Suspended fire officer to finally face hearing - one year on
A fire service control room manager who allegedly passed on concerns about equipment which failed during a call-out will finally undergo a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday — almost a year after being suspended.
The officer, along with another, was originally suspended from his post following an incident in Cellan, near Lampeter, in early November last year.
Emergency crews were sent to the house fire in one of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s new Rural Response Pumps, (RRPs) which were introduced by the service to provide cover in rural areas of South West Wales.
The Fire Brigades’ Union had previously issued a safety critical notice to managers over the vehicles, which were rejected by another service because of their limitations, claiming they did not have enough water in their tanks to put out even a small fire.
Senior officers said the vehicle had malfunctioned at the incident only after the fire had been extinguished, which is disputed by the FBU.
The officer has been suspended for the past year on full pay, while he awaits his hearing.
His colleague was allowed to return in May, more than six months after the incident, but has been on sick leave ever since.
According to Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service guidelines, employers should “not unreasonably delay meetings, decisions or confirmation
of those decisions” over disciplinary matters.
The Evening Post asked MWWFRS the reason for the delay of the disciplinary hearing.
A spokesman for the service said: “These are matters relating to individual’s employment and as such we will not be commenting”.
In March, MWWFRS suspended a fire officer based at its Ammanford station, after he allegedly tweeted remarks of a sexual nature while on duty. He was allowed to return back to work, following an investigation, within weeks.
Barrie Davies, the FBU secretary for Mid and West Wales, said: “The Union is unable to comment on this matter until the disciplinary process concludes”.
The hearing comes after another fire service was criticised after suspending a whistle-blowing officer. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service suspended
whistle-blower Linda Ford after she made allegations of wrongdoing, but last week, the Public Accounts Committee condemned the decision as wrong, and reprehensible, and said whistle- blowers should be protected.