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July 20, 2004

Pray for the fallen ....

Your prayers today, please, for the two London Firefighters who were killed attending a fire in a three storey building in Bethnal Green this morning. The building consisted of a shop at Ground Floor and flats on the two upper storeys. Two residents had been rescued from the roof, and the building was being searched when a collapse occured. The two fire fighters were on the top floor and sustained severe injuries in the collapse, succumbing to those on the way to hospital. Pray, too, for their colleagues and friends and especially for their famillies.

It is never easy to deal with the deaths of colleagues, and even more difficult if you knew them, served alongside them, or worked with them at any point in your career. It is even more difficult now when the service is being fatally damaged by ignoramus politicians whose understanding of the ethos of the service would not even register on the back of a small postage stamp. Sadly, these incidents will most likely become even more commonplace as discipline is destroyed (recruits now leaving training scholls have no concept of respect for senior officers, no respect at all for their station "leaders" (we aren't allowed to call them "officers" - it's elitist), and although they are mechanically competent at performing tasks, have little understanding of the how or why.

The service has had its chain of command so seriously undermined by the politically correct jackals now in charge that it has lost its discipline, lost its identity, and will shortly lose its cohesion. More and more middle management posts are being filled by civilian managers whose understanding of the service and its ethos or needs is tenuous in the extreme, and this cuts off the promotion opportunities for the rising leaders below them. They also reduce the operational effectiveness of the service as they take over the specialist roles without actually understanding the duality of the matters they are dealing with. Example: a Fire safety Inspector makes requirements for the fire safety and protection of the occupants of a building. At the same time he feeds informatioon back to the forward planners who can then adjust the pre-determined attendances and the operational planning for dealing with incidents in that building. Take away the fire fighter part and you have a person who misses the link and so makes no provision for the safety of the fire fighter. This is not the only area that this is happening in, either - and it all reduces the quality of the information available to the people fighting fires, degrading their training, degrading the ability to develop them.

In the last three years this government and their saboteurs in local government have destroyed the heirarchy of ranks, destroyed the training system and replaced it with something which is unsupported and unusable, taken away the pride that went with wearing a uniform and replaced that clothing with bin men's outfits, taken away the qualifications required for promotion and the discipline of regulations, destroyed the pride of the service and replaced it with despair and bitterness.

My heart breaks for these men and their families, but my anger knows no bounds at the buffoons who have created the chaos which will see more men killed by incompetent tinkering in affairs the politicians and civil servants have no understanding of - and who will be swift to trot out their condolences and their crocodile tears - which leaves a great public service under-skilled, under-manned, and without effective leadership.

May they rest in peace, and rise in glory at Christ's call.

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 20, 2004 12:55 PM