firefighters solidarity

Submitted by AWL on 24 December, 2002 - 12:02

Media

A Campaign for Justice in the Media is being organised by London Central Branch of the National Union of Journalists, c/o NUJ, 308 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP.
Their position is: "Full support to the firefighters! Reject the lies of the press barons! We demand that the newspapers and media allow the FBU equal space to put its side of the case and answer any attack made against it." More details by writing to the above or email vickim57@hotmail.com

Battersea
Contact: aiden@respectwork.org.uk or 0208 682 4224

Birmingham
To find the contact for your Constituency group contact Jim on 0121 771 0871.

Hackney
At my Tenants' and Residents' Association meeting five members of the FBU from Homerton fire station Green Watch turned up in their engine! They received the unanimous and enthusiastic support of everyone present at a well-attended meeting.

Residents were quick to draw the similarities between the situation facing tenants and low-paid workers - both groups denied improvements to our living conditions by overpaid MPs, councillors and bureaucrats, treated like Oliver Twist when he asked for "More"!

Green Watch are going to come back another time and do an estate visit, identifying potential fire risks, helping our ongoing fight to get Hackney Council to improve the estate. Meanwhile, we are going to write them a letter of support, put their publicity around the estate, and do a door-to-door collection for the strike fund in the run-up to Christmas.
Janine Booth

Leicester
Contact: leicsfiresupport@unionlists.org.uk or 07771 533055.

Merton
More details about collections: 07719 283132.

Norwich
Last Saturday's regular FBU Support Group stall in the city raised another £65 for the FBU Hardship Fund. Saturday 14 December sees a march and rally for the firefighters organised by Norwich and District Trades Council. Assemble 12.00 Chapelfield Gardens; rally outside the Forum 1.00pm. Invited speakers include FBU, other unions and Dr Ian Gibson MP. More details of FBU support: Pat 01362 860826.

Nottingham
Contact Liam 0115 9112864.

Oxford
Oxford FBU support group meets Room 1, Oxford East Community Centre every Monday at 6.30 pm. Contact Mark on 079979 241998.

Wimbledon
Details: Kevin O'Brien 0208 643 4382.

Edinburgh fire highlights madness of Bain Review

By Peter Burton

Edinburgh has just had its worst fire since the great fire of 1724. Eleven buildings and numerous shops have been destroyed in a rabbit warren of buildings in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. Many other partially damaged buildings will have to be destroyed for safety reasons.

Gavin Barrie, FBU branch secretary for the Lothians and Borders gave some statistics to bring home the scale of the disaster.

"Sixteen fire appliances, each using 16 pumps had to be used. Approximately 7,000 metres of hose was used. One hundred and twenty fire-fighters worked to put out the fire from as far a field as Strathclyde Fife, and the Borders .This was in addition to the Lothians fire service - a total of 5,000 man hours. Two fire-fighters were very lucky to escape with their lives.

Gavin went on to comment that if Bain had been implemented at the time of this fire, the fire would not have been contained and much of the Old Town would have been destroyed. That is because Bain had recommended cutting the number of firefighters at night.

The army would have struggled to deal with the fire had the fire-fighters been on strike. They have neither the equipment or necessary training.
There is a clear message to those in power from this disaster and that message is simply this. We all need more professionally trained, well-motivated fire-fighters who are valued for the essential and dangerous work they do.

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