News

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HONOURS FOR REV CHARLES SUTHERLAND  (26/06)

The Committal service for our WRFA members and former Brigade Chaplain, Rev. Charles Sutherland, took place on the afternoon of 25th June at Semington Crematorium.  In accordance with his wishes, Charlie’s coffin was carried to the chapel on ‘Martha’, the wartime turntable ladder owned by our Chairman, Chris Wannell.

Before leaving for Semington, the cortege passed by Devizes Fire Station where the station personnel paraded to pay last respects.  Charlie being a proud Scot, the cortege was led by a piper as Charlie had requested.  Christine Sutherland has expressed her thanks to all from the WRFA and the Dorset & Wilts FRS for their efforts to honour her husband.  This has brought much comfort to the family

TWO FIREFIGHTERS KILLED BY TURNTABLE LADDER COLLAPSE  (20/06) 

On 9th May 2020 an accident occurred in the Kidikoy area of Istanbul, Turkey, that resulted in two firefighters being killed. The deceased were drilling in the cage of a 68 metre (223 ft) Magirus turntable ladder when it collapsed. Unofficial reports are stating that the ladder was being fully extended and it failed to stop at its height limits causing the ladder to buckle.

The two firefighters who died were thrown from the cage onto the roof of an apartment building. Their names are Firefighter Colak (age 28) and Firefighter Inal (age 24). The appliance was not old, it only having been on the run since 2017.

FIRE & RESCUE SERVICES LESS BUSY IN 2019  (20/06) 

The latest statistics for UK Fire & Rescue Services for 2019 show a decline in fires attended of 12%. The decline in incidents attended overall was 4%. Fire related fatalities fell by 10%.

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LFB ALARMED BY BALCONY BBQ RISKS  (20/06) 

With more good weather forecast the London Fire Brigade has issued a plea for members of the public living in flats and apartments to not be tempted into lighting barbeques on their balconies.

LFB Deputy Commissioner Richard Mills said : “These balcony barbeques are a staggeringly irresponsible idea and are being marketed carelessly, with hardly any thought to how dangerous they are. They are an accident waiting to happen and they are even being advertised with images of wooden balconies and with the suggestion that customers have a fire extinguisher nearby.”

DEATH OF CHARLIE SUTHERLAND  (14/06)

The sad news we have been expecting has arrived.  Rev Charlie Sutherland died this morning at 2.00am in Market Lavington Care Home.  He was 88, “Charlie the Chaplain”, as he loved to be called, as Wiltshire Fire Brigade Chaplain for eight years.

We are in touch with his widow, Christine, who lives in Devizes.

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WAREHAM FOREST FIRE EXTENDS BEYOND NINE DAYS  (28/05)

Dorset & Wiltshire FRS issued a statement on 28th May informing that the fire at Wareham Forest was still being fought by 80 firefighters nine days after the initial call. The fire now extends over an area of 220 hectares. The fire crews are being kept busy dealing with multiple hot spots.

The Service has appealed to the public to take care not to start fires such as barbeques in locations where there is the risk of fires such as the Wareham Forest incident being repeated. Despite this warning the Service is receiving a high number of calls to fires in the open.

BORIS WILL KEEP “TRIPLE LOCK”  (28/05) 

Addressing a meeting of MPs on 27th May 2020. Prime Minister Johnson responded to a question about taxation by stating the Government did not intend being “blown off course” by the pandemic.

He specifically mentioned the ‘triple lock’ system for protecting the value of the State Pension and it seems that he has no plans to scrap the triple lock.
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ARCHITECTS WHO RECLAD GRENFELL GO BUST  (24/05) 

An architectural practice that held the contract for designing the recladding of Grenfell Tower has recently gone into liquidation with debts of £140,000.  Before the lockdown the Grenfell Tower public inquiry had called the co-founder of the practice, Mr Andrzej Kinszell, to give evidence.

Mr Kinszell was not legally represented at the inquiry because he said that the firm could not afford it.  In giving his evidence, Mr Kinszell stated that his practice lacked experience in dealing with exterior recladding projects on high rise buildings.

WATER BOMBING IN USE AT WAREHAM FOREST  (24/05) 

Fire crews have been mobilised to the WAREHAM FOREST fire from all over Dorset and Wiltshire and also from Devon, Somerset, Berkshire, and Hampshire.  High winds are continuing to be a problem to firefighters at this incident which is about to stretch into a second week.

For the first time ever a helicopter has been contracted to lift water from a lake and dump it from the air on areas of the fireground proving troublesome to fire crews working at ground level.  Four High Volume Pumps, each capable of delivering approximately 7,000 litres of water per minute over a distance of up to one kilometre are also in use to supply water from the River Piddle.

WAREHAM FOREST FIRE CONTINUING FOR DAYS  (23/05)

After nearly 200 firefighters thought they had subdued this week’s fire extending over more than 100 hectares of WAREHAM FOREST in Dorset, strong winds whipped the fire into life again and for the second time within days Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service classified the call as a “major incident”.

Pumps were made 25 and 4 High Volume Pumping Units (HVPs) were requested. These used their submersible pumps to lift water from the River Piddle and pump through 150mm hose. Each of the HVPs carries 1 kilometre of 150mm hose.

WAREHAM FOREST ABLAZE  (20/05)

On the afternoon of 18th May 2020 Dorset & Wiltshire FRS received a call to a wildfire at WAREHAM FOREST. The fire was driven by high winds to spread over 100 hectares. At its height the fire was being fought by 150 firefighters drawn from all over Dorset and Wilt-shire with assistance from neighbouring services.

The fire crews will be at the incident for more than two days.

RUSSIAN HOSPITAL FIRE KILLS FIVE CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS  (16/05) 

At approximately 6.30am on 12th May 2020 fire broke out on the fifth floor of the St George Hospital in St Petersburg, Russia.  The fire is thought to have been caused by a fault in a ventilator being used to treat a patient in the Intensive Care Unit.

Despite the prompt arrival of the fire service, attempts to save five patients on ventilators in the ICU were not successful.  A total of 150 other patients were evacuated safely. This fire follows one three days earlier in a Moscow hospital that killed a patient and injured three others. That fire was also blamed on a faulty ventilator.  America has refused to receive and use any ventilators built in Russia.

“GAME CHANGER” ANTIBODY TEST APPROVED BY PORTON DOWN  (15/05) 

The Government has been urgently searching for a reliable antibody test for Covid-19 virus. Based on investigations conducted at the Government’s establishment at Porton Down in the south of Wiltshire, an antibody test developed by Roche Diagnostics has been cleared as 100% reliable by Public Health England.

It is understood that the Government is trying to obtain massive supplies of the tests that will indicate which people have immunity from the virus. The intention is to initially concentrate in antibody testing NHS staff and those in the care profession to identify those who already have immunity to the virus and are therefore safe to go to work.

RETIRED FIRE OFFICER’S ACCUSER TO FACE TRIAL  (15/05)

Dave Bryant, a retired officer who served with distinction at Christchurch Fire Station, Dorset, was accused by a man called Danny Day of raping him on the fire station when he was 14 years old.  Dave Bryant, a widely respected man without a stain on his character and happily married to Lynn, strenuously denied the allegation.

Dorset Police are under investigation for allegedly conducting a very slipshod investigation that led to Dave being charged, convicted and imprisoned for 6 years in 2014.  Lynn Bryant, sadly now deceased, organised an appeal that soon identified the facts that should have been found by the police that led to a successful appeal and the conviction against Dave being quashed.

Danny Day, who received £11,000 of tax payers’ money from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, is facing two charges of “doing acts tending and intending to pervert the course of justice.”