Twonston Pickle said:Having come round (a little) to what the firefighters have being trying to tell us, I do feel a slight bit sceptical and have to agree with Plumber when he requested more evidence of the "cuts". Can anyone provide us with stats, risk assessments, impact statements that support your position. I hope someone has done them because surely you would have solid evidence to support your claim (Fire appliances can be made ready for use and launched on the public in 48 seconds etc etc).
More importantly, you seem to be fighting for the platinum solution that has as many firefighters and appliances as possible. Maybe the Government is accepting the "cuts" as a risk (risk management) rather than spending pot-loads of cash just in case (risk aversion). We have already suffered the same thought processes and will have to make do. I even recognise that the Government has a point that Defence is not up there with the NHS in the "Cash Cow" stakes.
Please, please stop bleating about the difficult shifts to us servicemen; try 6 months in a hostile country working 16 hrs a day, 7 days a week then being unable to take all your post-detachment leave because your unit is needed in another hostile country/fire strike/ambulance strike etc. Not a bleat on my part, just a counter-point to yours.
You want evidence? Ok. I'm a London bod. We closed Manchester square fire station in the summer. We also lost 10 machines from inner London stations, despite the primary target for terrorists is central London. London MP frank Dobson said that the cuts were "madness" and should be stopped after the 7/7 attacks. Earlier in the year we were rewarded with slashing our sickness levels by a reduction in establishment at 2 pump stations by one per watch. That's one less firefighter attending each incident. this really affects what "first strike" appliances can achieve in the first crucial moments of an incident (weight of attack). In Hertfordshire, a small county brigade they are proposing the closure of 3 stations. A major risk assessment was a government funded study over 3 years called pathfinder, it cost £3m. Its recommendation was basically to increase the provision of UK fire cover by 100%, the study was shelved.
the 48 second launch time you talk of is called turn out time, its the time between a call arriving at station and the appliances leaving the station, its not always the same for each station but its never less than 90 seconds.
We've been suffering cuts, as you have for years. When I got to my station there were 5 machines, now we have 2. We're not looking for extra engines, though this would be nice, we're trying to stop yet more decimation.
We as a fire service are not at war, so why should we accept war like shifts as a permanent fixture?