The good old boys in Nanny's health and safety Gestapo have been up to their old tricks again.
This time they have decreed that a trained rescue professional (a fireman to be precise) should not have attempted to rescue someone from drowning, because it was too dangerous!!!
Tam Brown, a professional fireman (trained to rescue people), has found himself on the wrong end of Nanny's sticky pole (a lousy metaphor, I know...but it's Monday morning...give me a break!) and is now subject to an internal investigation by Tayside Fire and Rescue because he breached safety rules during the rescue in the River Tay in Perth.
Mr Brown spent eight minutes in the cold water, as he dragged a 20 year old woman to safety. Unfortunately, Nanny believes that he had acted improperly by risking his life.
Mr Brown has 15 years' experience as a fireman, and quite rightly was hailed as a hero by the woman's family. However, Tayside Fire and Rescue said that he had broken the brigade's "standing instructions" on safety procedures.
Kind of odd that isn't it?
I thought that those who joined the fire service did so because they wanted to help save lives.
Mr Brown said:
"I was expected to watch that young girl die in front of me.
As a father and a caring human being,
I couldn't live with myself if I'd had to do that."
He went on to say:
"We had seconds to act. The girl was losing consciousness.
We had one harness, so I put that on and went
down 20ft on a safety line, grabbed her and held
her out of the water. My colleagues tried to pull
us towards steps, but the current was so bad and
the rope was pulled so hard it snapped.
My own life hung in the balance as I swam
for the steps with her in my arms.
But we got there and were pulled out.
I was in the water for eight minutes and it
was heart-stoppingly cold, but we saved her."
Unfortunately the rules say that fire crew should instead have tried to haul the woman out using poles and ropes.
Aha...there is one fly in Nanny's oinkment here.
Can you guess what that is?
Yes, that's right, 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!
However, let us not be deterred by facts and reality, Nanny insists that Mr Brown should have used the non existent pole.
Therefore, Mr Brown must be punished for his lamentable action.
As Stephen Hunter so "eloquently" put it:
"Firefighter safety is of paramount importance to us.
Although our duties include rescues from flooding,
there is no statutory obligation to carry out
rescues from moving water.
We know they broke procedure because
we know he went into the water.
We are investigating exactly what happened,
and once that is concluded we will consider
what action is necessary.
That could include disciplinary action."
Steve Hill, chairman of the Perth branch of the Fire Brigades Union, is not too impressed with Nanny:
"Not one senior officer has congratulated Tam
or the other officers who attended that night.
They should be elated they saved a life but are
traumatised that they face disciplinary action instead.
Contradicting an order can lead to dismissal.
If Tam hadn't gone in, the public might have
tried to save her and we could have ended up
with several dead."
Nanny claims that she wishes to minimise (or eliminate) risk, in reality all she cares about is having her petty and odious rules followed.