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.
DEATH OF ERNIE WARREN (23/03)
Ernie Warren, former station officer at Marlborough, passed peacefully away today in Prospect Hospice. He had been suffering from cancer. The condolences of the WRFA have been sent to Ernie’s widow, Judy. Ernie was not a member of the WRFA but he was highly respected and it is known that many WRFA members would have wished to attend his funeral.
The funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Silverless Street, Marlborough on Monday 9th April 2018.
HOME SECRETARY “IN AWE” OF WORK DONE BY EMERGENCY SERVICES AT NERVE AGENT INCIDENT (17/03)
The Home Secretary, Rt. Hon Amber Rudd MP, visited Salisbury on Friday 9th March to gather information at first hand on what is happening to deal with the nerve agent incident. During her visit she met with the Chief Fire Officer, Ben Ansell, as well as the Acting Chief Constable, Kier Pritchard. The Home Secretary was introduced to many of the emergency service personnel that were in the front line in protecting the public.
To the press and media, the Home Secretary declared that she was in awe of the work done by the emergency services in Salisbury at The Maltings incident and praised them for the professional and compassionate way they discharged what they were called upon to do.
WRFA ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS (16/03)
This is to remind all WRFA members that annual subscriptions are due on 1st April. The subscription due is still only £10.00.
Unless you have made arrangements to pay by bank standing order, or auto deduction from fire pension (only available to those receiving their pension from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Authority), please send your cheque made out to Wiltshire Retired Firefighters Association now to the secretary & treasurer, 12a Gaisford Chase, Worton. SN10 5RX.
Payment by fast transfer is also acceptable and the details required for such transactions are:
Bank Account Name: Wiltshire Retired Firefighters Association
Account Number: 28196668
Sort Code: 77-50-05
DEATH OF SANDY FRASER (16/03)
With much sadness the death of SANDY FRASER is announced.
Sandy served at Ramsbury for many years reaching the rank of Leading Fireman. He has lived in Lincolnshire in recent years and has suffered a prolonged period of ill health.
PRESS CONFERENCE AT FIRE HQ (12/03)
With the nerve agent incident at Salisbury continuing to attract the attention of the press and media throughout the world, Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell agreed to the Headquarters of the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service being used to host a press conference. Senior officers of all three ‘blue light’ services gave press statements and answered questions. CFO Ansell began his statement by expressing the deep sympathy of his Service for all those caught up in the emergency, particularly those still in hospital. He described the seven days since the incident as “challenging”.
DEATH OF COLIN HODGES (09/03)
With much sadness the death is reported of COLIN HODGES. Colin collapsed on 5th March at his home in New Zealand. Paramedics attempted resuscitation but were unable to save him.
The condolences of the WRFA have been sent to Colin’s widow, Chrissie.
BFSA MEDALS PRESENTED (26/02)
At the lunch held by the WRFA on 25th February 2018 at The Bell House Hotel, Sutton Benger, BFSA Long Service Medals were presented to Julie Matthews and Gayle Morris. Both ladies have completed 20 years loyal and efficient service to the fire & rescue service. The medals were awarded by the Governing Council of the British Fire Services Association and the presentations were made by the President of the Wiltshire Retired Firefighters Association, Jerry Willmott. Julie and Gayle, with their husbands, were guests of the WRFA at the lunch.
HELPING AIMEE (22/02)
Aimee Haynes is an undergraduate at Bournemouth University. She is in the second year of her studies towards a degree in commercial photography.
Through the WRFA website, Aimee recently contacted the WRFA and asked for our help with her latest degree course project that is on the theme of the fire and rescue service. Aimee is building a portfolio of portrait photographs of people serving in the FRS today and those that have retired. She then interviews the portrait subject on film to complete each section of the portfolio.
Aimee visited Devizes on 21st February and photographed and interviewed six members of the WRFA.
We wish Aimee every success with her studies and also with her career once she has graduated in May 2019. It has been a privilege and pleasure to meet her and be of some assistance with her project.
SKIN CREAMS ALLEGED TO BE LINKED TO FIRE DEATHS (13/02)
In 2017 a BBC investigation found that since 2010 there have been 37 fire deaths in the UK that might be linked to skin creams that contain paraffin.
The BBC based its fears on responses from 53 fire and rescue services. There have been a further eight deaths since November 2016 that are thought to also be linked to skin creams that are flammable. The theory being promoted by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service is that people with dry-skin conditions use moisturising creams such as E45, Astral and Nivea and the creams are absorbed by bedding and/or the clothing. Should a source of ignition come into contact with the clothing or bedding contaminated by the cream a potentially life threatening fire is likely to occur.
Recognising this danger, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is advising that users of skin creams containing paraffin should change clothing and bedding regularly to reduce the risk. There are 38 paraffin based creams on the market but according to the BBC only seven of them state on the packaging that they contain paraffin.
‘LUDO’ MACAULAY NOMINATED FOR SPIRIT OF FIRE AWARD (10/02)
The FIRE FIGHTERS CHARITY will be running another ‘Spirit of Fire’ event later this year at which awards will be made to members of the Charity that have earned special recognition. One of the categories of award goes to a retired member of the service and the Charity has asked for nominations.
At the meeting of the WRFA Executive Committee on 8th February 2018, a decision was taken to nominate Ludwig (‘Ludo’) Macaulay for the award. The nomination has been accepted and we await news of whether or not Ludo has been the successful nominee.
Ludo has worked tirelessly over many years in support of the Charity and was instrumental in setting up the highly successful ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ that has run for twenty five years and will end this year.
SCOTLAND’S FIRE CHIEF URGES ACCEPTANCE OF 20% PAY DEAL BUT FBU UNHAPPY (04/02)
Firefighters in Scotland have been offered a 20% pay rise in stages over the next four years. Chief Fire Officer Alasdair Hay has informed all members of his service of the offer by writing to them individually. This has incensed the Fire Brigades Union.
The offer comes with strings attached and acceptance of it means the service must take on additional work such as attending medical emergencies, terrorist incidents, flooding, assisting the elderly and vulnerable. The FBU is angry that the CFO has made a direct approach to his staff rather than relying on negotiations with the FBU to close the deal.
If agreement can be reached, basic pay for a firefighter will rise from £29,934 to £35,800 by 20121-22.