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Death by Memo

Firemen stand by as rules 'prevent' rescue - Scotsman.com News

A WOMAN lay injured at the bottom of a mineshaft for six hours because health and safety rules banned firefighters from rescuing her...a memo from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue chiefs four months earlier had banned the use of rope equipment for lifting members of the public to safety, the inquiry was told.
Christopher Rooney, the first senior fire officer at the scene, admitted it would have been possible for his crew to have rescued Mrs Hume from the shaft, had it not been for the memo.
During the hearing, solicitor Gregor Forbes asked Mr Rooney: "On the basis of the manpower and equipment that you had available, is it your view it would it would have been possible for the firefighters to have brought the person to the surface before the mountain rescue team?"
He replied: "Yes, I believe so."
The now-retired fire officer said the memo had been circulated around Strathclyde Fire and Rescue stations in March 2008.
Mr Forbes said: "Your position is that, while you were supplied with safe working-at-height equipment, while this could be used to bring up firefighters, it could not be used to bring up a member of the public."
Mr Rooney, 51, told the inquiry at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court: "Yes, that's correct."
All 18 firefighters at the scene were trained and capable of using the equipment, he added.
Of the memo four months before the incident, he was then asked: "If Mrs Hume had fallen down the shaft on 13 March, instead of 26 July, you could have used a lowering line?"
Mr Rooney replied: "We could have."


Ding dong dell, Pussy's in the well. Who'll get her out. Ooow I don't know about that Squire.

Are they not responsible adults with minds of their own?

Why didnt they just tell the box-tickers to go f*** themselves and save the woman anyway?

I wonder if any of these noble firefighters feel any shame at being involved in this?

The Grauniad reports the case of a firefighter arrested for manslaughter when a farmer was trampled by his cattle, which were alarmed by the fire truck's siren. (Seen at Mark Wadsworth's place.)

I wonder if any of these noble firefighters feel any shame at being involved in this?

They probably do, but they also have wives and kids to support and have committed themselves to a career in the Fire Brigade. Doing something that effectively tells the Brigade Zampolit to go and boil his head will ensure a big black career limiting mark against a brave firefighter's name.

Any study of how totalitarian regimes work will reveal this is their most common way of achieving control. Spies and brutal policing may have their place, but it's the little. everyday threats to normal life that really do the work of ensuring an obedient populace. Their true evil lies in the fact that by forcing the victim to go along this sort of thing makes the subordinate an accomplice to the crime and once he feels like that he's even less likely to rebel next time.

@Ian Bennett

True, but one Zampolit vs whole crew of firefighters? "What me, gov? Nah, wasnt even there. She must've climbed out by herself"

They only win if you let them.

A police officer goes into a stream to perform a rescue - bad, neither equipment or training. Ditto for using a ladder to change a lightbulb - if you are not trained how to use a ladder.

Now, with both equipment and training in order, not allowed to use it - because the civilian in trouble has not been trained. Mind, had she been dead they could have brought up her body immediately. As is, after six hours a special team was allowed to attempt a rescue - only to end up with a corpse.

Just how is this either healthy or [for the public] safe?

I admire the men and women of the services who know they may have to "go in harm's way" - but their bosses, well...


You think the Zampolit was actually there? Nah. The only time they show their mugs is at party meetings and lectures packed with witnesses. Besides, who says they need witnesses? The word of one "reliable" politruk is worth more than those of ten ordinary workers. "Comrade Commissar Blogs says you are guilty of unreliable thoughts and actions contrary to party orthodoxy therefore I find you guilty as charged. I don't care if you saved the life of a citizen, that'll still be ten years in the Gulag for you, sonny."

Not Ian Bennett

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