Friday, June 15, 2007
The Trouble With Chairs
Those of you with long memories may recall that I wrote about Greater Manchester fire service's rather strange chair edict last year.
Oh well, let me refresh your memory.
Lats year Nanny's chums in the Greater Manchester Fire Service drew up a four-page safety manual, to instruct crews on how to sit in a reclining chair.
The story, as the old saying goes, doesn't end there...dear me no!
On the normal 15-hour night shift, firemen are allotted time to rest between emergencies and running through their training drills.
They are allowed to have a rest for up to three hours, but they are not allowed to go to sleep...errrr work that one out?
Those who work for the Greater Manchester fire service have been instructed that they can only rest in prescribed reclining chairs, only after they have been trained to use them of course.
It doesn't stop there.
It would seem that 3 "very naughty", but highly experienced firemen, are facing disciplinary action.
What was their crime?
Being drunk on duty?
Being unfit to perform their duties?
Their crime was...wait for it...wait for it..."involvement in the use of unauthorised rest facilities".
The "naughty three" found it to be more to sleep on the hard station floor, than on one of Nanny's £400 reclining chairs.
Nanny's fire chiefs are looking into claims that the "naughty three" defied orders to rest only on the £400 reclining chairs, which were installed as a replacements for beds in Greater Manchester's 41 fire stations last year.
They are accused of breaking regulations, by deciding it was more comfortable to use their own sleeping bags and bed down on the floor.
Not unsurprisingly the unions have described the policy as ridiculous, saying their members are being treated like children.
When the chairs were installed the firemen were also told that they could only use specially issued blankets, not their own bedding.
The "naughty three", including a watch commander, were found to have breached the reclining chair orders after a locker inspection found sleeping bags stashed away.
Director of human resources, Anita Wainwright, said...seemingly with a straight face:
"Risk-assessed facilities have been provided
for rest only, not sleep.
However, if a firefighter were to doze off on the
rest facilities provided, a common sense approach is adopted."
"Risk assessed facilities"????
Whenever I hear the "risk assessment" phrase, I instinctively reach for my sick bag.
Why can't Nanny call a spade a spade?
The firemen note that the chairs are not comfortable for a proper rest.
One is quoted as saying:
"This is bureaucracy gone barmy
We cannot use pillows on the chairs
and we cannot use our own blankets.
Airline blankets have been issued instead.
We do not mind being assessed on performance,
but being spied on like this leaves a nasty taste."
One day, Nanny's own house might burn down...who will rush to rescue her then?