The factory fire on Melton Road, in the city, on Thursday of last week was the first fire I had attended and took charge of since joining the service late last year. After the initial actions of taking over and commanding the incident I had chance to reflect on my first major incident in Leicestershire.
I have over these last 10 months had the opportunity to visit all stations and all departments in the service and experienced at first hand the high levels of equipment, appliances and premise we have in the service. I have also had chance to meet the staff of LFRS and sit down and talk to what was an unknown group of people.
I was heartened by the people I spoke to and, although they were not always happy to hear of what I spoke, they all showed integrity, intelligence and courtesy. Along with these behaviours I always came away from the places I visited with a sense of the passion for the Service and enthusiasm for the roles these people had.
Though all of these things were very positive, the only thing that I constantly asked myself over these early visits was, are we any good at firefighting?
On Thursday in Melton Road I finally got my answer. Yes! As well as all the other good bits we do, we are a good firefighting Service.
I understand the term ‘good’ may to some of you seem a little bland. However, in every fire and rescue service that I have ever worked, the greatest complement that could be paid to any watch was by being referred to as “a good firefighting watch”
We are collectively facing some difficult times currently, with other issues still to come. However, for that period of time last Thursday on Melton Road I saw courage, skill, knowledge, experience, teamwork and compassion from all levels of the Service united in a single cause.
I am clearly not the only one who has this feeling, as the following comments below posted and tweeted demonstrate.
I am proud to be part of this ’good’ firefighting service and for that I want to thank you all.
RICHARD CHANDLER (Deputy Chief Fire and Rescue Officer)
Messages from social media:
“Well done to all our lads who attended and are still there now. You are the best bunch of blokes I’ve ever had the pleasure of cooking for xx”
“Hope all emergency service staff stay safe, thanks for all you guys do to look after us.. Keep safe..”
“Respect to the fire fighters for keeping it under control, had the potential of being something very nasty.”
“Well dun to all u men that put out the big fire on Melton road well dun…”
“Well done to the brave lads who have been fighting this fire! X”
“How on earth that petrol station did not go up in flames as well fire service done an amazing job! Unbelievable”
“Well done for all the firemen and women and police for making the place safe for everyone. A very good job xx”
“Fire crew did a fantastic job”
“Well done to all fire crews who attended the incident this morning.”
“Well done 2 all the emergency teams for keeping the situation under control. A very risky job,but a job well done. Lives saved, petrol station saved. Could have been much worse. Now the task of pulling down anything unsafe. Well done 2 everyone involved”
“Great job by Leicestershire fire and police. Job well Done”
“Well done to all those involved keeping us safe and stopping this from becoming even more dangerous than it already was.”
“Well done to all Emergency Services”
“Thank You for saving our lives. God Bless”
“The emergency services did a brilliant job.”
“Thank you for keeping us safe “
“Well done to you all”
“Well done lads that petrol station could of easily gone up”
“Hats off to you firefighters”
“Well done all. X”
“Well done 2 the firefighters 4 containing it and keeping it under control.”
“Good job guys! Well done.. x”
“I witnessed the fire…was too scary….but hats off to the firefighters….”
“Well done crews from @LeicsFireRescue!”