Fire brigade resources

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  • Fire brigade resources
  • footflaps
    Member

    We had a shop catch fire near us last night, Edwardian 3 storey terrace house gutted.

    What I can’t quite get is the resources to fight a single small building fire..

    More than 90 firefighters have been in attendance at the incident overnight. Crews from Cambridge, Cottenham, Ely, Burwell, Linton, Papworth, St Neots, March, Huntingdon, St Ives, Saffron Walden, Wickhambrook, Bury St Edmunds, and Newmarket have been in attendance.

    https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/residents-evacuated-after-blaze-spreads-from-mill-road-shop-to-flats-above-9076572/

    That’s basically most of East Anglia called in…

    The fire is on the same road as the local main fire station, so easy access and about 30 seconds away by fire engine…

    God knows what would happen if two fires occured at the same time in the region.

    Does seem like we might be a little under resourced….

    Premier Icon bigginge
    Subscriber

    I can’t believe that shop has gone now; kind of wish I’d actually gone inside at some point and had a better look at all the “history” in there.

    footflaps
    Member

    I used to go there all the time in the 80s, when it was thriving. It’s not had anything done to it since the 60s, was a real tip inside with floor to ceiling stack of cardboard boxes and crap in it. Owners were a bit eccentric to say the least. Oldest shop in Mill Road under continuous ownership (or was).

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    More than 90 firefighters have been in attendance at the incident overnight. Crews from Cambridge, Cottenham, Ely, Burwell, Linton, Papworth, St Neots, March, Huntingdon, St Ives, Saffron Walden, Wickhambrook, Bury St Edmunds, and Newmarket have been in attendance.

    Not all at the same time I’d guess. Relief crews to rotate staff and allow to get breaks and decontaminate fire gear.

    Cant comment on that incident but in our brigade we have to send more pumps as we have less people on them now. we used to ride 11 on our 2 pumps now its 8, so they need more pumps but we now have less pumps and less stations due to cuts. So they get dragged from further afield reducing cover further. Two decent jobs and we are knackered. And we are one of the big ones

    You’ll probably find that they rotated crews during the often lengthy period of damping down. Can’t have fire crews being late for their second jobs/window cleaning rounds…

    (Standby for triggered water fairies…)

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Can’t have fire crews being late for their second jobs/window cleaning rounds

    Aye that’s right.

    Always one jealous person
    almost 0% pay rises for almost 10yrs.
    2010 – 0%, 2011 – 0%, 2012 – 1% (not CPD), 2013 – 1%, 2014 – 1%, 2015 – 1%, 2016 – 1%, 2017 – 1 %, 2018 – 2%, 2019 – ?
    https://www.rateinflation.com/inflation-rate/uk-historical-inflation-rate?start-year=2010&end-year=2019

    I pay tax & NI on any secondary employment so what’s the issue?

    almost 0% pay rises for almost 10yrs.
    2010 – 0%, 2011 – 0%, 2012 – 1% (not CPD), 2013 – 1%, 2014 – 1%, 2015 – 1%, 2016 – 1%, 2017 – 1 %, 2018 – 2%, 2019

    That is still better than a lot of other public sector. And we don’t get to spend as much time watching snooker or sleeping in beds over night 😉

    tjagain
    Member

    (Standby for triggered water fairies…)

    🙂 Water faeries – I love it.

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    you forgot the washing of cars.

    Its a career choice open to all, if you’re not good enough don’t show your green face with your posts 🙂

    I’ve got 235 days to go if you feel like applying for my job

    footflaps
    Member

    Not all at the same time I’d guess. Relief crews to rotate staff and allow to get breaks and decontaminate fire gear.

    Still seems a hell of a lot of fire rigs for what is basically a small terraced house fire…

    Wow, that was far too easy. You’d think with all that time water fairies spend sat about waiting to do some work they’d have ample opportunity to develop a sense of humour.

    😉

    As for poor pay rises, I’m a doctor helper/backside wiper/Critical Care nurse, so I know all about that.

    Most incident commanders will make up for additional resources and tend to err on the side of caution and ask for more than they might need. Better to scale back than have to keep scaling up because you didn’t get enough resources to deal with it at the start…

    As it was an old terraced building they were probably concerned the fire would spread to buildings next door. Not as many regulations on fire breaks in terraced houses back in the edwardian times, some old buildings don’t even have walls between attics in terraced houses.

    You’re right though it does leave the rest of the area thin on the ground for fire cover, they will bring pumps in from further afield to be on standby in areas that need cover though.

    sootyandjim

    Member
    Wow, that was far too easy. You’d think with all that time water fairies spend sat about waiting to do some work they’d have ample opportunity to develop a sense of humour.

    If you look at the list of stations that responded you will see that most of them were retained(part-time) so they have other full time jobs and respond to incidents as and when required. They also respond from home/work 24 hours a day 7 days a week so not much waiting around then is there……..Get your facts right before you start criticising.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    franksinatra

    Member

    That is still better than a lot of other public sector

    Speaking as a public sector worker who does something worthwhile, but that doesn’t ever pull people out of burning buildings, I’d say it’s a pretty meaningless comparison. Not to mention just falling for divide and conquer. Firemen don’t have much to do with setting my salary.

    qwerty
    Member

    You can squabble & fight amongst yourselves all you like, but it’s the same story all round all the public sector, do more / with less & just get it done!!! Public sector staff have been shafted by pay caps & the customers have been shafted by a reduced service. Get used to it cos it ain’t gonna change anytime soon.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    As Bruneep says it’ll be rotation but yes they’ve also been cut right back.

    footflaps
    Member

    Out of curiosity, how long would a firefighter work on a blaze before being rotated off?

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    Too many factors to give set answer, as an IC I’d look at tasks crews have been involved in the nature of the incident if crews have been wearing BA what the conditions were like whilst wearing BA hot and humid, comfort wear, any rescues performed any fatalities etc how contaminated their fire gear is, when did crews last have a break (may have been deployed from a previous incident) Is it set to be a protracted incident, might return to stn for a freshen up and return a couple of hrs later, this is where the 90 ff’s can come into play if a crew of 5 return after leaving they are counted twice. Senior Officers will also need reliefs as well if its an intense/stressful incident it can be draining mentally for all in attendance.

    As always you’ll never get the balance right the moaners who want to leave as soon as they arrive and the guys who want to see it through right to the end. Its all about managing the health and welfare of the staff. As an IC I have a legal duty to ensure they are looked after despite what STW say.

    Depends on incidents house and buildings are different but at big jobs not in breathing apparatus we used to do 4 hour rotations then they supplied us with a portaloo at big incidents and we can stay the full shift of 13 hours as we have bottled water and energy bars as well as a loo but they try to limit it to 8 where possible but with less pumps Unfortunately our problem now comes when getting relived after shift ends as the on coming shift dont have a fire engine to come out in so we were out til 3 hours after shift ended last summer at times while they sorted that so that was some long hot days, now we have a van on station for that but it takes 2 trips for both pumps as they got a 5 seat rather than 8 as it was cheaper and last year we were out Manchester way in the moors from leeds so it wasnt great

    Going back to resources………..It does seem that they mobilise far more appliances to an incident than they did in the past. We used to send 1 Rescue Pump to an RTC and a Rescue Tender from a whole time station 20 miles away but now you seem to get 3 pumps/rescue to everything. Even small fire incidents that used to have a 2 pummp PDA get several more nowadays. And we only rode a maximum of 6 riders and a minimum of 4 (or even 3 at times). Recruiting sufficient fire fighters at retained stations is the biggest reason that the nearest appliance is not available or they go out with only 3 or 4 riders not government cut-backs.

    Well that last point could be argued somewhat as a number of our whole time stations are now retained and the ones they couldn’t staff are day crewed (in fact some of the ones that were retained are now day crewed due to personnel) and some have been changed to close call, this is in direct response to cutbacks In funding and it also has a link to turn outs as on a night our area grows massively due to bordering stations being day manned so it takes us longer to get to places than it would had they been on station in the day

    footflaps
    Member

    Just been to have a look, place is totally gutted and roofs to either side are badly damaged for several metres, I guess the walls only went up to the floor joists, not the rafters.

    Firestarter……….Are the day manned stations not on alerters out of hours then?

    Yes but in practice they are rarely called we say its as they have to pay them turn out fees and they send us instead. This was we were told not going to be the case but in the last 3 years it’s what is happening. Argument is if they add their turn in and turn out time on we can get there as fast from our station.

    easily
    Member

    @ Firefighters

    Some of us appreciate what you do. Thank you.

    Premier Icon sadexpunk
    Subscriber

    also bear in mind that included in that 90 will most likely be a command support unit, a welfare unit, numerous officers arriving in cars for command purposes, audit officers, possibly fire investigation officers later….. soon mounts up.

    mooman
    Member

    The fire service has changed lots, and so has the majority of the publics view towards them too.
    Of course they are invaluable when they are needed – and thankfully they are not needed that often. And as such, nowadays the stereotype is that they are sleeping all shift and retiring early on generous pensions … and like teachers – complain how bad their job is when others see it as a cushy number.

    I think it is inevitable the fire service will have to change and be seen as paying fire fighters to actually be working during their shift. Hasn`t there been discussions about merging them to cover ambulance/paramedic crews too?

    footflaps
    Member

    The fire service has changed lots, and so has the majority of the publics view towards them too.

    This is the Tories ‘race to the bottom’ strategy for public services. Sadly, judging by posts on this thread, it has been very effective in convincing people it’s all the idle workers fault.

    It has changed already mooman it’s just the same old crap that gets spouted as it always has

    andyecc
    Member

    Most public servants do jobs which aren’t fully understood by the general public – I don’t think most people fully understand what I do as a hospital doctor.
    I know that I don’t fully understand what happens during a fire fighter’s shift but if you promise to turn up and pull me out of a wrecked car or burning house you’re welcome to the easy life whenever you’re not on a call. Even though I’m sure it’s really not that easy nowadays.

    cranberry
    Member

    We had a fire here this morning, and to a layman it seemed like the response was a touch over the top – major incident declared, fire engines and personnel brought from all surrounding areas. To a distinct layman, it looked like they all wanted to be involved because fires don’t happen that often.

    I have to say that they’ve been very efficient, the terrace of commnerical properties have all been pulled down by the end of the day.

    Premier Icon budgierider67
    Subscriber

    Out of curiosity, how long would a firefighter work on a blaze before being rotated off?

    I was out at a property fire for six hours the other night, which included a BA wear, and then there were the incidents before that one. I was wiped out the following day. Gonna miss it when I finish (before bruneep!) though.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    The fire service has changed lots, and so has the majority of the publics view towards them too.

    Cite.

    footflaps
    Member

    Again, out of idle curiosity, what defines a ‘major’ incident as opposed to a ‘minor’ one?

    And as such, nowadays the stereotype is that they are sleeping all shift and retiring early on generous pensions … and like teachers – complain how bad their job is when others see it as a cushy number.

    Don’t be silly, No other profession moans as much as teachers do!

    Don’t be silly, No other profession moans as much as teachers do!

    Na, going by the amount of moaning on here, generally about teachers, fireman etc, IT types take the biscuit in the moaning stakes.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Its a sad state of affairs that the people who do some of the most valuable work in society are often poorly paid.

    Nobody becomes a nurse, teacher, firefighter, paramedic, social worker or polis for the money. But when you ask there is always a reason they are lower paid. Teachers, well they get loads of holidays; Firefighters are all plumbers in their spare time; Nurses, err… its a “calling” apparently.

    Then they get separate pay deals which has them pointing fingers at each other.

    Its divide and rule bollocks and it is working hand in hand with the desire to asset strip and run down every public service possible so it can be privatised for the enrichment of a bunch of grey suited chinless bastards who would struggle to put up a shelf never mind pull you out of a burning building.

    Yours an overpaid IT monkey

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    mooman

    Member

    and like teachers – complain how bad their job is when others see it as a cushy number.

    When you’re given a choice between listening to the people who do the job, and the people who have no idea what the job’s actually like, I reckon you should listen to the people who have a clue personally

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