Save our souls: there is greater danger in doing nothing while waiting for the right time to act than saying the wrong thing and upsetting the applecart. There is too much to be done in too short a time and everybody is rack-stretched, but can we not state our concerns, court debate and steer the Service as it should be, rather than wait for the ends to justify the means?(view)

'Do not go gentle in to that good night, rage, rage against the dying of he light' said the great Welsh Bard Dylan Thomas, before slipping into a coma. with the spate of retirements of late it seems many senior Fire Service officers are not heeding his advice either. It is hardly surprising given the tumult of radical progress, but it is symptomatic of a wider malaise.

Are we sleep walking into a facile Fire Service future: another hybrid local authority one stop shop? Nothing special, nothing strange, blending into the background of public sector uniformity, without the uniforms. There seems to be no alacrity, little appreciation of the importance of the process of change.

There is wide recognition that modernisation, this radical change, is necessary and that the Fire and Rescue Service will be a different organ altogether by 2010. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.