FIRE ENGINES FIRED
A new scheme on Leeds will mean firefighters will have to use public transport when attending 999 calls
The pioneering scheme was devised by councillors while on a fact finding trip to Amsterdam. It is beleived over £1,800 of public money was spent on strong Dutch lager and so-called "space cake" during the 4 day stay by 3 members of the transport sub-committee. Transport sub-committee chairman Arthur Daley denies the trip was a junket and insists it was "Damned hard work"
Councillors believe the fire brigade should be in the forefront of eco-friendly transport initiatives. Pink Watch at the West Yorkshire Fire Services station on Kirkstall Road in the centre of Leeds were the first to participate in the scheme.
Station officer, Kirk Hammet explained "The scheme came into effect on June 1st this year. We now have to use public transport or cycling when attending emergency calls. Leeds City Council have built a new bus stop near the station. Within an hour of the scheme starting we had our first call. A house fire was reported near the University, we took our equipment and waited around fifteen minutes for the bus. We were delayed slightly when an old woman boarded the bus and paid her fare in pennys. We got to the incident twenty minutes later, by then neighbours had put out the fire"
There have been further embarassments, in mid June a fire crew attending a multiple car crash were ejected from a bus for using an off peak ticket during the rush hour. The Fire Brigades Union estimate there have been 13 extra deaths as well as £23 million in property damage during the first month of operation. Despite these criticism Leeds council insist the scheme is a success. They point out that fire crews on emergency calls now qualify for half priced fares, furthermore all buses used in Leeds have been fitted with flashing blue lights (though fire crews, with the aid of fellow passengers are expected to make the siren noises). Councillor Daley reckons the scheme has saved 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 greenhouse ozone gas emissions and has reduced global warming by 4 volts.
Yesterday it emerged Counciller Daley was at the Centre of a Police enquiry into alleged corruption. The fire engines from Kirkstall Road were sold to a shell company run by counciller Daleys brother in law for 5p. Councillor Daley denies any wrongdoing. When our reporter, Tracey Ledbetter tried to speak to him at the staff car park in Leeds Civic Centre she was nearly ran down as councillor Daley sped away in his Ferrari 350.
You are Visitor No: