I am writing to you in reference to your A. A. Grundi ‘opinion’ piece entitled Worksop Fire Fiasco which appeared in the Guardian on 9th August.
As you will be aware, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service works extremely hard to provide an excellent fire and rescue service to the people of Nottinghamshire and continues to work with vulnerable people to help reduce fires and other emergencies in Worksop and its surrounding areas. As you can imagine, I was extremely disappointed to see such a one-sided article appearing in your paper, even if it is under the guise of an ‘opinion’ piece.
My officers and firefighters have provided your publication with information on the incident at Shireoaks Road on an on-going basis so I am unsure as to why your newspaper felt the need to speculate on this issue of public safety in such a flippant manner. The incident required a multi-agency approach and has been tackled in a professional and responsible manner by all concerned, so for your piece to suggest that ‘fire crews gave up’ is disingenuous to say the least!
The final sentence in the ‘article’ however, is particularly concerning. This seems to suggest that our firefighters, many of whom lived within the locality of Worksop, would rather engage in leisure activities than attend incidents and keep people safe.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has always maintained an excellent working relationship with the local press and is happy to be held to account by accurate journalism based on facts. The ‘article’ is both damaging to the reputation of the organisation and to the morale of our hardworking firefighters and officers and only serves to undermine public confidence unnecessarily.
I would be very pleased to discuss with you the many positive things we are doing in Bassetlaw, which includes the building of a new fire station in Retford and our desire to improve resources at Worksop, as well as the on-going work with those most vulnerable to reduce risk.
In the meantime, I would request that the aforementioned piece is retracted and that an apology is issued.
John Buckley MSc
Deputy Chief Fire Officer