Remembering our fallen | Firefighters 100 Lottery

The Firefighters 100 Lottery is helping to fund memorials to firefighters who have died in the line of duty. But this really important work can only continue if people support our lottery. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up today and share our video ↓↓ with your friends and family.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

UNION CONDEMNS POLICE COMMISSIONER TAKEOVER OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE FIRE SERVICE

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has condemned the decision to allow Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Stephen Mold to takeover the county’s fire and rescue service.

Announced by the Home Office this week it means the county council fire authority, which is made up of 57 councillors, will now be disbanded. The union says that transferring the governance in this way is a threat to the independence and neutrality of the fire service. There are also fears that fire service budgets could be raided in order to fund other projects headed by the commissioner. His title is set to become Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC).

Ben Selby, regional secretary of the FBU in the East Midlands, said:

“Many of the arguments in favour of PPC takeover of the fire service focus on “efficiency savings”. This is not how we should decide on how our life-saving emergency services are run. The priorities become skewed. There are other, more democratic and devolved models of governance on the table, rather than the tired PCC model. This model will end the independence that firefighters consider vital in order to carry out their jobs. This includes the ability to engage with local communities and gain access to people’s homes. It is widely understood, including among senior police officers, that the roles of the two services are completely different and that the ability of the fire and rescue service to engage with local communities in new ways, over the past decade, has largely been due to public awareness of this difference.”

In the last few weeks, the Home Office has also announced plans for PCCs to take over fire services in Cambridgeshire, Staffordshire and West Mercia. Essex Fire and Rescue was taken over by the PCC there in October 2017.

Posted in Fire Cuts

MAYORAL POWERGRAB OF FIRE SERVICE COULD SPELL DISASTER, WARNS UNION

No public mandate exists for the West Midlands Fire Service to be taken over by the Mayor according to the results of a public consultation, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said. The consultation saw just 1163 people respond out of a population of 2.8 million people within the West Midlands.

 

The union has also warned that if the plans are given the go-ahead then the powers of the proposed fire advisory committee need to be extended in order to provide credible oversight and

accountability of Mayor Andy Street’s leadership of the emergency service. Currently, the FBU says the committee is toothless and lacks powers of intervention.

 

The 15 member advisory panel is made up of councillors plus one representative each from the Police, Ambulance and Health service. It means no one with any meaningful knowledge of the fire and rescue service will sit on the panel that the union believes does not have the power to properly scrutinise policy.

 

Pete Goulden, from the FBU in the West Midlands, said:

“The advisory committee is all gum, no teeth. It will have no powers to intervene or challenge the Mayor, service employees will not be represented and there will be a dangerous lack of knowledge of even the basics of firefighting. This could be a disastrous change of governance and has nowhere near enough public support for the changes to be made. There is the potential for every member of the committee to strongly disagree with the Mayor but with no actual power to do anything.

 

“Decisions affecting West Midlands firefighters will be made by those with no experience of firefighting. Our profession is a dangerous one; firefighters deal with life and death issues every day. It is essential people who understand our work sit on the panel and it needs to have greater oversight powers of the Mayor if it is not to be a total disaster. This proposal needs to go back to the drawing board and thought about again.”

Posted in Fire Cuts

HISTORICAL WEBSITE CHRONICLING HISTORY OF THE FIRE SERVICE AND ITS UNION GOES LIVE

A new website examining 100 years of fire service history has been launched today (9 April) as part of plans to mark the centenary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Visitors to the site will be able to explore the ways in which the union has contributed to the safety of both the public and firefighters through campaigns to introduce fire safety legislation and develop more effective firefighting equipment.

A historical timeline highlights major events in the FBU’s history as well as the union’s response to some of the most devastating fires in the UK, including the Rose & Crown hotel fire that led to the deaths of 11 guests in 1969. The FBU campaigned for the development of the legislation that still shapes fire safety regulation across all hotels today.

A series of long-form features explore periods of the union’s history in depth such as the development of the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War that resulted in a huge membership growth for the union – from 3,500 members to 66,500. Users will also be able to browse the historical editions of the union’s journal, Firefighter, dating back to 1932.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said:

“In our centenary year, we want to celebrate the work of firefighters and the FBU who over ten decades have shaped the modern fire and rescue service and have, immeasurably, improved public safety. Far fewer people die in fires today than 100 years ago. This is not a happy accident – it is a result of the union and its members campaigning relentlessly for changes over the last century.

“When the union was first formed, firefighters had the most primitive protective equipment, were forced to live on stations full time, had no access to pensions and were paid less than unskilled labourers. Although the situation for firefighters today is far from perfect, the improvements we have seen are the result of campaigns run by the union.”

The FBU wants the centenary website to become a hub for fire service history and the site will be updated with new content frequently.

Discover the people, incidents and stories behind the FBU’s 100-year journey at: www.fbu.org.uk/centenary

Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations Martyn

***** This just in from the Brigade Secretary****

West Yorkshire FBU Brigade Chairs election

I just wanted to thank everyone who participated in the recent West Yorkshire FBU Chairs election, which has been held with dignity and respect. As Brigade Secretary I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with some of the finest reps in the entire Union, let alone WYFBU, and both of these latest two candidates are in that bracket. May I just congratulate both of them in the comradely manor in which they have conducted themselves.

Once again the turnout of members voting was immense with 75% of all members taking part.

I can now announce that Martyn Bairstow will become the next WYFBU Chair with immediate effect having secured 423 votes to Mick Loney’s 239.

I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Martyn and wishing Mick every success in the future.

Posted in Elections

On the MEND

Massive thanks to Zenab and Shahab from MEND, who came and gave a very informative presentation to the brigade committee today.

We’ll look forward to working together again and building on these foundations from today.

Posted in Diversity

Love a Muslim Day

After the disgusting threats of violence against our colleagues and neighbours from far right terrorists in recent days, people are coming together in solidarity to “Love a Muslim”.

Please come and show your solidarity with us tonight, 5pm at Centenary Square, Bradford.

Meanwhile any concerns about your or anyone’s safety please contact your reps / speak to your manager.

See here for details: https://www.facebook.com/events/218955055519382/?ti=as

Posted in Diversity

Election for Yorkshire and Humberside EC Member

This just in from the Brigade Secretary

ALL FBU MEMBERS

ELECTION FOR YORKSHIRE AND HUMBERSIDE EC MEMBER

Firstly let me apologise for such a long winded message, but within hours of the announcement that WYFBU are recommending Brother Steve Howley for Yorkshire and Humberside Regional EC member, someone who never had the courage to reveal their true identity, was castingdisparaging comments about the legitimacy of the Brigade Committee decision, something that I will not let go without challenging.

I’m always impressed when members or non-members from West Yorkshire (or other Brigades for that matter) take an interest in the outcomes from Brigade Committee meetings, there aren’t that many I can tell you. What impresses me more is when members or non-members from West Yorkshire (or other Brigades for that matter) TAKE AN INTEREST IN THE GOVERNANCE of the Committee, believe me there’s even fewer of those types of people, however an election between two candidates certainly draws them out especially when those individuals don’t agree with that Brigade Committee’s democratic decision. So specifically for “JOHN SHAW” (whoever you may be) and others who may be interested, let me explain a little about the Governance of WYFBU Brigade Committee.

1) The Brigade Committee meet the first Thursday of every month.

2) The Brigade Committee is made up of representatives from the 5 local authorities or Divisions (Div Reps of which there can be 2) and sectional reps, some with a vote, some sections don’t. There is a very good reason why WYFBU run this structure and that is because it’s much, much easier to be quorate (for a vote) than running the Branch structure which other Brigades do in our region and I suspect further afield. Under the Branch structure, if a Brigade has 35 branches, then that Brigade Committee would need 18 of those reps to attend to be quorate (50%+ 1), this is incredibly challenging and could mean that any vote taken wouldn’t be legitimate.

3) The Brigade Committee invite the Regional Officials to every meeting.

4) The Brigade Committee also invite ALL WYFBU MEMBERS to attend in an observational capacity, this is something I instigated 7 years ago when I became the Brigade Secretary.

5) None of the members, reps or officials, West Yorkshire or Regionally are compelled to attend.

6) Minutes are taken at EVERY meeting and agreed at the following meeting. These minutes are freely available to read, but understandably not made public.

Unfortunately, due to the Brigade Organiser and myself being required to attend a National meeting in Newcastle on the 1st March the Brigade Committee was postponed until the following Thursday.

Thursday 8th arrived amidst another massive snow fall which meant that some members of the Committee couldn’t attend, but let me be clear about the following points:

1) The meeting did go ahead, in fact in went ahead at Rothwell fire station because there was no-one in the Regional Office.

2) The meeting WAS quorate, with 60% of the Divisions represented and 50% of the voting sections, it is worth noting here that I do not get a vote and the Chair (or vice Chair in this instance) only gets the casting vote.

3) That vote was carried UNANIMOUSLY.

4) No Regional Officials attended.

5) Minutes are already typed up ready for ratification at the next Brigade Committee on the 5th April.

Regarding JOHN SHAW and his mischief making (if in fact John is a he) I will say;

I WILL NOT accept criticism about the legitimacy of the Brigade Committee from any individual who acts anonymously, MEMBER OR NOT.

I WILL NOT accept criticism about the legitimacy of the Brigade Committee from any non-member.

I WILL NOT accept criticism from any other member, rep or official from any other Brigade who perhaps do not have “their own house in order” regarding the Governance of their respective Committee’s.

I WILL gladly accept criticism from any member in any Brigade, where it’s factually correct and legitimately raised.

I will finish by saying that those who are out to publicly denigrate the Brigade Committee’s decisions using untruths and lies will become our enemy, there are legitimate means of raising concerns and the Committee are completely open and transparent. I would expect though until these cowards who hide behind pseudonyms have the courage to speak openly we may see more of these sorts of attacks in the future, or until the end of the EC election anyway.

So let me be absolutely clear;

On the 8th March 2018 at Rothwell Fire Station, West Yorkshire FBU UNANIMOUSLY voted to recommend Brother Steve Howley. This meeting was quorate, despite the horrible weather conditions and the minutes WILL be available to any member wanting to view them after ratification on the 5th April 2018.

Yours in unity,

Dave Williams

WYFBU Brigade Secretary

Posted in Elections

ELECTION FOR YORKSHIRE AND HUMBERSIDE EC MEMBER

ALL FBU MEMBERS

ELECTION FOR YORKSHIRE AND HUMBERSIDE EC MEMBER

You will shortly or already have received a ballot paper for the above election to your home addresses.

There are just two candidates standing, Brother Pete Smith and Brother Steve Howley.

We can confirm that the West Yorkshire Brigade Committee voted to recommend Brother Steve Howley for the position.

Ballot papers should be returned in the pre paid envelope provided no later than 14:00 on the 20th April, if you have failed to receive one, misplaced or lost it, please speak to the Brigade Secretary as quickly as possible.

Yours in unity

West Yorkshire FBU

Posted in Elections

Get your MP to sign EDM 1115 to mark Firefighters’ Memorial Day 2018

Laid by former firefighter Jim Fitzpatrick MP, EDM 1115 – Firefighters’ Memorial Day, 4 May 2018 calls on Parliamentarians to stand with fire crews at their nearest fire station to observe the minute’s silence at Midday.

Alternatively, they can join members of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust and the FBU at the Firefighters’ Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Members should write to their local MP or use the template letter below urging their support for EDM 1115.

MPs often prefer personal letters from constituents so feel free to add some information local to you and your MP; such as the name of your local fire station or your own involvement with the fire and rescue service.

To email your MP simply go to www.writetothem.com, enter your postcode, click on the link to your MP and then copy and paste your lobby letter into the email and add your details.

 

Template letter

Dear

I ask you to kindly add your name to Early Day Motion 1115 in support of Firefighters Memorial Day, Friday 4th May 2018. Please also be invited to stand at midday on 4th May with your firefighters in observing a minute’s silence in honour of the bravery and sacrifice of fallen firefighters. Since records began 2,524 members of the fire and rescue service have died whilst protecting the public. You would be welcome to stand with us at one of the fire stations in your constituency or at The Firefighters Memorial, Carter Lane, near St Pauls Cathedral, with members of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust and the Fire Brigades Union.

Thank you.

Early Day Motion 1115 – Firefighters Memorial Day, 4 May 2018

That this House joins with firefighters across the UK on Firefighters’ Memorial Day, on 4 May 2018, remembering the bravery and sacrifice of the 2,524 colleagues who have lost their life in the line of duty; extends its sympathies, especially on this memorial day, to all the bereaved families of fallen firefighters; acknowledges the good work of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust in remembering and honouring all firefighters who have lost their life while serving humanity and recording their names on The Firefighters’ Memorial located close to St Paul’s Cathedral in London; applauds the commitment and selfless dedication of all UK firefighters who stand ready today and every day to risk their life to save others and protect their local communities from the consequences of fire, floods, terror attacks and numerous other emergency situations; and calls on Members of both Houses to join members of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust and the Fire Brigades Union at the Firefighters’ Memorial, St Paul’s or to stand with firefighters at their nearest fire station to observe the minute silence at midday on 4 May 2018.

Posted in Politics