed for her conduct
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       away from work, but a male officer who
     It is a common belief that when we are                                                                                                         This applies to all aspects of your job           Under the Employment Rights Act 1996             conducted himself in a similar way was
     away from the workplace we are no longer                                                                                                       including rescue and meeting with members         there are several prescribed fair reasons        not dismissed, she may have grounds for a
     accountable to our employer for our actions.                                                                                                   of the local community. These requirements        for dismissal which include ‘conduct,            sex discrimination claim.
     This is a misconception. In a world where                                                                                                      don’t automatically end when your shift ends      capability or “some other substantial
     many of us open our private lives to all via                                                                                                   and you take off your uniform.                    reason”’. If your conduct outside work was       Procedurally, any claim for unfair dismissal
     our Facebook pages or Twitter accounts,                                                                                                                                                          deemed to be inappropriate, in conflict          or discrimination must be submitted to
     more and more employees including those                                                                                                        It is worth considering how you could be          with your role or damaged your reputation        an Employment Tribunal within three
     working in the public service are finding                                                                                                      viewed by work managers and colleagues,           in the community, it is likely that this         months of the dismissal. Remedies can
     themselves in hot water, or even being                                                                                                         as well as the general public if you take part    would be a fair reason for dismissal under       include reinstatement, re-engagement or
     dismissed for conduct which takes place                                                                                                        in certain out-of-work activities. For example,   the first two terms.                             compensation.
     outside the workplace.                                                                                                                         visible attendance or membership of an
                                                                                                                                                    extreme political group may bring you into        “Some other substantial reason” is a             So, before taking up that new hobby,
     There have been a number of high-profile                                                                                                       conflict with the community you serve and         catch all term which an employer can rely        pledging your allegiance to a particular
     dismissals reported in the media recently.                                                                                                     impact on your ability to perform your job.       upon to dismiss you, provided that they          group or letting the world know how you
     For example, when it was discovered                                                                                                                                                              can prove that your conduct detrimentally        are feeling, you should always consider
     that a lawyer was the author of an erotic                                                                                                      You may be able to function for a time            affects your role at work or their reputation    your work commitments and whether
     online novel which included photographs                                                                                                        when using recreational drugs or excessive        as your employer. For example, in the case       your action might run the risk of causing
     of herself in her underwear, she was given                                                                                                     drinking at the weekend but how long will it      of the literary lawyer, whilst she was still     conflict with your employer. You could
     the opportunity to stop writing the novel                                                                                                      be before it affects your ability to maintain     capable of performing her job and her            consider running any such ideas past a
     by her employers. When she refused, she                                                                                                        fitness levels?                                   conduct was not unlawful, her employer           trusted family member or friend and ask
     was dismissed on the grounds that she                                                                                                                                                            was concerned with the damage to her             for their objective opinion. If you do take
     was clearly identifiable in the photographs                                                                                                    More commonly, employees are caught out           reputation and subsequently that of the          the plunge and come into dispute with
     and this could damage her reputation and                                                                                                       by asking their boss and colleagues to be         law firm, if clients were able to identify her   your employer always seek legal advice as
     that of her law firm.                                                                                                                          ‘friends’ on Facebook or to follow them on        in the photographs.                              soon as is practicably possible. On many
                                                                                                                                                    Twitter. Such mediums allow colleagues                                                             occasions matters can be resolved without
     Other cases include a police officer whose                                                                                                     (and bosses) to see what we get up to away        An employer faced with such issues will          the need for litigation, often with the
     name appeared on the membership list           the outside interests of the employees      those Regulations and each Fire Authority           from the work place and even how we feel          consider the particular role performed by        preservation of the working relationship
     of the British                                 concerned were incompatible with the        became responsible for producing their              about the workplace when we are letting off       the employee in question, for example,           and most importantly, your job.
     National                                       nature of their jobs.                       own disciplinary code.                              steam to our friends online. These should         their seniority and visibility and how their
     Party who                                                                                                                                      therefore be approached with caution.             conduct impacts on their role at work.
     was dismissed
                                     It is a common                                             Whether you choose to visit fetish clubs                                                              A common reason cited by employers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jennifer Ainscough
     because his membership of       belief that when            So how does this affect        or choose to bare all in an erotic novel,           In addition, problems can arise after work        in such cases is that there has been an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           is a solicitor in the
     the organisation conflicted                                 those working in the fire      to avoid suffering the same fate as the             at social events with work colleagues.            irretrievable breakdown in the working
     with the diverse community     we are away from             service?                       literary lawyer or the performing probation         Common problems involve the sexual                relationship, usually on the grounds of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           employment team
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           at Russell Jones
     that he served; a probation
                                      the workplace                                             officer, it is always wise to have a general        harassment of a colleague or inappropriate        trust and confidence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           & Walker. Jennifer
     officer working with                                        Until 2004, Fire Service       understanding of the code of conduct that           behaviour after consuming too much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           is a specialist in
     sex offenders who was          we are no longer             personnel were subject to      applies in your workplace and to know               alcohol any of which could bring you into         Once the reason for dismissal is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           employment law in the
     dismissed for performing                                    the code of conduct and        what amounts to gross misconduct and                conflict with your employer.                      established, provided that the employer
     in fetish clubs and selling
                                     accountable to              procedures set out in the      dismissal. Your first point of reference here                                                         can show the decision was reasonable and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           public sector.

     sado-masochistic products      our employer for             Fire Services (Discipline)     should be the Grey Book, which sets out                                                               fair in all the circumstances and proper
     online; and a war crimes                                             Regulations 1985.     your terms and conditions including the             So what are your rights?                          procedure was followed, the dismissal will
     investigator who was a Nazi       our actions.                        In 2004 the Fire     Code of Conduct.                                                                                      be deemed to be fair.
     memorabilia enthusiast and                                            Service and Rescue                                                       If you find yourself in conflict with your
     commentator. Clearly in all of these cases                           Act 2004 repealed     When you were first appointed in your role,         employer due to your out-of-work activities       It is worth noting however that employers


18 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                       www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                 The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 19
                                                                      Devon & Somerset
                                                                      embrace swift water
                                                                      technology
                                                                      Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue embrace the latest technology and
                                                                      practices in swift water rescue and now have an excellent provision of
                                                                      specialist water rescue teams across the Service area.
                                                                      Watch Commander, Ben Weedon is                the transportation of rescuers, casualties       cars which have a volume of water flowing
                                                                      responsible for training Devon and            and their equipment in the rescue                through them. The water flows through
                                                                      Somerset firefighters in swift water rescue   environment.                                     easily, but a person would be pushed
                                                                      and has been conducting the Service's                                                          against the strainer by the sheer force of
                                                                      in-house training for over 18 months.         Ben explained some of the many hazards           the water and become pinned up against it,
                                                                                                                    associated with water that members of the        sometimes under the surface. Sadly this is a
                                                                      The training Ben delivers is validated        public may fall victim to. "The most obvious     common reason why people drown.
                                                                      by Rescue 3 International, which was          of course, is drowning, particularly when an
                                                                      founded in 1979 after a California search     area of water may look relatively safe, but      Swift flowing rivers create a hydrologic
                                                                      and rescue team lost one of its own team      actually contains hidden undercurrents. This     effect around rocks and foaming water
                                                                      members during a water rescue. They are       is often the case where there is fast-flowing    occurs. This type of water is called white
                                                                      the largest international rescue training     water. A person may easily be overcome as        water which is 40 – 60% air and creates
                                                                      organisation, overseeing and validating       the force of water can be quite immense.         two hazards: firstly, white water is not solid
                                                                      courses in 32 countries around the world      The temperature of the water also plays a        enough to swim or paddle in, and secondly,
                                                                      as well as being considered the pioneers      part, and very cold water causes thermal         it is not light enough to breathe in. So
                                                                      in water and rope rescue training.            shock and hypothermia                            anyone caught in this type of water is placed
                                                                                                                                                                     in a dangerous situation.
                                                                      Ben said: “As a service we have decided       Even people who have strong swimming
                                                                      to adopt the Rescue 3 system for our swift    skills and have experience of locating river     Ben commented; “Many people walk pets
                                                                      water rescue training, as it has already      hazards and how to navigate around them,         alongside a river or close to weirs and it is
                                                                      proved a very successful system in            would be affected by cold water shock.”          often the case that a dog will go into the
                                                                      many fire and rescue services and other       Said Ben adding, “There was a recent study       river and the owner will try to rescue it.
                                                                      organisations around the country.             of Olympic swimmers that tested how they         Generally animals are very good at getting
                                                                                                                    react in cold water – within minutes they        themselves out and then it’s the owner that
                                                                      Personell are trained to operate in both      became incapacitated. Cold water cools           gets into difficulty and needs to be rescued.
                                                                      moving and flood water conditions, make       down the body 25 times faster than cold          But, when an animal is caught in a retentive
                                                                      a suitable scene assessments and, if safe     air. Any physical activity like swimming         part of the river, then it is highly likely that
                                                                      to do so, conduct rescues. This form of       or struggling for survival in the water only     the owner will be too.”
                                                                      rescue focuses on being proactive rather      increases the body's heat loss. Survival time
                                                                      than reactive in training as well as an       is reduced to minutes. “                         As the highly specialised field of swift water
                                                                      emphasis on ways to keep the rescuers from                                                     rescue continues to evolve with techniques
                                                                      becoming victims.                             Ben went on to explain some of the hazards       and procedures being subject to constant
                                                                                                                    within swift moving water that may take          improvement, Devon & Somerset Fire and
                                                                      The training also involves rope work, which   the public unawares. One of the hazards          Rescue Service is committed to reflecting
                                                                      combines a range of skills using a variety    often encountered by those in distress           these developments.
                                                                      of rope and water techniques, ranging from    include ‘strainers’, which are objects such as
                                                                      rope rescue systems across waterways, to      hedges, fences, gaps in rocks or submerged


 20 - The Burning Issue - Issue
www.theburningissue.co.uk 25            www.theburningissue.co.uk
                                  The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 20   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 21
                                                                Yorkshire's
                                                                   new recruits
                                                                Fire Services in North and West Yorkshire have been busy welcoming a
                                                                number of graduates and full-time firefighters after some intensive training.
                                                                Young firefighters celebrate graduation         Service, said: “The young people who             responsible for overseeing their training
                                                                                                                have graduated this week should be very          said, "I'm delighted these six firefighters
                                                                More than 200 teenagers from schools            proud of themselves for the hard work            have graduated successfully from their
                                                                around West Yorkshire pass their Young          and dedication they have shown. The              training. This will now continue on the
                                                                Firefighters course with flying colours.        course encourages teamwork, discipline           job and over the next 2 years or so and
                                                                                                                and the young                                    they will be working hard to gain extra
                                                                The young people carried out a number           people now have                                  qualifications under the mentorship of
                                                                of fire drills before their family and course   a host of practical                                            experienced firefighters from
                                                                instructors at two formal graduation            skills they will find                The 12-week               their respective fire stations
                                                                ceremonies at West Yorkshire Fire               invaluable at school               course has been             and indeed other staff from
                                                                and Rescue Service Headquarters in              and for the rest of their lives.”                              throughout North Yorkshire
                                                                Birkenshaw. The scenarios saw them                                                  extremely hard             and the City of York.
                                                                rescuing casualties from a simulated            The Young Firefighters
                                                                house fire and preventing the spread of a       scheme began in West
                                                                                                                                                     work as you              The role of the modern fire
                                                                simulated fire in a high rise block by using    Yorkshire six years ago            may imagine but            service is to be proactive
                                                                jets of water.                                  as a means of promoting                                       as well as to respond to
                                                                                                                fire safety awareness and             thoroughly              emergencies when they
                                                                The Young Firefighters from 18 schools          engaging more with children             worth it.                      happen and all the
                                                                completed an Edexcel BTEC Level Two             and young people in our                                                new firefighters will
                                                                qualification in the Fire and Rescue            communities. There are now                                             be actively involved
                                                                Service in the Community. The two-year          25 schools involved from around West                                 in delivering all aspects
                                                                course includes practical and academic          Yorkshire and approximately 500 students.        of the services we provide. I feel sure they
                                                                lessons at their local fire station and in                                                       will have long and fruitful careers with us".
                                                                the classroom in 24 subject areas such as
                                                                breathing apparatus, pumping appliances,        New firefighters take up posts to serve          One of the graduates Firefighter Cooper
                                                                community safety, casualty extrication          the community                                    added “The 12-week course has been
                                                                carried out by the fire and rescue service                                                       extremely hard work as you may imagine
                                                                and general life skills.                        Six trainee firefighters have successfully       but thoroughly worth it. We all have new
                                                                                                                completed 12-weeks intensive training at         skills, knowledge and understanding of the
                                                                Many of the Young Firefighters have             North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service          modern fire service and we are looking
                                                                played an active role in the community          Training Centre and will soon take up            forward to working with our new teams on
                                                                by promoting fire safety, taking part in        their new fire fighting roles at fire stations   the fire stations to help our communities.
                                                                educational assemblies and fundraising.         throughout the County.                           We have had a lot of fun too however."
                                                                Martin Hoole, Youth Training Co-ordinator
                                                                for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue              Station Manager Andy Blades of NYFRS


22 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chief Fire Officer Vij Randeniya, Nabeel Chowdhary and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Safeside Centre Manager Pete Wilson.
    Awards for                                                                                                                                    10,000th visitor
       fire heroes                                                                                                                                   for safety centre
                                                                                                                                                  West Midlands Fire Service’s Safeside Centre has welcomed its
     Staffordshire firefighters have been rewarded for their heroics in mounting
                                                                                                                                                  10,000th visitor.
     a rescue operation for 100 animals.
                                                                                                                                                  West Midlands Fire Service’s interactive           from across the West Midlands and beyond         nationally. We’re obviously delighted to
     RSPCA Certificates of Commendation were     farmhands – who were trying to pull the       throughout the afternoon and managed to            education centre, Safeside at Eastside             have been flocking to visit the centre to help   welcome Nabeel as our 10,000th visitor and
     presented to 21 Staffordshire Fire and      sheep to safety – off the land. Some of the   rescue more than 50 of the 100 stranded            recently welcomed the 10,000th visitor             educate children about the hazards that          hope that he enjoyed his visit,” Pete added.
     Rescue Service officers at Lichfield Fire   sheep were already dead while many had        sheep. The awards were presented by the            through its doors. Pupils from Bordesley           exist out there in the big wide world.”
     Station. The awards recognise the efforts   become trapped in barbed wire. They were      RSPCA’s Regional Manager for Wales and             Green Primary School were the visitors who                                                          Nabeel said: “I’ve really enjoyed my day
     of crews in                                 stuck on an island where the water level      West, Steve Carter and the RSPCA’s Chief           helped the Vauxhall Road centre clock up           At present, Safeside only runs a programme       at Safeside, and I’ve learnt a lot. I’d like to
     saving sheep                                was rising fast.                              Inspector, Dave Hollinshead.                       the milestone. Pupil Nabeel Chowdhary              for primary school children, placing them        come back again. I’m happy, shocked and
     from flash                                                                                                                                   was the lucky 10,000th person through              in small groups with visitor guides who lead     surprised to be the 10,000th visitor.”
     flooding in                    This was a major          A joint operation was            Steve Carter, RSPCA Regional Manager               the door, and he was presented with a              them around a number of interactive safety
     Fisherwick Wood
                                       rescue where           mounted with the RSPCA           for Wales and West said: "This was a               certificate and a special Safeside fleece to       scenarios and explaining how they can            Safeside is also looking for new volunteer
     Lane, Lichfield in September                             utilising specialist water       major rescue where the dedication and              mark the occasion.                                 make safe choices. In the autumn, though,        visitor guides, who help bring to life the
     2008.                            the dedication          equipment which included         commitment shown by fire and rescue                                                                   there are plans to begin rolling out new         scenarios for the young people who visit the
                                                              several boats and inflatable     personnel was highly commendable. Over             Safeside is a fully operational, life-sized        programmes for secondary school pupils           centre. It’s a great opportunity to help young
     Station Manager, Paul
                                    and commitment            pontoons. Using an inflatable    100 sheep were in immediate danger of              village with houses, shops, a road, canal          and parents/carers or children under two-        people understand how to stay safe, while at
     Richins, who was the officer   shown by fire and         walkway and rescue boat          drowning and this joint operation illustrated      and rail tracks with a real train, all under one   years-old.                                       the same time developing some transferable
     in charge at the incident                                to get across to the island      the high levels of co-operation and mutual         roof. It cost £2.3m to build and was opened                                                         skills which employers value highly. If
     said, “There were about        rescue personnel          we ferried the sheep, six or     trust between both organisations. Working          in April 2009 by his Royal Highness the            When we’re operating at full capacity,           you’d be interested in volunteering, please
     100 sheep left in the                                    seven at a time, back onto       together provides an excellent service for         Duke of Kent.                                      we reckon that we’ll be able to get up to        contact Janet Wilson, volunteers coordinator,
                                         was highly                                                                                                                                                                                                   on 0121 380 6429 or email safeside.
     field which were in a very                                           dry land.”           preventing and alleviated animal suffering."                                                          20,000 people through our doors each
     distressed state, what crews    commendable...                                                                                               Pete Wilson, Safeside centre manager, said:        year. Safeside has made a very strong start      volunteers@wmfs.net
     did first was to kit people                                           Paul added                                                             “Safeside has been a phenomenal success            to life and is firmly recognised as a unique
     out in dry suits and get the                                          crews worked                                                           since opening its doors last year. Schools         educational facility, both in the region and


24 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                     www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                     The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 33
                                                                Innovative fire
                                                                  course launched
                                                                An innovative course has been officially launched at the University of
                                                                Wolverhampton in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service.
                                                                The new BSC (Hons) Fire and Rescue              opportunities to work alongside West          to undertake the basic firefighters
                                                                aims to prepare students for a challenging      Midlands Fire Service staff.”                 programme with West Midlands Fire
                                                                career in the fire service through                                                            Service, subject to completing a
                                                                academic study and work placements. A           Vij Randeniya,                                successful application and medical and
                                                                Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)               West Midlands                                               fitness assessments.
                                                                was signed at the University by the Vice        Fire Service’s Chief                 In a modern
                                                                Chancellor, Professor Caroline Gipps and        Fire Officer, said:                                        The course can be studied
                                                                the Chief Fire Officer, Vijith Randeniya.       “In a modern professional
                                                                                                                                                  professional fire        full-time over three years,
                                                                                                                fire service, it is vital that    service, it is vital     or part-time over four to six
                                                                The degree will include modules focused         firefighters get the best                                  years. The degree is offered
                                                                on crisis management, leadership, fire          possible training and              that firefighters       by the University’s School
                                                                law, fire investigations and the chemistry      qualifications available to
                                                                                                                                                     get the best          of Law, Social Sciences
                                                                of combustion. Students will also become        them, to meet the demands                                  and Communications, in
                                                                community volunteers working with the fire      of firefighting in the 21st       possible training        partnership with the School
                                                                service during their studies.                   century.                                                   of Health and Wellbeing,
                                                                                                                                                 and qualifications        School of Engineering and
                                                                Dr Martin Wright is leading the course,         People considering a                  available to         the Built Environment,
                                                                which is due to start in September 2010. He     career as a firefighter have                                      the University of
                                                                said: “The new BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue       the opportunity to gain a               them...                    Wolverhampton
                                                                course will further strengthen the University   formal degree qualification                                        Business School and
                                                                of Wolverhampton’s relationship with the        in Fire and Rescue. The course                                    the School of Applied
                                                                emergency services, building on the success     represents another significant step in the                     Sciences.
                                                                of the BSc (Hons) Policing degree.              development of professional firefighting in
                                                                                                                the United Kingdom and I am delighted to      The new degree follows the successful
                                                                “This new degree is an innovative but           support its launch.”                          launch of a BSc (Hons) Policing in
                                                                highly challenging academic programme,                                                        partnership with West Midlands Police.
                                                                coupled with practical inputs and excellent     Students will be offered opportunities


34 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                           The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 35
                                                                Tyne and Wear raise
                                                                  over 60s awareness
                                                                It takes years to build up memories - and just seconds for them to go up in
                                                                flames. That's the warning from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service in a
                                                                new campaign which aims to make people over 60 safer from fire.

                                                                Statistics from Tyne and Wear Fire and            unattended and making sure cigarettes are        and rescue service is distributing posters
                                                                Rescue Service show that you are more             safely extinguished and disposed of.             to shops, post offices, hospitals and GP
                                                                than twice as likely to be killed or injured in                                                    surgeries to highlight the campaign.
                                                                an accidental house fire if you are over 60,      Area Manager for Community Safety, John
                                                                with fires starting in the kitchen being the      Baines, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue            Special safety stickers to remind people
                                                                biggest cause of fires.                           Service, said: “Everyone has a right to be       to switch off electrical appliances are also
                                                                                                                  safe in their own home. Fire costs lives and     being distributed as part of the home safety
                                                                Called 'It takes                                  families can be devastated when a loved          check. The fire and rescue service is also
                                                                seconds', the                                     one dies or their home is destroyed. Many        working with partners like Age Concern and
                                                                new campaign                                                     of their possessions and          other support agencies to make sure that
                                                                was rolled out
                                                                                                   ...you are more               their memories cannot be          as many people over 60 receive vital life
                                                                across Tyne and Wear in              than twice as               replaced.                         saving advice.
                                                                April. The campaign was
                                                                aimed at making around            likely to be killed            Everyone is at risk of having     5 ways to keep safer from fire
                                                                12,000 people over 60 safer        or injured in an              a fire in their home but older
                                                                from fire though a range of                                      people are more vulnerable        • Get smoke alarms fitted in your home
                                                                activities, including home        accidental house               than most which is why we're        and test them weekly.
                                                                visits by community fire                                         appealing to people over 60
                                                                safety officers who will be
                                                                                                     fire if you are                     to let us help make       • Plan your escape route in the event of a
                                                                offering free home safety               over 60...                          them safer. They can     fire.
                                                                checks.                                                                     prevent tragedies
                                                                                                                                           happening by            • Switch off electrical appliances at night.
                                                                Home safety checks include providing fire                               adopting simple safety
                                                                safety advice, advising on the best escape        measures. Home safety checks are free and        • Never leave cooking unattended.
                                                                plan if a fire does break out, fitting smoke      quick to carry out. It takes our Community
                                                                alarms and providing practical suggestions        Fire Safety Officers just 20 minutes to          Ensure that you fully extinguish any
                                                                on how to ensure fire safety is part your         complete and it's time well worth spending       cigarettes and tap your ash into an ashtray,
                                                                daily routine. This includes closing doors        when you consider how quickly fire can take      never a waste basket containing other
                                                                at bedtime to reduce the spread of fire,          hold and devastate lives."                       rubbish.
                                                                ensuring electrical appliances are properly
                                                                switched off, never leaving cooking               As well as visiting people over 60, the fire


36 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                  The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 37
     Opinioncorner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Opinioncorner


    Informed Opinion On Fire Service Issues




     Juvenile Fire Setting - a dangerous                                                                                                                  for youths who have engaged in firesetting
                                                                                                                                                          at home, or because they were angry or
                                                                                                                                                          upset, to do so alone, whereas, youths
                                                                                                                                                                                                         well to the firesetting intervention and
                                                                                                                                                                                                         continued to be involved in firesetting;
                                                                                                                                                                                                         this appears to be as a result of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        need to continue to work together but fire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        safety and anti-arson work may need to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        be targeted at the primary school level


     fascination with fire                                                                                                                                who engaged in firesetting in a public
                                                                                                                                                          place or for fun, tended to do so with a
                                                                                                                                                          friend or a group of friends. Furthermore,
                                                                                                                                                                                                         chronic social and personal issues and
                                                                                                                                                                                                         unresolved frustrations. In addition, these
                                                                                                                                                                                                         youths showed a lack of any fear of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or earlier. Fire safety messages need to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        come from a range of responsible adults
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        including parents/carers and teachers.
                                                                                                                                                          those pupils who received fire safety          consequences of getting caught (e.g. no
     Post graduate researcher Donna Lovell shares her findings from a study into the reasons and                                                          advice from a parent/carer were less likely    fear of being detained in a secure unit),      Furthermore, it appears from the current
     motivations behind juvenile firesetting in the UK.                                                                                                   to set fires than those pupils who had not     thus these young people felt that being        firesetting studies that the youths that have
                                                                                                                                                          received any fire safety guidance.             detained would not deter them from being       come to the attention of the authorities
                                                                                                                                                                                                         involved in firesetting or in some cases       as engaging in firesetting behaviour have
     Just over three years ago I started on a                                                                                                             In addition to the Young People and Fire       other criminal acts.                           been doing so for some time, and are
     project about juvenile firesetting behaviour,                                                                                                        Survey, an in-depth study was conducted                                                       likely to be taking more risks than those
     which was part of a unique collaboration                                                                                                             on twelve families with one or more youths     Many of the families I interviewed had         youths who have simply not been caught.
     between Avon Fire & Rescue Service,                                                                                                                  within the family engaging in firesetting      multiple problems and their lives were very
     Great Western Research, the University of                                                                                                            behaviour, which included 17 male youths       chaotic. There were cases were firesetting     This research has been made possible
     the West of England and the University of                                                                                                            and one female. The ages of these youths       behaviour stemmed from an undiagnosed          by a number of individuals Avon Fire &
     Gloucestershire.                                                                                                                                     ranged from eight years old at the start of    developmental disorder, and other cases        Rescue Service, Great Western Research,
                                                                                                                                                          the study up to 17 years old.                  related to frustration from problems at        Dr. Rachel Gillibrand (UWE), Dr. Dianne
     The phenomenon of juvenile firesetting                                                                                                                                                              school and at home that were not getting       Catherwood (UoG) and Dr. Rachel
     is a complex behaviour that warrants                                                                                                                 While this study sample involved youths        resolved. Interventions that incorporate       Manning (UWE), University of the West
     investigation not just into the behaviour                                                                                                            and families with more complex difficulties    fire safety advice and detailing the           of England, University of Gloucestershire,
     itself but also the context that the                                                                                                                 who were involved in more serious fire-        consequences of firesetting can be very        and to the CFOA South West Young
     behaviour has occurred in. To address                                                                                                                related behaviours, it is not uncommon for     effective for many youths; however, there      Persons Steering group, as well as the
     some of the criticisms of past research                                                                                                              the fire service to work with such families.   are some youths who do not respond well        schools, families and the youths who
     and the general lack of research into                                                                                                                I worked with these families from the start    to interventions, these are often the result   participated in the studies.
     juvenile firesetting a series of studies                                                                                                             of the intervention process up to a period     of chronic social and personal issues and
     were designed which utilised a variety                                                                                                               of two years, in which I was able to record    unresolved frustrations.                       For further information or details about the
     of methods and drew on established                                                                                                                   any further firesetting behaviour during                                                      firesetting studies please contact Donna
     psychological principles, to investigate                                                                                                             this time. Preliminary findings suggest        Interventions need to be tailored according    Lovell at Donna2.lovell@uwe.ac.uk
     the underlying factors and experiences of                                                                                                            that the mothers in the sample display a       to the various factors underlying the
     young fire setters and their families in the                                                                                                         higher rate of clinical depression than in     firesetting behaviour, for example
     Avon area.                                                                                                                                           an average population, and are generally       addressing the personal motive behind
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Donna Lovell is
                                                                                                                                                          dissatisfied with life, parenting practices    the fire and responding to the contextual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             a post graduate
     In addition, a Young People and Fire            burning items like paper, grass or rubbish,       but the majority of youths first reported          are less consistent, less effective and more   nature of the firesetting behaviour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             researcher into
     survey, which involved 321 secondary            usually once or twice (experimental) and is       engaging with fire in the latter primary           punitive, and the mother/child relationship    Depending on the nature and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Juvenile Firesetting
     school pupils, was conducted in schools         often referred to in the firesetting literature   school years. Only seven of the pupils             is less positive than in similar (non-         background to the firesetting, intervention
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             behaviour. She
     in Avon, Dorset and Gloucestershire with        as fireplay.                                      surveyed (3.5%) had received a one-to-             firesetting) study samples.                    workers would need to recognise when a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             is based at The
     the aims of exploring the prevalence of fire                                                      one firesetting intervention from a fire                                                          youth or the family need further support
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             University of the West
     interest, fireplay and firesetting behaviour    Almost a quarter of youths in the survey          service, suggesting that the majority of           The youths in the sample all had problems      from outside agencies and could assist in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             of England, Bristol.
     in a general sample of adolescents. A           sample were involved in more frequent and         youths in the survey were not caught or            or issues associated with school and often     signposting onto the appropriate service.
     mixed methods approach was used                 problematic firesetting behaviour, burning a      the firesetting behaviour went unnoticed.          issues with friendships. General themes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her research has already been recognised
     throughout the research including               range of items and taking more risks. Fire                                                           across the families include problems with      Reports of the study findings together
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        at the Gore Fire Research Excellence
     questionnaires, psychological scales and        activity was more prevalent in male pupils        The main motives for engaging with fire            family relationships, frustration/anger,       with recommendations for future practice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Awards 2009 and has been presented
     measures and a longitudinal family case         than female pupils with 75% of male pupils        were reported by the pupils as boredom             inappropriate or lack of support (from         will be complete by the end of the year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to the Chief Fire Officer's Association.
     study analysis.                                 and 53% of female pupils engaging in fire         and fun, with some pupils reporting a mix          family and outside agencies), emotional,       Overall the programme of the research as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her PhD thesis was also presented at the
                                                     activity with almost a third (30%) of pupils      of reasons or being upset or angry. There          behavioural and/or developmental issues        a whole suggest that juvenile firesetting is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        British Psychological Society's Annual
     The findings from the survey found that         claiming they had set a fire in the last six      appears to be a thrill seeking element to          (youths) and environmental issues              a community problem, with the majority of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conference in Stratford-on-Avon this year.
     the majority of young people (65%) in the       months of the study date.                         firesetting for the majority of the pupils         (for example firesetting may become            youths experimenting with fire and burning
     survey engaged with fire during childhood                                                         with an emotional element to firesetting           normalised in particular neighbourhoods).      things with varying degrees of risk. Often
     and/or adolescence. This involvement may        Some pupils reported experimenting                reported by ten percent of the pupils                                                             low level fire involvement goes unnoticed
     be exploratory in nature and often involved     with fire from as young as two years old,         surveyed. There also appears to be a trend         A small number of youths did not respond       or unrecorded. Local FRS and schools


38 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                             www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                             The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 39
                                                                Toxic twins
                                                                Modern technology and the increasing use of synthetic materials has
                                                                changed the way that fire burns, making it more toxic, much hotter and with
                                                                faster flashovers.
                                                                More and more of today’s firefighters are       Rick Rochford a 26-year veteran of the        three times hotter and faster than natural
                                                                dying from exposure to toxic chemicals          Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and       materials, quick flashovers are able to
                                                                like hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and Carbon          Anthony Toro a veteran firefighter involved   increase the speed of HCN release.
                                                                Monoxide (CO). Open to firefighters             in a HCN/CO exposure case led the             Symptoms include headache, rapid and
                                                                around the world, a free Webinar                Webinar.                                      weak respirations, vomiting, excitability,
                                                                programme was hosted by specialist                                                            tachycardia, hypotension, convulsions
                                                                fire protection manufacturers Draeger           Until recently, CO poisoning was thought      and coma. Death can follow within hours,
                                                                aimed at raising awareness of the risks of      to have been the primary cause of death       even if only small amounts of cyanide have
                                                                exposure to these potentially lethal gases.     in those overcome                             been ingested.
                                                                The Webinar “Unmasking the threat of            by smoke but
                                                                HCN and CO poisoning – a firefighter’s          mounting evidence                                           Colourless, odourless and
                                                                perspective” took place in June this year       now suggests that
                                                                                                                                                     As synthetic           tasteless, CO is known
                                                                with registration via the company’s website     HCN could have been                  materials can          as the invisible killer. A
                                                                                                                directly responsible for more
                                                                                                                                                  burn up to three          fire will undoubtedly lead
                                                                The webinar was designed to be                  of those deaths.                                            to CO emission and the
                                                                educational, and covered topics such as the                                       times hotter and          health effects will depend
                                                                toxic gases that are generated by fire and,     The poisonous and often         faster than natural         very much on the level of
                                                                specifically, how different materials produce   lethal effect of HCN lies in                                exposure and the age and
                                                                HCN and CO. As well as the effects on           the release of the cyanide         materials, quick         fitness of the individual
                                                                health, it also looked at the anatomy of fire   ion. Produced by the            flashovers are able         concerned. At low levels,
                                                                smoke, focusing on the toxicitiy of these two   combustion of polyurethan                                   inhalation of CO causes
                                                                potentially lethal substances. Case studies     foams, natural fibers,
                                                                                                                                                   to increase the          flu-like effects such as
                                                                included a first-hand account of toxic gas      melamine and synthetic              speed of HCN            headache, dizziness, nausea
                                                                exposure at a Providence, Rhode Island          polymers such as those                                             and fatigue. Higher
                                                                restaurant. Delegates heard how proper          found in insulation, cushions,
                                                                                                                                                       release.                     level exposures will
                                                                use of self-contained breathing apparatus       carpets, bedding and building                                       lead to a loss of
                                                                during overhaul helped firefighters cope        materials, the symptoms of HCN poisoning                           power in the legs and
                                                                with the conditions inside.                     occur rapidly after inhalation.                                unconsciousness, with
                                                                                                                                                              high concentrations being immediately
                                                                Two experienced firefighters, Captain           As synthetic materials can burn up to         dangerous to life.


40 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                           The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 41
                                                                Fire service backs
                                                                Olympic dream
                                                                West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has come to the rescue of two talented
                                                                young fencers after their governing body withdrew funding, leaving them
                                                                with nowhere to train.
                                                                Thankfully Jamie and Rhys Melia, from              the country, is a former British Under 20    Association. He has been selected to
                                                                Kings Norton have now found an alternative         champion and was voted BBC Midlands          coach the Great Britain Under 20 and
                                                                training venue with the help of West               Young Sportsman of the Year in 2009.         Under 17 women’s epee teams and the
                                                                Midlands Fire Service.                             He recently beat an American fencer          British Paralympic Fencing team.
                                                                                                                   ranked in the top 20 in the world at a
                                                                On hearing of their plight, WMFS’ Academy,         Senior World                                 Rhys commented: “It’s going to prove
                                                                based in Dartmouth Road, Smethwick,                Cup competition                              very useful for us to have a free venue to
                                                                stepped in to offer free use of their sportshall   in Portugal but                                            train in because as full time
                                                                to allow Jamie and Rhys to continue training       without funding
                                                                                                                                                   ...we need to              athletes we need to be able
                                                                and keep them on track for their Olympic           is unable to attend            be able to train            to train everyday if we can.
                                                                dream – if not in London in 2012, then in          many more events at this                                   So a big thank you to WMFS
                                                                Rio in 2016.                                       level. He will be using his    everyday if we              for helping us out - if we
                                                                                                                   limited personal funds to                                  had to go down the route of
                                                                                                                                                   can. So a big              hiring a sports hall, then it
                                                                Group Commander Mark Taylor, from                  represent Wales at the
                                                                WMFS’ Academy, said: “When I heard about           Senior Commonwealth             thank you to               costs us money we simply
                                                                the plight of these two young athletes, it         Fencing Championships                                      don’t have.
                                                                seemed a terrible shame that they were left,       in Melbourne, Australia, in
                                                                                                                                                 WMFS for helping
                                                                through no fault of their own, with nowhere        September and October.             us out...                       Realistically, I’m
                                                                to practice. We decided to step in and help                                                                           looking to get to
                                                                them keep their dreams on track.                   Jamie, aged 22, was ranked                                         the 2016 Olympics,
                                                                                                                   7th in the UK last year but has suffered a                       although I’ve not given
                                                                Both are among the top performers in their         serious back injury which has meant he       up on the London Olympics in 2012. I
                                                                sport for their ages, and their passion for        hasn’t been able to fence competitively.     really hope I can get there, but there’s
                                                                their sport is clear to see because they’ve        He is a former British Under 20 champion     a lot of hard work to do before that will
                                                                set up their own club and work part-time           and has represented Great Britain at the     happen.”
                                                                teaching fencing to pupils in schools in           World University Games in 2009.
                                                                south Birmingham. That’s unbelievable                                                           Jamie and Rhys are third generation
                                                                dedication, and they deserve some support          While he has been injured, he has taken      fencers who are following in the footsteps
                                                                from their local community to keep their           to coaching, helping develop several         of their parents, aunts, uncles and
                                                                Olympic ambitions alive.”                          national Under-14, Under-16 and Under-       grandfather who have all fenced for Wales
                                                                                                                   18 champions in the West Midlands and        in the past.
                                                                Rhys, aged 20, is currently ranked 5th in          working with the British Disabled Fencing


42 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                              The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 43
                                                                West Yorks
                                                                   safety record
                                                                West Yorkshire FRS carried out a record 63,225 home fire safety checks in
                                                                12 months.
                                                                The county’s fire and rescue service         are preventable if people are offered timely   Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue
                                                                has now completed 333,000 visits over        advice and practical help.”                    Authority”
                                                                the past five years. “There’s no doubt
                                                                that our ambitious programme of home         Mr. Pilling added that partnership working     Statistics just released confirm that West
                                                                visits, smoke alarm installation and fire    and information sharing was now the key        Yorkshire has one of the most effective
                                                                prevention campaigns have had a radical      to further success because that was the        and efficient fire authorities in the country.
                                                                impact on our                                best way to identify and target those at       In the last financial year, efforts to crack
                                                                communities. West                            greatest risk and in greatest need.            down on unnecessary fires helped drive
                                                                Yorkshire is safer                                                                          down the total number of incidents from
                                                                now than it’s ever                 Our brigade             Councillor David Ridgway         36,667 in 2008/9 to 34,324. Calls to
                                                                been,” said Chief Fire                                     said that although traditional   fires involving people or property dipped
                                                                Officer Simon Pilling.
                                                                                                  was one of the           fire and rescue operations       to 4,384 (12.8 per cent). Malicious calls
                                                                                                    pioneers of            still accounted for the vast     which potentially distract firefighters from
                                                                “We used to see 3,040                                      bulk of the organisation’s       genuine and life threatening emergencies
                                                                fire deaths every year. In       community fire            annual budget, the growing       reduced from 1,165 to just 713.
                                                                2009/10 there were 11
                                                                                                 safety but we’ve          investment in fire safety and
                                                                accidental fire fatalities                                 community relations work         Sadly, there were 80 attacks reported
                                                                – that’s 11 too many            yet to reach many          would reach almost £12m.         against staff on duty, but yet again this
                                                                but nevertheless a huge                                    this year.                       represented a 37 per cent reduction on
                                                                difference.” Mr. Pilling
                                                                                                people who could                                            2008/9. Annual spending, per head of
                                                                said that by 2013 he was          most benefit...                       “Our brigade        population and for an authority ranked
                                                                determined that his staff                                                was one of the     as the top performer in the region by the
                                                                would have visited 450,000 homes – over                                 pioneers of         Audit Commission, was £39.52 compared
                                                                half the county total.                                                 community fire       with £43.49 in South Yorkshire and as
                                                                                                             safety but we’ve yet to reach many people      much as £54.70 in London.
                                                                Every time we fight a fire it’s a sign of    who could most benefit, including the
                                                                failure because the vast majority of fires   elderly and housebound,” explained the


44 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                           The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 45
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tania Le Marinel (on ladder) with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service officers’ (l-r) Paul
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Salters, Jeff Stephenson, Phil Waddell, Tom Richardson and Roy Lewis.
                        Fired up by
   Downing Street visit    health scheme
    for awards nominees                                                                                                                                Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service secures NHS Better Health at Work
                                                                                                                                                       Award – an initiative helping thousands of employees towards improved
                                                                                                                                                       health and fitness in the North East.
     Six members of Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service were invited to Downing
                                                                                                                                                       Employees at Tyne and Wear Fire and              given our life saving role. We already invest       encourage companies to get in better shape
     Street after being shortlisted for a Spirit of Fire award.                                                                                        Rescue Service will benefit from access to       a great deal in the health and welfare of our       as the economy emerges from recession.
                                                                                                                                                       local health support services under the new      employees so we’re delighted to participate         To support achievement of the bronze
     David Cameron was unable to host the            last four in three categories – a first for   community, especially recently.                     regional award. Specifically, the service will   in this initiative as we believe it will continue   award, the College has introduced a Fit for
     reception due to his visit to Cumbria and       Cumbria.”                                                                                         be developing a programme to help make           to raise the profile and importance of being        Life programme which includes a range
     those affected by the shootings in the west                                                   The three nominees were Cockermouth                 fire crews' work safer, healthier and happier.   an employer that contributes to the wellbeing       of initiatives for staff, including free gym
     of the county, but in his place Eric Pickles,   Mr Pickles and Mr Neill spoke at length to    Fire Station, for Station of the Year, John         This will include working with the project       of its staff.”                                      membership, healthy food options, a walking
     Secretary of State for Communities, and         members of the service praising them, not     Wall from Workington Locality for Charity           award team to review physical and mental                                                             club and after-work salsa classes.
     Bob Neill, the Fire Minister were there to      only for the charity work they do, but the    Supporter of the Year and the service was           health policies and identifying individual       Gateshead College is managing the Better
     greet all those who had been shortlisted        professionalism shown by all from Cumbria     shortlisted for Brigade of the Year.                officers to act as health advocates who will     Health at Work Award on behalf of NHS               The project co-ordination team will continue
     for the awards.                                 who have been involved with some very                                                             organise health related events and activities.   South of Tyne and is the only non-NHS               to work with nominated ‘health advocates’
                                                     difficult situations including the floods,    Although CFRS didn’t pick up any of the                                                              organisation running the scheme in the              at these organisations to identify the topical
     Despite not picking up any of the three         the Keswick school bus crash, and west        top prizes, members of the Service had the          Meanwhile the service’s senior officers at       North East. It is given to companies                issues affecting employees and ways to
     awards they were shortlisted for, Cumbria's     Cumbria shootings on Wednesday.               opportunity to meet some of the celebrities         Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will       committed to improving the workplace                improve them.
     Chief Fire Officer, Dominic Harrison, was                                                     at the event including Esther Rantzen,              be able to use the programme to benchmark        and health of their employees. Any size of
     delighted with his teams' visit to London.      At the ceremony, held at Wembley Stadium,     Ken Livingstone, Simon Weston, Charley              against others to measure workplace              organisation can participate and employers          The qualification provides an ideal way of
     He said: “I am immensely proud of the           the Cumbria contingent wore heart shaped      Boorman and Jenny Powell. However it was            health and wellbeing and the impact of           can take advantage of free guidance and             equipping key staff with basic health advice
     work that members of Cumbria Fire and           badges promoting tourism in Cumbria           Bruce Forsyth who was full of praise for            initiatives on workforces. Peter Trevithick,     support to meet the award criteria.                 and methods of support which they can
     Rescue Service (CFRS) do for the charity        and the host, BBC News' Nicholas Owen,        Cumbria and the work we do here and he              area manager for HR and Learning and                                                                 then use to inform and assist colleagues
     and their communities, and although we          also wore a badge while he praised the        said he was proud to be associated with             Development at Tyne and Wear Fire and            The NHS is piloting the Award in the                and customers.
     didn’t pick up one of the top prizes it was     members of the service for the tremendous     those dedicated to their community.                 Rescue Service said: “The health of our staff    North East to help address chronic poor
     a fantastic achievement to be down to           work they do for the charity and for the                                                          is a critical issue to our service, especially   health afflicting local workforces and to


46 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                          www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                     The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 47
                                                                The Spirit
                                                                 of Fire Awards
                                                                One of the biggest nights of the year in the firefighting calendar took place in
                                                                June. The event was attended by some of the heroes of the past year and a
                                                                number of celebrity guests (including some familiar faces from 2009).
                                                                The cream of the UK’s Fire & Rescue            the first firefighter in Europe to return to     of their communities before your own. They
                                                                Services arrived in London in June and         full duties with a prosthetic limb. He was       should be tremendously proud of their
                                                                celebrated at a special Downing Street         presented his award by comedy legends            achievements.”
                                                                Reception, before heading off to Wembley       Bruce Forsyth and Barry Cryer.
                                                                Stadium for The Spirit of Fire Awards 2010,                                                     The evening’s awards, now in their sixth
                                                                where members of the fire community were       Rebecca Williamson, sister to the late           year are funded by headline sponsors
                                                                awarded for their courageous acts at a star-   firefighter Ewan Williamson was also             Airwave Solutions, telent and E.A.D.S.
                                                                studded award ceremony.                        present to collect the award for Britain’s       Celebrities who attended the evening
                                                                                                               Bravest Firefighter on behalf of her brother     ceremony include: Faulkland’s war hero;
                                                                The annual Spirit of Fire awards is            Ewan who died whilst tackling a blaze in         Simon Weston; Sky Sport’s presenter Alex
                                                                organised by The Fire Fighters Charity and     Edinburgh back in July last year.                Payne; CiTV’s Anna Williamson; comedy
                                                                commemorates the remarkable acts of                                                             legends Barry Cryer and Bruce Forsyth; TV
                                                                bravery that have taken place within the       A special recognition award was also given       adventurer - Charley Boorman; Eastenders’
                                                                UK’s Fire & Rescue Service over the past       to representatives from the eight fire and       – Cliff Parisi; Esther Rantzen; Graham Bell;
                                                                twelve months, as well as dedication to        rescue services who formed part of the           Jacqui Hames; Jenny Powell; politician -
                                                                fundraising for The Fire Fighters Charity.     UK-International Search & Rescue Team            Ken Livingstone; Money Expert - Martin
                                                                                                               who travelled to Haiti in January performing     Lewis; Matt Brown; Mike Golding; Mickey
                                                                Fire services, individual firefighters and     a particularly lengthy and difficult             Ambrose; paralympians Sascha Kindred
                                                                some particularly brave members of the         operation, under extreme pressure, high          and Nyree Lewis; Radio 2’s Stuart Maconie;
                                                                public were awarded at the ceremony in         temperatures                                     Tom O’ Connor and Vanessa Feltz.
                                                                front of a sell out audience. The awards       and tragic
                                                                were again presented by BBC newsreader         circumstances.                                                  Every year, thousands of
                                                                Nicholas Owen, a passionate supporter of       Other categories
                                                                                                                                                  Each and every               firefighters are injured whilst
                                                                the charity and the fire and rescue service,   on the night include two              one of the                protecting the public. The
                                                                who seems to return year after year to do      awards dedicated to the                                         Fire Fighters Charity is here
                                                                an excellent job. Celebrities from the world   general public – Child Public       nominees this               for firefighters during their
                                                                of sport and entertainment also showed         Hero, sponsored by the             year are shining             times of need assisting
                                                                their support to the UK’s world class fire     Department for Education                                        thousands of individuals
                                                                service by handing out awards to the           and supported by First News          examples of                every year, by providing
                                                                winners of each category                       Children’s Newspaper and                                               pioneering treatment
                                                                                                               Adult Public Hero, supported
                                                                                                                                                      society.                         and support services.
                                                                The ceremony began with classical singer,      by Real People magazine.                                                It costs over £9 million
                                                                songwriter Camilla Kerslake entertaining                                                                              every year to keep the
                                                                the fire community audience and VIPS           Chairman for The Fire Fighters Charity,                            Charity running, and with
                                                                before those nominated for an award took       Keith MacGillivray said, “Each and every         no government funding, is completely
                                                                centre stage. The pinnacle award for the       one of the nominees this year are shining        reliant upon donations from the general
                                                                evening is the award for Firefighter of the    examples of society. They are selfless,          public and fire community.
                                                                Year which was won by Simon Hawkins –          valiant individuals who put the lives of those


48 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 49
                                                                Fire disaster
                                                                commemorated
                                                                Glasgow Cathedral was full to capacity for a service to mark the 50th
                                                                anniversary of the Cheapside Street Disaster in March.

                                                                The families of the 14 firemen and five        The Disaster was also commemorated           Glasgow Fire Service was called to
                                                                salvagemen killed when a whisky bond           by a ceremony at the Cheapside Street        Cheapside Street at quarter past seven
                                                                exploded in Glasgow were joined by             Memorial at the Necropolis overlooking       in the evening. An employee of a
                                                                survivors of the disaster, serving personnel   Glasgow Cathedral, and the unveiling of a    neighbouring business had seen smoke
                                                                of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue and civic         commemorative plaque, viewed by a large      coming from a window in a bonded
                                                                heads including the Lord Provost of            crowd at George Square in the centre of      warehouse belonging to Arbuckle, Smith
                                                                Glasgow.                                       Glasgow.                                     and Company. The building contained
                                                                                                                                                            more than a million gallons of proof whisky
                                                                The ceremony to mark the biggest loss of       Chief Officer                                              in vats and barrels and over
                                                                life in the peacetime history of the UK Fire   Sweeney gave a                         People living       31,000 gallons of rum.
                                                                Service marked the culmination of almost       moving address at the                 in Glasgow at
                                                                two years of planning by Strathclyde FRS.      Cathedral during which he                                   Firemen entered the
                                                                Preparations began in July 2008 when           described the Disaster: “To            the time still       warehouse and made a
                                                                Chief Officer Brian Sweeney hosted a           many Glaswegians born after                                 determined search for the
                                                                lunch for Cheapside veterans. Sadly, some      Cheapside Street, the disaster
                                                                                                                                                  remember where           seat of the fire - to no avail.
                                                                of those veterans had passed on by the         may seem a remote piece of           they were and          Meanwhile in Warroch
                                                                time the gathering of over 700 people          Glasgow’s history. To many of                               Street, at the rear of the
                                                                filed into the Cathedral for the memorial      you who are among us here,          what they were          warehouse, firemen had
                                                                service.                                       however, Cheapside Street is a     doing when they          spotted flames through a
                                                                                                               part of your own personal and                               barred ground floor window.
                                                                Among the veterans were James Dunlop,          family story. You may have lost        learnt of the        The firemen in Warroch
                                                                who was awarded the George Medal for           a father, a brother, an uncle or                                    Street set a ladder
                                                                his gallantry in ensuring that his colleague   a friend in that tragedy.
                                                                                                                                                        disaster                     against the window
                                                                was brought safely down from his                                                                                     and were about to
                                                                turntable ladder while whisky barrels were     People living in Glasgow at the time still                          train a hose on the
                                                                tumbling out of the bond and exploding         remember where they were and what                                flames when, at 12
                                                                in flames beside the Dunlop’s TL. Others       they were doing when they learnt of the      minutes to eight, the Cheapside Street
                                                                in the gathering included ex-fireman           disaster. They saw the impact of the         disaster took place.
                                                                Raymond Ferrari and former salvageman          disaster on their television screens or by
                                                                Joe Smith, who narrowly avoided losing         watching the flames and the glare of the     Suddenly, the 60 foot-high walls of the
                                                                their lives when they were hit by the blast    blaze in the night sky from the safety of    centre section of the warehouse blew out
                                                                from the explosion.                            their homes.                                 onto Cheapside Street and Warroch       >>


50 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                           The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 51
     Street. In Cheapside Street, Firemen
     John Allan, Gordon Chapman and George
     McIntyre were killed instantly by falling
     rubble. The Central Fire Station’s brand
     new turntable ladder was also destroyed.

     In Warroch Street the death toll was
     even higher. The collapse of the wall
     onto that street claimed the lives of Sub
     Officer James Calder, Sub Officer John
     McPherson and Firemen Christopher
     Boyle, Alexander Grassie, Edward
     McMillan, Iain Mcmillan, William Watson,
     William Crocket, Archibald Darroch, Daniel
     Davidson and Alfred Dickinson.

     The explosion was also a devastating blow
     for Glasgow Salvage Corps which lost five
     members in Warroch Street. They were
     Deputy Chief Salvage Officer Edward
     Murray, Leading Salvageman James
     Mclellan and Salvagemen Gordon Mcmillan,
     James Mungall and William Oliver.




                                                                                Support wanted for
     This death toll was the highest in the
     peacetime history of the British Fire
     Service. A tragedy that would shock the
     country and would lead to messages of
     condolence being sent by fire services




                                                                                children’s fire safety
     around the world. The scale of the event
     was not, however, confined to the number
     of people killed. Glasgow Fire Service
     was faced with a massive blaze as whisky
     barrels rolled out into the streets and
     smashed, creating rivers of burning alcohol.

     The firemen managed to contain
                                                                                Fire Services urged to participate in National Fire Safety Awareness Campaign.
     the blaze, preventing its spread to
     neighbouring bonds. They were greatly                                      The campaign is about helping to raise           annual, high profile awareness week, to        Service HQs or Watch Managers wish
     assisted by the St Mungo, the new fire                                     awareness of the dangers of fire and             provide anyone who looks after children,       to receive a specific numbers of packs
     boat which fed thousands of gallons of                                     educate children about fire safety. This         with the tools they need to educate those in   to support their activity, they can email
     water to fire engines at the scene. The fire                               year The Fire Fighters Charity and the           their care about fire safety and help drive    firesafety@firefighterscharity.org.uk.
     was brought under control at just after six                                Communities and Local Government Fire            these numbers down. This year the topic is
     in the morning. According to Firemaster                                    Kills Campaign are continuing their quest        Matches & Lighters: Tools not Toys which is    The campaign is accompanied by a fun
     Martin Chadwick this was thanks to ‘the                                    to encourage primary schools to work with        being supported by CFOA.                       and educational microsite lead by fictional
     most tenacious and resourceful response                                    their local Fire and Rescue Service during                                                      character Neenaw The Fire Engine, and
     by all ranks.”                                                             this year’s National Schools’ Fire Safety        The objective of the campaign is to teach      includes individually designed zones
                                                                                Week (4th-8th October 2010).                     children the key messages relating to the      for both adults and children. Additional
     A book, Tinderbox Heroes, which                                                                                             dangers of matches and lighters that are       teachers’ resources, games, quizzes and
     commemorates Cheapside Street and                                          Between 2007 and 2008, 16 children               easy to remember and can be passed on to       advice for parents and carers can also be
     other major post war Glasgow fires,                                        under the age of 11 were killed in fires in      friends and siblings, consecutively helping    found on this dedicated website.
     is available from Strathclyde Fire &                                       the UK, and a further 1,300 were injured         to prevent fires.
     Rescue’s Retired Employees Association,                                    in house fires. Fire statistics also show that                                                  To help further promote the event in
     Headquarters, Bothwell Road, Hamilton,                                     over 35,000 fires in 2008 were started by        The campaign is primarily aimed at Key         schools, The Fire Fighters Charity is
     ML3 0EA, priced at £12.99. The book                                        children under the age of 18, almost half of     Stage 1 children (5-7 year olds) and all       launching a national competition, in which
     is written by Alan Forbes, public affairs                                  which were caused by matches, lighters or        teachers, parents or carers wishing to         children are asked to complete the first
     manager of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue,                                      lighted candles.                                 participate in the event can request a         line of a poem, presenting their work in a
     and James Smith, a former staff officer of                                                                                  free teachers’ resource pack which will        creative format!
     Strathclyde Fire Brigade.                                                  The Fire Fighters Charity and the                include daily classroom activity worksheets,
                                                                                Communities and Local Government Fire            an event poster, homework sheet and            For more information email firesafety@
                                                                                Kills Campaign have therefore created this       guidance notes. Should Fire & Rescue           firefighterscharity.org.uk.


52 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                   www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                               The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 53
    Equipment&technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Equipment&technology


     Innovative Technology For The Fire Industry




    BOTT and primetech join forces to                                                                                                                               and from operational headquarters and
                                                                                                                                                                    command points – even in the most hostile
                                                                                                                                                                    environments.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  phones, as well as a Sky TV Dome,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  completing the fully integrated video, voice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and data response system.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             satellite communications systems and are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             designed to meet the rigorous challenges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             faced by fire crews, who are regularly


    innovate fire safety                                                                                                                                            To further support the flow of strategic
                                                                                                                                                                    and key tactical information between the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Des Tidbury, CFRS Chief Fire Officer, said:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “I am delighted we have taken delivery of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             deployed in difficult and dangerous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             conditions in remote areas. Without doubt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             these new vehicles will greatly assist our
                                                                                                                                                                    incident scene and CFRS’s headquarters,       these new hi-tech vehicles, which are a                    incident commanders to effectively manage
     Bott, a manufacturer of workplace and in-vehicle storage solutions, has joined forces with                                                                     Primetech also installed a Voice Over IP      tribute to the abilities and professionalism               emergency situations, ensuring the safety
     mobile satellite and secure wi-fi technology specialists Primetech, to develop two state-of-the-                                                               (VoIP) telephone service, which removes       of all three companies involved. The units                 of our firefighters and the public.”
                                                                                                                                                                    reliance on the availability of mobile        offer the very best cutting-edge, integrated
     art vehicles for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS).

     To enhance ground-level communications
     and improve fire-fighter safety, CFRS
     identified the need for new, 21st Century
     mobile incident command units. Once
                                                                                                                                                                    Vimpex and Ogura showcase
     a specification had been developed,
     CFRS contacted Firebuy Ltd, the national
     procurement organisation for fire and
                                                                                                                                                                    battery powered rescue tools
     rescue services, to ensure the vehicles met
     their exact requirements.                                                                                                                                      Vimpex and Ogura unveil their revolutionary range of battery powered hydraulic rescue
                                                                                                                                                                    tools at Interschutz 2010.
     As CFRS wanted to make a substantial
     investment for each vehicle, Firebuy
     recommended Bott for the fit out and                                                                                                                           Those keen to learn more about the
     conversion of the vans to the bespoke                                                                                                                          cutters were able to see the tools in
     specification and Primetech to provide                                                                                                                         action on Vimpex’s booth and also during
     the information and communications                                                                                                                             continuous live demonstrations on their
     technology. The outcome of this                                                                                                                                external stand.
     partnership is the creation of two modern,
     bespoke vehicles.                                  Above: Interior of the new state-of-the-art vehicles.                                                       The Ogura range is made up of three main
                                                                                                                                                                    tools: the HRS Modular System is a unique
     For the basis of the conversion, Firebuy           Kevin Woodward, managing director at                    also installed a remote, portable 230V              cutting, spreading and lifting system ideal
     advised Mercedes Sprinter vans were to             bott’s specialist vehicle enhancement                   6kw diesel generator. The unit can then             for use during police, military or rescue
     be used, powered by top-of-the-range 3.0-          division said: “Our original-thinking                   be set up outside the vehicle, reducing             operations. The versatility of the HRS
     litre, V6 turbo-diesel engines. The vehicles,      approach and experience of handling                     onboard noise and vibration. In addition,           system is unsurpassed and it is rapidly
     supplied by City West Commercials,                 conversions for the emergency services                  because of the way the units are designed           becoming established as a vital tool for
     based at Mercedes Benz of Truro, are               meant we were able to look beyond                       and built, updated technology can be                specialist operations.
     loaded with class-leading standard safety          providing durable in-vehicle workspace                  easily incorporated – providing a long term
     equipment, including Adaptive ESP – an             equipment and storage, but also consider                investment for CFRS.”                               The BC-300 Combi-Tool is one of a
     anti-lock braking and a traction control           additional safety features. For example,                                                                    kind and the mix of replaceable blade
     system, which constantly monitors the way          we installed an innovative key-out facility,            The vehicles include the latest in                  chips, Li-Ion battery technology, extreme
     a vehicle’s load affects its stability, adapting   which allows the vehicle ignition key to be             communications systems as Henry Walker,             portability and ease of use sets it apart
     its settings to compensate.                        removed but keeps the engine running –                  director of Primetech, explains: “We                from all others.
                                                        providing firefighters with peace of mind               worked closely with Bott to incorporate the
     The array of onboard technology and                when working in the rear of the vehicle as it           latest mobile satellite technology for when         ORC Bar Cutters meanwhile are the only
     storage solutions specified and installed          cannot be driven off.                                   mobility and rapid deployment capability            battery powered tools available able to
     into the units by Bott included weather-                                                                   are key operational requirements. The               cut through 20mm solid bar. Also on
     proof scene lighting, an innovative external       We then took our engineering solutions                  Micro-Sat is a low profile, fully automated,        display on the Vimpex/Ogura stand were
     LCD television, as well as emergency               a step further. In addition to the internal,            self seeking satellite system. It will allow        Flame Fighter Piercing Nozzles, Autobrace
     lighting, sirens and public announcement           drive train mounted generator, which                    CFRS personnel to gain internet access              Vehicle Stabilisation system and RoboLight    Above: BC-300 Battery Powered Combi-Tool with removable, low-cost blade inserts.

     equipment.                                         provides immediate on-site power, we                    and establish vital communication to                Portable Lighting.


54 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                       www.theburningissue.co.uk   www.theburningissue.co.uk                                                                                                        The Burning Issue - Issue 25 - 55
    Equipment&technology




    London Fire Brigade boosts
    anti-terror capability
     A new rapid response Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) vehicle – capable of
     tackling terror attacks and other major emergencies – hit London’s streets in June, reinforcing
     the capital’s position as one of the best protected cities in the world.

     The new vehicle is on-call in strategic
     locations 24-hours a day, ready to respond
     to chemical, biological, radiological or
     nuclear (CBRN) incidents. It contains an
     array of testing equipment ranging from
     devices similar to those used to detect
     chemical vapours in German U-boats during
     the Second World War, to brand new state of
     the art kit designed for 21st century threats.

     Its highly trained crew specialise in detecting
     and identifying any unknown and potentially
     dangerous substances including solids,
     liquids, gels, pastes, gasses, vapours and
     radioactive material. Unlike London’s two
     existing rapid response teams, which are
     part of the national resilience fleet of 18 that
     can be called to anywhere in the UK, the
     new vehicle is funded entirely by London
                                                        Above and right: The interior
     Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to           and exterior of London Fire
     meet specific demand in the capital.               Brigade's new DIM vehicle.



     “This is about providing vital extra
     emergency cover for a complex major
     city,” said London Fire Commissioner Ron
     Dobson. “Now, if London is hosting a major         used to provide cover to specific events or       teams deployed to around 900 of these.
     event that needs additional protection,            for training, without impacting on cover for
     we can provide that protection without             the rest of the city. The vehicles are crewed     The Brigade has come along way since the
     taking resources away from other areas of          by up to four trained CBRN specialists            first motorised fire engine was introduced
     the city. The world has changed and we                                                               around 100 years ago. Fire engines are the
     must anticipate all types of emergency,            Each of the vans contain protective               familiar face of the fire Brigade, but behind
     including terrorism. Having these specialist       equipment like gas tight suits and breathing      the scenes, a number of specialist vehicles
     capabilities is about allowing Londoners to        apparatus, alongside touch screen                 and crews are ready to tackle a wide range
     get on with their lives, knowing that behind       computers and a suite of equipment used to        of incidents.
     the scenes there is no complacency and             detect and identify unknown substances.
     we are prepared.”                                                                                    Teams can now detect and identify unknown
                                                        Aside from a potential role in a terror attack,   substances, use heavy lifting/cutting
     London’s rapid response CBRN capability            London’s rapid response teams also attend         equipment alongside fibre optic cameras
     will include three rapid response vehicles.        any incident involving unknown, potentially       and listening devices, and carry out line
     The new London Fire Brigade appliance will         dangerous substances. The Brigade deals           (rope) rescues and water rescue using
     allow two vehicles to be continuously ‘on the      with around 5,000 hazardous materials             inflatable boats amongst other specialist
     run’ and available, whilst the third can be        emergencies each year, with rapid response        areas of rescue.


56 - The Burning Issue - Issue 25                                                                                                  www.theburningissue.co.uk

				
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