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Rural fire vehicle's pump failure under union investigation

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

By nino williams

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A UNION investigation is to be launched after a fire service vehicle was alleged to have failed when responding to an incident.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said there was a failure of equipment with the Rural Response Pump only after it had successfully dealt with the fire at a home near Lampeter on Wednesday night.

But the Fire Brigades' Union said initial reports suggested the pump failed, forcing officers to withdraw from the incident, and they would be investigating what happened.

The vehicles were introduced by fire chiefs to provide cover in rural areas of South West Wales, but the FBU said they should have been an addition to the fleet, and claimed they had instead replaced some larger engines.

Their introduction lead to the FBU issuing a safety critical notice against MWWFRS, raising concerns. The FBU issued the second such notice this week, over concerns that backroom staff were being drafted in to cover staffing deficiencies, despite not being compliant with health and safety regulations.

They met with members of the Fire Authority on Thursday night, to raise concerns, and members said they would be seeking a special meeting with the full authority to discuss issues further.

A MWWFRS spokesman said: "The Rural Response Pump was the first to arrive and crews quickly tackled the small fire which was confined to a domestic electrical appliance at the rear of the property.

"After the crews had extinguished the fire, there was a small malfunction with the appliance which was immediately dealt with by replacement of a small part which enabled the RRP to remain operational."

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  • FrankDoberman  |  November 14 2012, 10:14PM

    Mr RRP Are you suggesting that the tax payer is paying for season tickets for MUFC for senior management to use. You obviously have solid evidence for making such a statement. Please tell all and get the truth out there.

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  • toolate  |  November 11 2012, 11:48PM

    Why hasnt the Fire Brigade Management come out to Defend the Fire Van??? Strange that they purchased 17 without Any Trial too. If that were to happen in my work place, people would be Sacked!!!

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  • MrRRP  |  November 11 2012, 10:26PM

    Blodwyn I think by the sound of it there isn't a massive fan club for smith and bates. I will say that it's nice to see that Tool Ahughes43 has finally grown a set of balls and started telling the truth. His head has finally been removed from smith and bates ass by the looks of it. buying 17 vans without a trail of 1-2 is a shocker of a decision and the welsh assembley need to demand to see the books. What other spending sprees have management gone on? season tickets for Manchester UTD ? 2 jaguar cars? iPads for senior managers ? Cyber cafe in head quarters? To name but a few and I am sure there are many many more I don't know about. Frankly I don't want to know about because its a depressing environment for the firefighters and staff of mid and west wales fire and rescue service to be working in Without any more scandal and miss use of public finds

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  • Blodwyn  |  November 11 2012, 9:38PM

    Hey dog hound, are you "crazy ford" about these trucks. You SEEM VERY UNHAPPY AND HAVE A DISLIKE FOR SMITH AND BATES.

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  • Lunkhed  |  November 11 2012, 7:23PM

    The Truth - How can 17 small vehicles with equipment cost several million pounds? That's right - you were imagining it.

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  • newsaffair  |  November 11 2012, 1:19PM

    This is a going to cost somebody serious harm,or death,not to equip our trusted firefighters with the full range of equipment,that we the public have an expectation of,to do their job safely and professionally. If the critiscism is loud now,it will be nothing if a serious situation occurs!!!

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  • hobbles  |  November 11 2012, 12:44PM

    Preventative maintenance?

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  • doghound  |  November 11 2012, 12:37PM

    For members of the public to understand what is happening , they should be aware that the individuals making these ridiculous and dangerous decisions do NOT come from an operational firefighting background. They have many years service between them in administrative /support departments( smith & bates) but they are purely career officers ! THEY DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT IT IS LIKE TO ATTEND MULTI FATALITY , OR EVEN SINGLE FATALITY FIRES OR INCIDENTS on a regular basis, Their strengths lie in the areas, of management theory for Smith and information technology (stats ) for bates .You do not see them giving interviews at serious incidents because in my opinion ,they do not have the experience or background to enable them to do so .It appears they are too busy formulating ways in which they can secure their bonus !! by cost efficiency ,ie. CUTS, to the service we are meant to recieve .Perversely we ,the members of the public are actually paying their bonuses from our community charge for them to provide a second rate service .( why do we pay employees in public service bonuses ) its beyond me !! I do not in any way shape or form blame firefighters ,who in my opinion are the salt of the earth for publicly airing their views.To suspend an officer for doing his job is quite frankly , beyond belief.There is a place for Rural appliances ,But only as SUPPORT PUMPS ! There was a time when firefighters were given the tools to do their job, now it appears the " TOOLS " in management , are doing all they can to ruin the traditions of this fine service. Unfortunately in my opinion a reader of the evening post publication ,will in time tragically fall victim to these cost efficiency savings ,whether through loss of life ,injury , or property damage ( already happened according to the article.) Incidentally where is Smiths comment on these issues ?,Or has he also devolved this resposibility as well .Not a bad job when have less to do ,get paid more and on top of that we the MUGS PAY HIM A BONUS AS WELL . You could'nt write it !, but I just have !!

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  • The_truth  |  November 11 2012, 12:04PM

    Who on earth sanctioned buying 17 of these vans without a full and proper trial of there capabilities?? And at what cost? Several million pounds I would imagine!! How can mid and worst Wales fire service waste such vast amounts of public money in austere times and continually get away with it? I for one will be writing to my assembly minister to seek some answers on this, and the sooner a full and thorough investigation is carried out into the finances of this brigade is carried out the better! As for the poor firefighters being sent to fires in these vans, we commend you, but remember we are all responsible for our own health and safety! So if the equipment is dangerous then refuse to use it! I'm sure you would have the full backing of your unions and also the health and safety executive!

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  • RichardCorso  |  November 11 2012, 12:15AM

    In reply to:ahughes43 Saturday, November 10 2012, 1:50PM. I had hoped that this Rural Response Pump was going to be used in conjunction with a full sized fire engine a bit like the NHS uses the Rapid Response Paramedic ambulances to get to the incident quickly and then a full sized ambulance turns up a short time later. If the Rural Response Pump is all that attends rural fires, what happens when it's a major fire that involves say a barn fire or several houses in a village? Seems the Fire Service management need to sort out what this Rural Response Pump is actually going to be used for. I would hope that there is some operational justification for the use of these Rural Response Pumps and backing up the justification operational trials of the Rural Response Pump showing it's superior use for rural areas.

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