London Fire Brigade LogoBefore the release of any reports that attempt to apportion blame at the firefighters that attended the Grenfell disaster, I suggest the powers that be rewatch the following video.

Grenfell Tower: A fireman’s memories in poetry

Not a single firefighter who attended that day gave anything less than 110%.  Many who attended are no doubt still paying for those efforts and will probably do so for the rest of their lives.   

Using terms such as ‘Corporate Manslaughter charges’ anywhere near the firefighters who attended that day would be an attack on the very people that put their own lives on the line on each and every shout they attend.  

Before the release of any reports that attempt to apportion blame at the firefighters that attended the Grenfell disaster, I suggest the powers that be rewatch the following video.

Grenfell Tower: A fireman’s memories in poetry

London Fire Brigade Logo

Not a single firefighter who attended that day gave anything less than 110%.  Many who attended are no doubt still paying for those efforts and will probably do so for the rest of their lives.   

Using terms such as ‘Corporate Manslaughter charges’ anywhere near the firefighters who attended that day would be an attack on the very people that put their own lives on the line on each and every shout they attend.  

The initial reports regarding the first stage of the Grenfell report suggest they are reporting it with the benefit of hindsight.  They’ve written it arse about face. “Serious shortcomings” and “Systemic failures” are not terms that should be applied to the London Fire Brigade​ in any way, shape or form.

The firefighters arrived to a well established fire that was the result of “Serious shortcomings” and “Systemic failures” in the building itself and the management of the building.  The Grenfell disaster was unique in that nothing of this scale and magnitude had ever been seen before. As will be shown in later enquiries no doubt, the Grenfell disaster was entirely preventable.  There were already laws, guidelines and regulations in place to prevent a situation like this from ever happening. Anything less than those conclusions will be a cover-up protecting those where blame truly lies, whilst pouring scorn and misery on the very firefighters who attended with the aim of saving as many people as they could. 

There had been similar incidents involving cladding, but nothing would have prepared the firefighters for the specific situation at Grenfell.  They are firefighters and don’t have the ability to see into the future. There is only so much preparation and training that can be done for the ‘unknown’.  Despite this, every firefighter was prepared to walk into that unknown not knowing if they would return in an effort to save as many lives as they could. 

Lessons can always be learned after an event.   Not making the same mistakes is something that should be adhered to.   That involves giving our firefighters the credit and respect they deserve.  It involves giving them the resources and manpower they require. It involves those in power enforcing the laws that would have prevented the building to be covered in known flammable materials flouting multiple building regulations.  

I am not saying that mistakes were not made, some of which may have contributed to a higher casualty count.  Disaster recovery planning involves attempting to foresee and safeguard against events that haven’t happened yet.  Poor planning, a weakened organisation and lack of available resources will hinder operations. Those are not the fault of the firefighter.  It is not the fault of those on the front line. It is not the fault of those who go into these types of situations.

Do not attack our firefighters, support them. 

Do not blame our firefighters, given them the resources they need.

Do not forget our firefighters, they never forget what they have been through. 

Our firefighters are always there for us.  Let’s make sure we are there for them right now and in the future.   Firefighters already pay for our accidents and the mistakes that we make, let us not add to their burdens. 

No firefighter does it for the money or “the glory”. A firefighter is one of life’s true vocational careers as are our Nurses, Healthworkers, Doctors, Police and Military forces.  None of those would have a job if it were not for our own failings and misfortunes. 

Do not attack our firefighters, support them.

To all the firefighters that attended Grenfell that day, and to each an every firefighter around the UK, I support you.   Thank you for all that you do, and for who you are. To those who have already given, you are not and will never be forgotten.