Tuesday 27 March 2007

Heroism in the bureaucratic state.

Tim Worstall links to this uplifting story:

A fireman is facing disciplinary action after plunging into a river to rescue a drowning woman.

Tam Brown, 42, is the subject of an internal investigation by Tayside Fire and Rescue because he breached safety rules during the rescue in the River Tay in Perth.

He spent eight minutes in the cold water and at one stage feared that he would be swept to his death. But after dragging the 20-year-old woman to safety he was told by his employer that he had acted improperly by risking his life.

I wish this sort of news was unusual, but it's becoming depressingly normal.

The brigade's rules state: "Personnel should not enter the water." The fire crew should instead have tried to haul the woman out using poles and ropes.

Stephen Hunter, chief fire officer of Tayside Fire and Rescue, admitted that fire engines in Perth were not equipped with the correct poles and ropes, but insisted that Mr Brown had broken the rules.

Stephen Hunter is a man who insists that his personnel may only use tools that they do not have, and he has been promoted as far as chief fire officer.

He said: "Firefighter safety is of paramount importance to us. ..."

As the commenter Dearieme points out on Tim's site, this is an outright lie, and an obvious one at that. If it were true, they wouldn't allow their staff to enter burning buildings. Mind you, maybe that's on the cards.

"... Although our duties include rescues from flooding, there is no statutory obligation to carry out rescues from moving water."

What a horrid little man Stephen Hunter is. He's the head of a fire brigade, but it's more than his job's worth to save lives. May he drown in Hell.

No comments: