October/November 2002

  Welcome to the second article in a new series on Pudsey.com


.... and hello again from
Sub Officer Stephen Wolstenholme
of Pudsey Fire Station.

You won’t have failed to have heard about the fire service strikes planned for November and December as this news seems to be the top of every news bulletin as I write. It is certainly a very worrying time for everyone and whilst I feel I could not write this article without mentioning the dispute, I do not think that it would be right to use this space for discussing this subject. Everyone will have their own views on the matter and all I wish to say is that the firefighters involved have not taken the decision lightly and that people should realise that, like every story in the news, there are many more issues behind the head lines.


Copyright West Yorkshire Fire Service
Remember, remember the 5th of November.
  I mention this in case you had forgotten when bonfire night was. Fireworks have been going off most times of the day and night for the past month and so I assume that many people may becoming confused as when these celebrations are normally held. Aside from the nuisance value, it is often over looked that fireworks are explosives and this fact has been brought home recently by figures showing that Leeds and Bradford currently have the highest numbers of injuries caused by fireworks in the country so far this. As well being responsible for enforcing the safe storage and sale of petrol, the fire service also has the same authority over explosives. Consequently anyone wishing to sell fireworks has to apply to the fire service for a licence to do so. Once a business has submitted their application crews from the local fire station make a visit to check that the fireworks are stored and sold within the requirements of the law. So if you are shopping in Pudsey and a crew of firefighters are wandering around with the manager you will have some idea now as to what they are doing. Unfortunately at this time of year, a firefighters involvement with fireworks does not end at the point of sale, but also at the point of delivery! It is being increasingly popular whilst attending rubbish and bonfires in the Pudsey and Bradford area for youths to fire rockets and air bombs horizontally at fire crews. Thankfully so far this year we have had no serious public disorder and apart from the occasional thrown stone none of my crew have been hit, but I always make a point of instructing them to wear their flash-hoods up and helmet visors down when attending fires where there are gangs of youths present.


  Firefighters from Pudsey will be joining the Remembrance Parade on Sunday 10th November to lay a wreath at the cenotaph.

It will be the last time crews from Pudsey Fire Station will attend the ceremony as the station is closing in February 2003. Hopefully personnel from the soon to be opened Stanningley Fire Station will attend next year and maintain a fire service presence. I fear that Remembrance Day is becoming lost on the young these days but they must realise that we are not only paying tribute to those who gave their lives for us during the two World Wars, but also those who have lost their lives in more recent conflicts like the Falklands and Gulf Wars.

As firefighters we now have two days a year which are significant to ourselves and the memory of our fallen colleagues. On Remembrance Day we think of those who lost their lives fighting the fires of the Blitz and of course September 11th when so many colleagues died in the collapse of the Twin Towers.


Photo Copyright West Yorkshire Fire Service
It is easy to dismiss the dangers of working as a firefighter and I think the New York disaster brought it home to every firefighter that there is no guarantees that we will all come home at the end of a shift.

In fact only this week another firefighter has died. Leicestershire firefighter Bob Miller was killed in a warehouse fire whilst searching for a vagrant believed to be sleeping there. Roy leaves a widow and two teenage sons. Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has set up a memorial fund for Bob and anyone wishing to make a donation should do so by forwarding monies to :-
Bob Miller Memorial Fund
C/o Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service HQ
Anstey Frith
Leicester Road

               Any cheques should be made payable to :-
                                ‘Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service’

  Last months article..... Click here

Finally, as ever, let me encourage you to make sure that you and your families are as safe as possible from fire. The easiest way to do this is to arrange for a free home fire safety check, or if you are an employer maybe you would like to arrange for someone to call to help you with your work place risk assessment, particularly if the firefighter's strike should go ahead. Just ring the number below to arrange for a visit convenient to yourself.

Pudsey Fire Station number is 0113 257 4223.

If you want to get in touch with me regarding anything to do with the fire service, drop me an email via  safe@pudsey.com

Visit the web site of the West Yorkshire Fire Service where you will find more information and links.

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