This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fire Brigading

Blandshire Constabulary has a tried and tested method of responding to any of the resource-intensive crises that can descend on it on a given day, such as terrorist strike, animal rights demonstration, Chief Constable visit, or snowfall.

When the fourth listed crisis occurs, an air-call goes out to inform everyone that they should immediately sit on their arses in the police station and only leave if one of the first three above crises occurs. Calls from the public will only be attended if the inspector considers that the likelihood of the caller dying is greater than the likelihood of the attending officer aquaplaning into a crash barrier en route. As police officers are more than capable of aquaplaning into crash barriers on days when it is dry and sunny, it is therefore likely that on snowy days we will not leave the police station at all. Anyone breaking into cars, houses, beating up their partners or running amok with a variety of weapons should feel free to continue.

Let's face it, we're not the brightest and best drivers whether it's been snowing or not.

This method of policing is known as Fire Brigade Policing, because the fire brigade generally do not drive around hoping to catch a fire in the process of breaking out, but wait at their station until they are called. There are other things the fire brigade do which the police do NOT adopt, no matter how snowy it is, for example:
  • Blacklist persistent hoax callers and refuse to attend, or fine them for wasting our time.
  • Carry around equipment which is actually capable of smashing through doors when needed.
  • Do not apologise or pay when their officers in good faith and in response to a call completely wreck an entire house.
  • Refuse to cancel whilst en route to a call, no matter how obvious it is they are not needed (Blandshire is, however, introducing this rule by stealth).
Whatever one says about the fire brigade, there is something impressive and reassuring about four big engines waking up the neighbourhood as they arrive on scene to rescue a child from a jammed lift. There's very little impressive about the entire strength of Blandmore's response teams putting their feet up in the nick, watching the snow fall and wondering how soon their should start defrosting their cars to go home.

'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.


Blogger Constable said...

With this post you also forgot to add the Fire Service can:

1. Sleep at night if they have no shouts, they even have beds.

2. Strike if someone threatens to take those beds away from them.

3. Have properly equipped gyms, kitchens and stations that allow them to train, eat and generally function properly.

4. Have second jobs to aid their income on days off.

5. An ability to call for help from someone else if they don't like the area they are sent to.

Anyway where is the online recruitment process for my local fire service?

All due respect to them but they do tend to expect a lot. How can an emergency service be allowed to strike? I don't think in recent years that I have ever heard of an ambulance strike. Is that because they are not allowed to as the police. Is it because they like the police have no desire to strike and actually value their role as an emergency service?

Sorry for the criticism but we actually have got an ex fireman on our section who has revealed an awful lot of home truths and couldn't stand the "cliques" that exist.It must be bad when he saw the police as a better option.

04 February, 2009 22:44

Blogger PC COPPERFIELD said...

One of the nice things about policing here in Canada is that we get cancelled whilst en route all the time, it's great! When this happens I like to take 5 minutes and just sit... thinking about what I WOULD have been doing in the UK.

05 February, 2009 01:19

Blogger Colin D said...

Having never served in the job, I do appreciate some of the difficulties you encounter on a regular basis. I cannot help but constantly wonder what ever happened to "common sense"? It is devoid in the "headteacher" and staff at my grandchild's school. Absent from our local hospital (22 miles distant)but they do have a triad system??. And bother of all our "local" (from Wales) MP only has 3 residences. After only being an MP 11 wonderful years. So far it appears that he has only received in pay & allowances £8million. Still he is cheerful enough, I am lead to believe! God will save us, wont he?? An after thought better not name him, but his alleged father's name rhymes with tosser??

05 February, 2009 14:13

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ambulance crews did go on strike in the 80's unfortunately had to work on the 'sterilised' transit van that served as an ambulance- reading a first aid book on the way to jobs. It was awful, makes you appreciate even more what the crews do. There has sometime been a dodgy relationship with fire crews (Green Goddesses and all that for those old enough to remember) but nonetheless you have to admire what they do when they go ino a burning building, rather go to a pub fight.

05 February, 2009 15:57

Anonymous R/T said...

Blimey - I remember the LAS strike in the 80's. Wasn't it fun being sent to a job where you had no real idea of what to expect and no real idea of what to do when you got there? No change there then!

Oh - and the brigade have got it easy. A guy I know had 4 and a half years in the brigade before he went to a house fire and his record of not going out on nights (once they stopped going to AFA's) was 8 months!

05 February, 2009 17:39

Blogger Hogday said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

05 February, 2009 18:25

Blogger Hogday said...

Ditto re the Ambo strike in the 80's and in 1990/91 and yes I remember one in 1977/78. On the latter, I was an advanced 1st aider (well I'd done a course on blunt trauma and gunshot wounds) so was a crewman in our Tranny Van. Ist call a male who's doctor said he required an urgent transfer to hospital. We were a rural section and this was a 15 mile journey. I think it was February, anyway it was snowing like recently and freezing. The back of the van allowed 5` 6" so with the stretcher fully assembled it was about 6`6". I sat holding the doors semi closed as the poor blokes feet protruded from the back. I think he arrived with his original ailment plus frostbite. We felt so...`professional`.

05 February, 2009 18:27

Blogger Constable said...

Ok Ok Ok,

so there have been ambulance strikes in the past but not recently. I stand corrected, I was wrong but it seems an awfully long time ago unlike our most recent threat of strike. It was seriously over the issue of beds being taken away.

Yes the Green Goddess, how nice was the overtime though? Double bubble whilst essentially not having to do anything except escort them to jobs. They seemed to have a hard time catching up at the junctions though. 30 mph was an unlikely reality.

05 February, 2009 20:23

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