Thursday, May 4

Oh Sunny Days

Two days of glorious weather and the fireflys are out in force. What is it about kids and setting grass on fire?

Fire engines attend these small incidents only to be abused by those that are responsible. Police are called, but they have their own idiots to deal with. Its a good job I am stuck in a Control Room because how tempting would it be to turn round whilst still holding a fully charged length of hose?!! Knock them clean off their little tootsies.

Reminds me of a time when that actually happened. Youths throwing stones etc at a fire crew, firefighter turned round after something hit his helmet and sprayed those responsible. Youth gets home, mum wants to know why he is wet and then rings 999 to shout at us!! Now if that had been me, the first thing my mum would have done is give me a clip round the ear and then march me down the station to apologise - regardless of what I was telling her!! The outcome was the firefighter was disciplined, the Officer in Charge was disciplined and the youth, well..... now a hero amongst their mates. What a joke.

Oh and just in case you come across a grass fire whilst out walking, please ensure you either give exact directions to it from the road or wait around to show the crew where it is. This is because 9 times out of 10 by the time the crew get there, it has died down considerably or can't be seen from the road and it then involves us ringing people back to clarify the location. And when the weather is as nice as this, and the youths are as lovely as they are, we tend to get a tad busy! Saying that, still report small fires, it all goes towards statistics which go towards getting more money out of the Government. (So I'm led to believe, but I won't stand up in a court of law to defend it!!)

Enjoy the sun x


caramaena said...

/taps microphone.. Is this thing on?

Miranda, where are you?

Sherry said...

I was wondering... my residential block (hospital housing) has a fire alarm system which calls out the fire brigade whenever it is triggered. Today, I came home to find a false alarm had brought out 3 fire trucks (two weeks ago there was a false alarm and it brought out 2 engines) - do you know how much it costs (in £££) every time there's a false call-out? (I read somewhere that a second fire engine has to come to deal with the paperwork which ensues from a call-out) and also is there any way that fire services can recover this cost when there is a false alarm such as ours? I'm curious and angry that we had over 12 firemen present for a non-fire!


Miranda Shuttleworth said...

I'm back!!! Thanks for missing me!

Miranda Shuttleworth said...


Each Brigade differ in what they send to False Alarms. If I'm taking a call and the person tells me its a false alarm, I would only reduce the attendance if they could tell me what caused the alarm to go off. For example, its the engineers testing it, or the cleaner was spraying an aerosol under the detector head.

If your system automatically makes the call then it could be a smoke detector and an auto dialler. So it can't be asked what caused it to go off. The attendance to your block will also depend on how many floors it has. It may have been that three fire engines were on the way two weeks ago but the first one got there and stood the other one down as it was a confirmed false alarm. As for paperwork, I dont think that is the case.

A fire engine can cost between £300 and £500 per hour. Brigades have the facility to charge for services if there is a particular problem with call outs. This usually happens to University accomodation where the fire alarm is set off maliciously just to get the 'hunky' firemen there!!

Whilst I understand your frustration at the disruption an evacuation causes for a false alarm, is it not better to be safe than sorry? I have dealt with various calls where people have ignored the fire alarm, as its only going to be another false one, and its gone on to be a fire that was smouldering away and now its not so small!

Hope this explains a little, but there are many different explanations as to attendances.