I read a piece on some news site or other a few days ago (can’t remember where), it was talking through the issues that will shortly impact upon us all i.e. public sector cut backs. Whilst people were making suggestions as to where the axe should fall, I found a comment about fire-fighters & additional jobs outside of their normal working hours.
The correspondent suggested that reasonably well paid ‘full time’ fire-fighters, given they only spend a small proportion of their duty time actually fighting fires and attending emergencies, should be changed to ‘retained’ status. This he said would “create a substantial saving”. The author of the comment was a fire-fighter.
After spending thirty years of my life in the ‘emergency services’, firemen and their ‘part time jobs’ was always a hot topic (excuse the pun) for some heated discussion (sorry again) and a modicum of derision. The subject also came to the fore during pay disputes and claims for higher pay.
At the time, police officers tended to be the ones on the highest level of remuneration out of the three services. That said, only the police carried out a 24/7 role where they actually performed the task they were paid for, throughout their tour of duty time. Police officers were not in a position where they could sleep (hopefully) through a full night shift, and still receive payment for doing it. That said, with the constant whittling away at pay and conditions (for all three services), perhaps the time is right for all of them to be allowed part-time jobs?
The subject reared its head again this week when I saw a friend’s hen night photos on Facebook. All the girls were enjoying themselves in a decommissioned fire appliance which had been converted into a girl’s night out party limousine. What a great idea thinks I, some enterprising chap has capitalised on the female desire and enjoyment of seeing hunky, well toned muscular fire-fighters. I bet that’ll be a money spinner when it catches on! Diving into Google, I decided to gauge the popularity of the concept?
You would be amazed how many similar operations are already giving the party girls a ‘full service’! The Blazing Squad Hire & Rescue in County Durham, the Coventry Hire Brigade serving the Midlands and Party to the Rescue operating in the Bournemouth area at an advertised £185 per hour are just three such examples of the ‘service’. Given the stereotypical population of Bournemouth I must say I was surprised to find the latter… Perhaps their appliances are actually fitted out with chair lifts and other elderly or disabled friendly facilities?
On continuing the research into the subject, I found the UK Emergency Vehicles website, displayed a collection of some 30+ similarly equipped/converted retired appliances. It was also interesting to see the medical arm of the emergency services was not to be outdone… The provision of a ‘Party Ambulance’ (including a crew of ‘sexy nurses’), would ensure the blokes were also accommodated and, probably more importantly, another element of ‘the nice little earner’ was covered. (Having said that, the ‘ambulance’ is actually operated by the Blazing Squad see above).
After visiting many of the websites that offer these services I have to say; I was very impressed as to the aptitude, professionalism and adept manner in which the ‘firemen’ handled their equipment. You would almost think a lot of them were actually real fire-fighters… That surely couldn’t be correct…Could it? No, it would be too wicked of me to cast aspersions about highly trained people who devote their working lives to saving others. Wouldn’t it? Or, could it simply be that; more lucrative supplementary part-time occupations are actually being hindered by the ‘meager pay’ of the full-time job (as intimated by the fireman at the top of this article)?
Who was it who said, “there’s no smoke without fire?” I’ll leave you to formulate your own opinion! 🙂