Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 18/11/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    No real idea which thread this belongs in, but it's undoubtedly political in nature and deserves as wide an audience as possible imho. He got me anyway. Below is a post from former chief fire officer from Derbyshire fire and rescue (very good and highly respected chief) Grenfell... Who’d be a fire chief? Who’d be a firefighter? I’ve not read the Grenfell Inquiry yet. Something to look forward to next week. As a firefighter, you spend decades being told to follow procedures and training. They work, fires get put out, you get to go home safely. You are told you did a good job, you are audited and the auditors tell you that you are competent and professional. It is reaffirming and reassuring. Step outside those procedures and you fail your assessment, you are not competent. You don’t want to be there. All these procedures are written to tackle fire in buildings built to a regulated standard. The building is supposed to behave in a predictable way. Arm Chair enthusiasts would imagine that fire is not predictable. Well, you are wrong, it is a matter of scientific fact that fire develops and behaves predictably depending on the fuel, air and environment. That is why firefighters can have standard operating procedures (SOPs) that for the most part work and do the job. If fire was unpredictable you could not have an SOP. For decades building regs worked and we never suffered a Grenfell even in the 80 and 90s when there were 40% more fires than we have today. Likelihood and severity, you’ve heard these banded around. In the nineties the likelihood was massive but it seems nowadays the severity has mushroomed as whole buildings are burning down on a regular basis. If you ever drove through Salford in the 90s a single burnt-out flat was a common sight as you looked up at the high rise buildings. Like a broken tooth. A fire put out using tried and tested procedure in a building designed to contain the fire to the flat of origin. Most people in the other flats wouldn’t even know that a fire had occurred until the morning after. No common fire alarm, no mobile phones yet a successful outcome and no mass evacuation. Why? Because the buildings were not wrapped in flammable material allowing unchecked spread up the facade and ingress through windows. Because the internal separation was solid and fire-resistant, because mostly the fire doors unless vandalised worked. At this time the fire brigade was the responsible authority for fire legislation. We issued fire certificates and our word was law. Admittedly we didn’t issue certs on domestic property but such was our regulatory power in other premises the local authority building control accepted that we knew what we were about and went with our recommendation All that changed through deregulation at the end of the 90s. (The reform act of 2005 in fact). I was in fire protection at the time and I remember the old hands predicting a disaster. It was like giving the kids the keys to the sweet shop. Building owners were now (2006) responsible for the fire safety standards in the same way a manager is responsible for health and safety at work. Some do it well, some do it badly, some do what they can afford and hope it’s enough. Well, it’s not good enough and it is coming home to roost. As a chief, you expect your firefighters to follow the policy and be competent, you have the dubious pleasure of being ultimately responsible for making sure that this is the case. It is a massive responsibility, you do your best. You audit the boys and girls to death. They are sick of being assessed. But they are safe, competent and they go home at the end of the shift. Grenfell. Imagine turning up at a building where everything has gone wrong the whole fire protection system had failed and the fire is spreading through what should be concrete fire-resistant rooms and up the outside beyond your capability to reach it. You now need to tell 200 firefighters to forget everything they ever learned and do things completely outside of every procedure they have trained on. Things that could get them killed. It’s a miracle none were. Every fibre in your body is screaming to do something new and evacuate whilst every professional brain cell is saying “are you mad” if you evacuate the people in the flats with no breathing apparatus they are doomed and it will be seen to have been your call. Evacuating a burning building means taking people from what you understand to be a place of relative safety (or at least it should be if built right) and asking them to enter smoke-filled corridors and stairs knowing some won’t make it. We are talking about people of all ages and abilities here. Your mum, your grandad, your kids. What would you do? How brave are you now sitting in your armchair with the daily mail sword drawn about to slay the guilty? Making life and death decisions outside of policy because a building had been let slide as a result of a succession of systematic governmental failure, safe in the knowledge that if you lose one firefighter or members of the public are found in stairwells dead you will be squarely in the frame of “going outside of procedure”. Not so easy is it. It is no surprise that candidates for chief fire officers jobs total one or two per position when advertised these days. I stand with Dany Cotton and I stand with London Fire Brigade. I look forward to part two of the report that looks at root cause including building regs and I sincerely hope the author does his job properly. I hope everyone understands that firefighters turn up when everyone else’s risk assessment had gone wrong and are tasked with sorting out the mess. We are not chefs, a missed instruction does not result in a ruined dish. We have to take what ingredients we have been given and bake a cake on the hoof whilst the kitchen is on fire and then have some armchair baker who may have watched his mum make a jam tart once tell us how well we have done. Don’t get me started on sprinklers. I’ve been vocal, been on the telly, been sat in front of ministers with hard evidence to prove the case and been fobbed off. Politics is at the root of Grenfell, I doubt any politician will be vilified in the way firefighters and chiefs have this week Who’d be a chief? Who’d be a firefighter now?
  2. 3 points
    Maybe just needs a shower to rejuvenate and bring himself back to life?
  3. 3 points
    Bit surprising there are no photos - if I'd had a party for one of my daughter's 13th birthdays and Prince Andrew had turned up I can think of a few family members who would have had their cameras out. Surely he isn't all shy at birthday parties but happy to have his photo taken with 17 year old girls before he shags them against their wishes?
  4. 2 points
    So where's Ghislaine Maxwell? Accidentally fell off a boat, maybe?
  5. 1 point
    I just found out that "french barrel guy" who wanted to cross the Atlantic in a barrel, and who was a late 2018 suggestion by me, actually made it: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/barrel-atlantic-crossing-arrival-scli-intl/index.html Jean-Jacques Savin was the name.
  6. 1 point
    I've been wondering that - she's likely got the kind of friends who can help her hide out and stay away from the media. But she's also got information US law enforcement would like. It'll get interesting
  7. 1 point
    Clark Gable went away with the wind on this day 59 years ago, aged 59.
  8. 1 point
    ‘My mother has told the company “absolutely not” because she doesn’t drink gin and certainly would not put her name to anything alcoholic,’ says Dame Vera’s daughter, Virginia Lewis-Jones.
  9. 1 point
    Stan Lee made his last cameo one year ago today aged 95
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    A 93 years old lesbian Hawaiian princess? Yes, that`s what mascots are made of!
  12. 1 point
    Beer isn't alcohol, it's almost 100 % water
  13. 1 point
    End of the movie for Marcia Strassman on this day 5 years ago, aged 66.
  14. 1 point
    Great speech at the UN. Glad to see communism and socialism called out as the nation wreckers they are on the big stage.
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    Is it the same reason why your avatar is a shirtless man?
  17. 1 point
    Washington Post reporting that Audrey Geisel, widow of Dr Seuss, is dead at 97. As I'm having issues with the site presently, can't post a link.
  18. 1 point
    Sir Walter Winterbottom's widow the Lady Ann, dead at 95: http://announcements.telegraph.co.uk/deaths/228167/lady-ann-winterbottom
  19. 1 point
    Death Notice for Betty Shackleton (nee Homan) aged 104, widow of the late Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton: http://announcements.telegraph.co.uk/deaths/225805/shackleton
  • Newsletter

    Want to keep up to date with all our latest news and information?

    Sign Up

Important Information

Your use of this forum is subject to our Terms of Use