VISITING FIRE STATIONS & COVID
Firstly, can we thank members, particularly those that participate in visits, for their forbearance during these unusual times. We understand the frustration of not being able to take forward the extensive visit programme that we had lined up for this year and, indeed, feel it ourselves. Most of the events planned for 2020, it is hoped, will be in the 2021 -22 events programme, Covid restrictions permitting.
We are asking that all members continue to exercise restraint and not to approach stations or brigades with requests for photo’ opportunities. If machines are on forecourts, or out and about, and photography can be undertaken safely, without interaction with the crew, and in compliance with any local or national Covid 19 restrictions, that is acceptable.
However, it has come to our notice that a number of members have been visiting brigade premises specifically to take photographs of new or interesting machines. Bearing in mind the long term financial restrictions that are likely to be in force to pay for the current pandemic when it is over, and especially any Brexit effect's, there is no panic, they are unlikely to be replaced for some time. Most, if not all, Brigades have a safeguarding policy to limit the public’s unnecessary interaction with their personnel in order to protect them, and to make sure they are in a position to help us all when we need them in an emergency. It is unfair to put any firefighter in the invidious position of having to refuse cooperation, or risk breeching their Brigade orders.
As we write this, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, all have restrictions on all but essential travel, and England will join them in a few days-time. By the time you read these words, these specific restrictions may have been lifted, but we would urge members to continue to follow these guidelines; appliance photography is hardly essential. The more we all follow the scientific advice, the sooner we will be able to return to something approaching normality, and all members of The Society, and the wider public, will be able to enjoy life, and pursue their interests and hobbies.
Can I also remind members that it is not acceptable to use The Society’s name, or membership card, to gain access to brigade premises, (Para 4 in the Membership Rules – available on the website for those that have mislaid their copy, and printed on the membership card). To do so risks the member being found 'to be bring The Society into disrepute', leading to possible disciplinary action.
Your cooperation in this important matter is appreciated.
Executive Supervisory Board.