News

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SURGE IN PENSIONERS USING CONTACTLESS CARD PAYMENTS  (19/06) 

The world of banking and finance has seen a recent increase in the use of contactless card payments by pensioners.  This is said to have boosted this method of payment to become the favoured method of transaction for the majority of customers.

FIRE CREWS CRITICISED AFTER SWINDON HOUSE IS “GUTTED” BY FIRE  (19/06) 

A fire started in a garden shed at Keswick Road, Park South on the afternoon of 14th June.  Before the fire had been dealt with the house close to the shed had been very severely damaged by fire with press reports describing it as having been gutted.

Fire crews from Stratton St Margaret arrived 9 minutes after the 999 call and witnesses claimed the firefighters ignored their directions to make a first attack on the fire from the rear of the property.  Another bystander claimed that his garden hose produced a better water jet than that used by the first fire fighters to arrive.

A senior fire officer has fended off the criticisms and denied that the actions of the fire crews were incorrect.  The incident finished up requiring six pumping appliances and some special appliances.  The fire was filmed from the air by a member of the public using a drone.

TRAINING TO RESCUE THE OBESE  (19/06)

Because obesity has become such a widespread and common problem in the UK, fire & rescue services are being offered training dummies weighing up to 40 stones.

A company in Wales, Ruth Lee Ltd., is marketing these bariatric dummies.  The heaviest dummies are filled with a stone core and steel ball bearings.

LFB’s “LACK OF URGENCY” AT GRENFELL  (19/06) 

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster are asking for an explanation from the London Fire Brigade for the apparent lack of urgency displayed by the first attendance fire crews.  The fire in the flat of origin was spreading rapidly internally and externally while the residents watched fire fighters spending 15 minutes in the lobby of the block “chatting on phones”.

The LFB has declined to give a response on the grounds that full information will be provided to the public inquiry

DEATH OF BRIAN HILL  (11/06)

We are saddened to announce the death of Brian Hill who passed away peacefully on Thursday 7th June at his home in the presence of his close family.

The celebration of his life service will be held at The Minster Church in Warminster on Thursday 21st June at 1.30pm.

SIMON’S NEW APPOINTMENT  (06/06) 

With effect from 1st June 2018 Simon Routh-Jones is the Chief Inspector of Fire Services for Scotland. He will be based in Edinburgh.

We offer Simon our heartiest congratulations and good wishes

MISS-SOLD FUNERAL PLANS  (31/05) 

The latest example of the miss-selling of insurance to be revealed involves some funeral plans.

Investigations by the Daily Mail have revealed that many have been duped into buying a plan that they think will cover all the costs of their funeral when, in fact, there is often a short fall when death occurs. It is really a question of the terms of the policy not being accurately explained to the purchaser.

FBU VOTES TO STRIKE IN WEST MIDLANDS  (31/05)

The West Midlands Fire & Rescue Service now requires new entrants to sign a contract that entitles the service to employ the person signing on duties other than those generally accepted as being part of a fire fighters role.  The Fire Brigades Union is objecting to these exploitative contracts and is threatening to take strike action if the contracts are not withdrawn.

The FBU has balloted for strike action and on a turnout of over 80% the vote was 9 to 1 in favour of strike.  The West Midlands FRS has issued a statement that it wishes to continue negotiations with the FBU in the hope of reaching agreement.

“GIVE YOUR WINTER FUEL ALLOWANCE TO THE NHS”  (31/05) 

Dame Esther Rantzen has suggested to the Government that a scheme should be introduced to allow pensioners to allocate their winter fuel allowance to the NHS. She makes the point that the pensioners making such a voluntary decision must be given an assurance that their donation would in fact go direct to the NHS.

DEATH OF JOE BABER  (29/05)

With much sadness the death of another WRFA member is announced.  JOE BABER passed away peacefully at 8.00am on Tuesday 29th May.  He died in the nursing wing of the Market Lavington Care Home where he has been a resident for several months.

Our condolences and offer of support have been sent to Yvonne and she will be invited to stay in touch with us as a widow member. 

The funeral was held at St Peter’s Church, Poulshot on Tuesday 19th June 2018.

JACK AND JUNE DREWETT  (27/05)

We have been informed that Jack was involved in a road traffic accident on Tuesday 22nd May and that he and his wife June are currently in Royal United Hospital, Bath.  June has been seriously injured and is in intensive care we understand.  Jack is currently in ward D8.

Jack is about 85 and retired as a Sub Officer at Trowbridge in 1984.     Presumably June his wife was driving, as Jack gave up driving several years ago due to poor health.  Jack will be known to quite a few WRFA members.

DEATH OF TERRY THOMAS  (24/05)

We are saddened to announce the sudden death of Terry Thomas on Tuesday 22nd May 2018.  Terry last served as a Leading Fireman at Malmesbury fire station.

The funeral will be held at Malmesbury Abbey on Friday 22nd June 2018, at 2.00pm.

FBU OBJECTS TO MASONIC GIFT   (27/04)

The Fire Brigades Union has strongly objected to the London Fire Brigade accepting a donation from charitable funds raised by Freemasons that will be used to purchase two new fire appliances.

The appliances are state of the art aerial platforms of a type that the LFB was found to be lacking by the Grenfell Tower disaster. The total cost of the two appliances will be £2.5m, all of which will be donated by the Freemasons.

The plan is to allow the new aerial platforms to display the Masonic symbol on their bodywork as well as the normal LFB livery.

MONITOR YOUR FIRE PENSION  (13/04) 

This is just to remind WRFA members that have their FIRE PENSION paid through Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service that the administration of the pensions was outsourced to West Yorkshire Pension Fund on 1st April after Devon County Council lost the contract.

Members so affected are advised to monitor carefully that the above mentioned change does not cause any problems with the payment of the pension to which they are entitled.

Members are reminded that there is a 3% pension rise due this April.