Wednesday, 31 July 2013

When did a Fire Engine last pass you on blues?

The banshee wail of emergency vehicle sirens is a daily occurrence here in London traffic, but when a colleague asked me yesterday of the last time a fire engine on 'blues and twos' had shouldered its way through the queued traffic, I couldn't remember. Police vehicles and ambulance vans and increasingly cars are common; a fire engine as rare as hens teeth. 

Of course it may be we just don't spontaneously combust any more, or set fire to chip pans, or chimneys, or use Naptha instead of charcoal on the BBQ. In which case Boris' planned closure of fire stations in London has some justification. Or it might be that they're quietly and discreetly attending the homes of Guardian readers in order to remove domestic appliances from their penises ... 


corncrake said...

Round our way oop north they are knocking down fire stations as fast as they can.
The one on my youngest daughter's estate went almost overnight!
However, I have yet to see any new ones going up to replce them, my local one is now a combined police/fire station.

Electric blues said...

It is also extremely highly recommended to desist from urinating against an electrified fence. There are pics on the internet to show how such activity might affect one's manhood!

English Pensioner said...

I see/hear them several times daily, but then I live quite close to the Fire Station.
But, most seem to be heading towards the motorway, presumably to deal with accidents, rather than fires.

James Higham said...

Ah but you wait for the spate of fires once they're all removed.

corncrake said...

@ James Higham
This is the worry, all the ones I have seen knocked down/removed recently have been with-in populated areas, now they seem to all be disappearing out of town.
So the concern is firstly, the time taken to respond to a fire. Secondly, local knowledge is being lost, increasing response times.
Finally, instead of being part of the community, the fire service is getting more and more remote from it.

G. Tingey said...

There are a lot less flammable materials about ...
No in-house paraffin heaters - anyone else remember the horrors of those? Or coal fires, either.
Just the same, one does wonder about this programme, & if it is advisable - I happen to think not.

Span Ows said...

I live near to the 303 and M5 so we get fire engines passing several times a week on route to the latest summer caravan season accident.

Anonymous said...


I live in rural East Sussex. Here volunteer fire fighters train at the gym I go to just to get the chance to play with the big shiny machines.

They tell me about having to be "on call" and their tales of derring do with blood on their hands after, say, a road accident.

That is wonderful and I respect them for their service to the community.

They are paid a pittance for their services because they just want to do it.

In local cities, the firefighters are paid via my taxes and get a fat pension.

Go figure.