Monday, 20 August 2007

The Fire Brigade - No longer fit for purpose

Too Late the Ladder now boys

I had to think carefully about writing this one. You see, two friends of mine were firemen, who died together entering a burning building searching for a child they believed to still be within. I remain close friends with one of the widows and she still grieves the loss of her husband. But the truth must out.

But the fire that destroyed the Penhallow Hotel, Newquay revealed an ineptness on the part of the Senior Officers of the Fire Service that should worry us all.

It seems that because two aerial hydraulic platforms belonging to the local brigade were undergoing repair when the tragedy struck, fire fighters had to wait for over 90 minutes whilst another ladder was brought from Plymouth.

Because of this delay lives were lost and people today are having their hearts ripped out because some Senior Officer could not be bothered to arrange to "borrow" a ladder for the duration of the repair of the local ladders.

By the time the back-up machine arrived, a man in his 40s from the Midlands, believed to have been on holiday with his elderly mother, had jumped 50ft to his death from a second-floor window, hitting his head on railings below as he tried to escape.

The fact that Newquay fire station is only manned by part-time firemen during certain hours, was also a contributing factor to the number of deaths. It was only the heroic actions of civilian rescuers that prevented the death toll being higher.

There were lots of police there, but no fire crews yet, so we knew we had to do something ourselves.

'I ran up the wooden fire escape on the side of the building up to the fourth floor. When I got there one door had collapsed, but I kicked the second door until it opened.

'I ran to a third door on the landing but it was already on fire. I called to my son Lee to go and get our long ladder from the back and I went back out on to the fire escape to get to my hotel to find a hammer.

'Then I heard a horrible noise, a loud dull sound, which must have been the body of this man landing. When we got back outside the police told us we would not be allowed to enter and they would use force to stop us.

And the heroic police do what they always do now. Nothing. In fact worse then nothing. They prevented others doing what they should have done. Live with your shame lads.

With regards to what passes for a police service (we no longer have a real police force) you might like to check this article out. It truly is excellent, if depressing reading.

You might like also to check out previous posts on this blog about the Fire service and the Police Service. I see also that John Of Gwent also has something to say about John Prescott's part in this tragedy. Read it here.

You want a Council that cares about your safety. You want a Fire Brigade that is properly equipped and led by men. You want a Police Force and not children on skateboards and cardboard cutouts. You want the British National Party. Vote BNP and they will give you what you need and what you rightly deserve.

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