Grenfell was a tragedy that should never have happened, but is it really fair to blame those at the top of the Fire Brigade? It was an awful thing to happen and I truly believe that the Fire Brigade were unprepared for such an emergency as lets face it…who would even of thought that could happen?
Nobody could have guessed that such poor, flammable cladding would have been put on a residential block and be of such poor quality it would have the effect of the area going up like a match! Or that a resident of number 16 would have a defective fridge freezer capable of starting the fire by accident. It was the culmination in a lot of bad things going wrong.
The Fire Brigade through successive governments have been reduced to a force barely able to cope and yet cope they do, and those at the top were probably the sort of people who would not have got there if the funding was in place, and those who resigned in disgusted at the cuts had infact stayed…who knows?
It is the like the Army when they did the first options for change and the best took their pay off and left, and in reality the Army has never recovered from that.
It is unfair to blame the Fire Department at any level …look at the funding, at the equipment and who insisted on the stay put order itself. Was this the sort of advice given by those in Government as I cannot imagine the Fire Brigade can move without their every more being scrutinised.
Asking Fire Chief Dany Cotton during her evidence if she would change anything was unfair…after all hindsight is a good thing but she probably did not know any better, and probably still doesn’t as it seems nothing is in place for it happening again.
I am sorry that people died in such horrible circumstances, and if I was a relative I would be screaming from the rooftops but our emergency services are at their lowest ebb in a long time, and is it really fair to try to get them prosecuted for doing a job that lets face it you or I would not do…I know I wouldn’t , couldn’t and that is because I am a coward at the thought of running into a burning building and am grateful that there are brave people like them willing to risk their lives for people like me.
Being a soldier for me was easy…being a fireman is something that I could not do…the fear would root me to the spot.
As mentioned hindsight is great after the fact but that night was something that had not seen before and how it was dealt with was by following the Fire Brigade procedure….they have to have a procedure or else it would not work and yes those firemen on the ground were brave, and many of them should be awarded the George Medal as how many of us would run into a building fire to rescue strangers? I know in my own heart I would like to think I could but on the day….who knows?
Sir Martin Moore-Bick states himself that commanders had no training on the dangers of combustible cladding or on how to evacuate a high-rise block and think about it…who thought those things would go up the way they did?. They should go after the council who ordered them and the installers for corporate manslaughter but not those who tried so hard to get them out nor their commanders.
The lesson to be learnt from this is that our Fire Brigade needs more funding, and needs to have more fighters followed by training, training and more training as the higher we build the buildings…the harder it will be to get people out, and more deaths and misery will happen as we will be unprepared.
It is a case of cutting money all way round…the fire fighters receiving too little, the council wanting to save money and the team of installers cutting back for a bigger profit…a very sad state of affairs for those victims and their families, but go after those who deliberately misled…the council and the installers.