The ArgusSussex fire chief made series of mistakes with lifesaving equipment while strike-breaking, union claims (From The Argus)

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Sussex fire chief made series of mistakes with lifesaving equipment while strike-breaking, union claims

The Argus: Sussex fire chief made series of mistakes with lifesaving equipment while strike-breaking, union claims Sussex fire chief made series of mistakes with lifesaving equipment while strike-breaking, union claims

A fire chief dealing with a serious bus fire during a firefighters' strike was using lifesaving equipment incorrectly, according to union officials.

Firefighter union chiefs say they have “grave concerns” about the level of training given to stand-by staff who will be protecting the public when full-time firefighters are on strike.

They say chief fire officer Des Prichard made seven mistakes with firefighting kit while tackling a fire which engulfed a Sussex Bus on the A23 near Pyecombe during last month's four hour strike.

 

Contingency plan worked OK today @EastSussexFRS hope DCLG & FBU can resolve last call received 15.59 to bus fire A23 pic.twitter.com/1LTZVo6HPE

— Des Prichard (@Des_Prichard) September 25, 2013

The fire service denied the claims and said that contingency crews were well-trained and not being put at risk.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union went on strike over a pensions' dispute with the Government for four hours on September 25 and have announced a further five hour strike starting on 6.30pm on Saturday.

Union leaders said that contingency crews include some officers who have not been serving on the frontline for years and who have received just one day of training on breathing equipment.

Firefighters are obliged to have three days of this training every two years.

Union officials claim a picture tweeted by fire chief Des Prichard, who was paid a salary of £151,858 in 2012/13, at the scene of a bus fire shows him wearing his helmet incorrectly, an air valve upside down and with the wrong gloves on among seven equipment errors.

They claim the lack of training could be putting contingency staff and the public in danger and have raised their concerns with the Health and Safety Executive.

East Sussex FBU secretary Mark Brown said: “We are extremely concerned that resilience crews have not been suitably trained or assessed in the wearing of breathing apparatus. This needs rectifying immediately.”

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “We strongly refute any claims we are putting contingency crews at risk during ongoing strikes by members of the Fire Brigades Union.

“We invest £2 million every year in training and our contingency crews are made of experienced operational staff including retained firefighters and officers who are not members of the FBU.

“All operational staff have to regularly update their training and qualifications and we have also carried out additional refresher training ahead of the industrial action by the FBU to be assured that our contingency crews are competent and well prepared.”

Comments (8)

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8:28am Thu 17 Oct 13

Charlie Oscar says...

lima zero one ten one, kd to standby
lima zero one ten one, kd to standby Charlie Oscar
  • Score: -6

12:12pm Thu 17 Oct 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

So this man who doesn't know how to do the job properly is in charge and is paid far too much - how is this allowed to happen and why hasn't he been sacked for this incompetence?
So this man who doesn't know how to do the job properly is in charge and is paid far too much - how is this allowed to happen and why hasn't he been sacked for this incompetence? getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 4

1:41pm Thu 17 Oct 13

RottingdeanRant says...

Did they put the fire out? Did anyone get hurt? I think the answers are yes, no. So this appears to be simple nit picking by the people that should have been doing the job. Get back to work or leave and let someone else have a job.
Did they put the fire out? Did anyone get hurt? I think the answers are yes, no. So this appears to be simple nit picking by the people that should have been doing the job. Get back to work or leave and let someone else have a job. RottingdeanRant
  • Score: -8

3:06pm Thu 17 Oct 13

monkeymoo says...

RottingdeanRant wrote:
Did they put the fire out? Did anyone get hurt? I think the answers are yes, no. So this appears to be simple nit picking by the people that should have been doing the job. Get back to work or leave and let someone else have a job.
I'm glad there are idiots like you about.
It means there will always be work for the Fire & Rescue service!
[quote][p][bold]RottingdeanRant[/bold] wrote: Did they put the fire out? Did anyone get hurt? I think the answers are yes, no. So this appears to be simple nit picking by the people that should have been doing the job. Get back to work or leave and let someone else have a job.[/p][/quote]I'm glad there are idiots like you about. It means there will always be work for the Fire & Rescue service! monkeymoo
  • Score: 8

5:09pm Thu 17 Oct 13

angrymonkey says...

getting a bit silly moaning about that yes he got rtc gloves on which are lot easier to use just not take the heat as much but was not going into the bus till knocked fire down valve just turned a bit might be where pulling the 45mm hose about and I seen a lot of full times do a lot worse in past. I do feel for fire-fighter and pension changes but bit sad moaning about silly little things at a bus fire am sure west Sussex RDS where they within a few mins of him fighting this fire so had fully trained fire-fighters there.
getting a bit silly moaning about that yes he got rtc gloves on which are lot easier to use just not take the heat as much but was not going into the bus till knocked fire down valve just turned a bit might be where pulling the 45mm hose about and I seen a lot of full times do a lot worse in past. I do feel for fire-fighter and pension changes but bit sad moaning about silly little things at a bus fire am sure west Sussex RDS where they within a few mins of him fighting this fire so had fully trained fire-fighters there. angrymonkey
  • Score: -5

8:56pm Thu 17 Oct 13

monkeymoo says...

angrymonkey wrote:
getting a bit silly moaning about that yes he got rtc gloves on which are lot easier to use just not take the heat as much but was not going into the bus till knocked fire down valve just turned a bit might be where pulling the 45mm hose about and I seen a lot of full times do a lot worse in past. I do feel for fire-fighter and pension changes but bit sad moaning about silly little things at a bus fire am sure west Sussex RDS where they within a few mins of him fighting this fire so had fully trained fire-fighters there.
Silly little things?

OK..for the uneducated:

1. BA set is not fitted correctly to back.
2. Fire hood is not correctly worn over the seal of the face mask.
3. Helmet is not fitted correctly.
4. Demand valve is not in correct position.
5. Face mask neck strap is not INSIDE the fire hood (braking the seal).
6. Wrong type of gloves worn.
7. Neck strap of his tunic (jacket) not done up.

These are things that WILL cause injury / death to a fire fighter if entering a building on fire. Resulting in ZERO casualties rescued.

If the BASICS cant be mastered at a bus fire, how can they be expected to be implemented at a larger incident?

If you have seen other people do the same, then they need to be taken off the run and put on refresher courses until they are SAFE.
Not the other way round!

About the point you make of 'in a few minutes fully trained fire fighters would be there':
2 things........
1. How long exactly do you think he would have survived if the fuel tank ruptured around him?
Answer: 5 seconds, dressed like that!
2. Surely HE should be fully trained...if HE is expected to carry out the job of saving lives!

Thank you for your contribution...but it seems...
...it's worthless.

Another PONTI (person of no tactical importance) not really understanding anything, and trying to make a point....Badly!
[quote][p][bold]angrymonkey[/bold] wrote: getting a bit silly moaning about that yes he got rtc gloves on which are lot easier to use just not take the heat as much but was not going into the bus till knocked fire down valve just turned a bit might be where pulling the 45mm hose about and I seen a lot of full times do a lot worse in past. I do feel for fire-fighter and pension changes but bit sad moaning about silly little things at a bus fire am sure west Sussex RDS where they within a few mins of him fighting this fire so had fully trained fire-fighters there.[/p][/quote]Silly little things? OK..for the uneducated: 1. BA set is not fitted correctly to back. 2. Fire hood is not correctly worn over the seal of the face mask. 3. Helmet is not fitted correctly. 4. Demand valve is not in correct position. 5. Face mask neck strap is not INSIDE the fire hood (braking the seal). 6. Wrong type of gloves worn. 7. Neck strap of his tunic (jacket) not done up. These are things that WILL cause injury / death to a fire fighter if entering a building on fire. Resulting in ZERO casualties rescued. If the BASICS cant be mastered at a bus fire, how can they be expected to be implemented at a larger incident? If you have seen other people do the same, then they need to be taken off the run and put on refresher courses until they are SAFE. Not the other way round! About the point you make of 'in a few minutes fully trained fire fighters would be there': 2 things........ 1. How long exactly do you think he would have survived if the fuel tank ruptured around him? Answer: 5 seconds, dressed like that! 2. Surely HE should be fully trained...if HE is expected to carry out the job of saving lives! Thank you for your contribution...but it seems... ...it's worthless. Another PONTI (person of no tactical importance) not really understanding anything, and trying to make a point....Badly! monkeymoo
  • Score: 6

9:24pm Thu 17 Oct 13

angrymonkey says...

well after 10 years in the job yes he has made some little mistakes but that is over kill putting it in the paper. Should i put down every little mistake I seen in a paper for full times .As for the fuel tank rupturing its not the moves I never seen one blow up maybe fail and get a running fuel fire but you would not have a fire ball some services or JOs in Sussex don't even use BA at car fires so shows not a big risk really. Feel free to work to get your pension am sure better things the paper can cover over a strap not in fully at a bus fire .
well after 10 years in the job yes he has made some little mistakes but that is over kill putting it in the paper. Should i put down every little mistake I seen in a paper for full times .As for the fuel tank rupturing its not the moves I never seen one blow up maybe fail and get a running fuel fire but you would not have a fire ball some services or JOs in Sussex don't even use BA at car fires so shows not a big risk really. Feel free to work to get your pension am sure better things the paper can cover over a strap not in fully at a bus fire . angrymonkey
  • Score: -5

9:56pm Thu 17 Oct 13

JameSHistory says...

This type of pedantic story making by the local FBU is disgraceful. How can you feel you have the right to critique the chief who has had to step in to protect the public when you have walked away? You lose that right by taking strike action, which of course is your right but keep your dispute national. This type of behaviour does you and your reputation no credit. This incident could have been dealt with without BA and therefore any of your pedantic points are silly at best.
This type of pedantic story making by the local FBU is disgraceful. How can you feel you have the right to critique the chief who has had to step in to protect the public when you have walked away? You lose that right by taking strike action, which of course is your right but keep your dispute national. This type of behaviour does you and your reputation no credit. This incident could have been dealt with without BA and therefore any of your pedantic points are silly at best. JameSHistory
  • Score: -1

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