Braveheart ... not brave, no heart

FIRE chiefs “should have saved” a mother of two who fell into a disused mineshaft, her family said, after a fatal accident inquiry found her death could have been avoided.

Lawyer Alison Hume suffered “survivable” injuries after plunging 14 metres down the collapsed shaft in Galston, Ayrshire, in July 2008.

Her rescue was delayed by senior fire officers who showed “rigid compliance” with official health and safety procedures, the inquiry concluded.

The 44-year-old spent up to eight hours in the pit, developed hypothermia, had a heart attack and died in hospital
Firefighters had wanted to go down to rescue her, and 18 of them had been trained to do so. But their senior officers refused to give them permission, believing the situation was not safe.

The sheriff criticised Group Commander Paul Stewart, the senior fire officer at the scene, for saying the rescue had been “a success”.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said Mrs Hume’s death was “a source of enormous regret” but stopped short of issuing an apology to the family


  1. So they just stood around and watched her die ... bastards!

  2. They had a frickin winch too!Believe it or not but that twat Stewart who stopped the rescue is up for promotion! What a cnut!

  3. They had winched a fireman down to her, what they weren't able to do was use the equipment to winch her up.

    The firefighter who introduced the equipment some time ago was on Radio Scotland this morning, he said before 2008 she would have been saved because before that time the memoranda that forbade the use of the winching gear undr those circumstances hadn't been written.

    He also hinted at there being a cost association, insofar as, while all the firefighters were trained only one was actually renumerated, he said explicitly thought that that would not have stopped the firefighters doing it, it was because the senior officer was sticking to the rules. That senior officer was not apparently on site for the entire duration of the emergency.

    Its a mess and they should apologise, nothing worse than a mindless automaton in positions of real responsibility like this.

  4. If any of those firemen had ignored the senior officer responsible for this tragedy they would have been reprimanded or perhaps even sacked. Saying that, my dad was a fireman and he would've disobeyed the senior officer, probably smacked him one too! l'm glad my dad is no longer here to see this. lt would've broke his heart to see what the fire service has become.

    H&S is now killing people because of jobsworths like this Paul Stewart who is probaly just a manager and never attended a fire in his life!

  5. FFS! These bastards are still trying to weasle out of it. Theyre now saying they had to wait for a specialist stretcher. These have to be office jobsworths. Any fireman worth his salt would use a ladder, plank or something in an emergency like this. l agree with Katie, these bastards in charge have never attended emergencies. Twats!

  6. So much on the subject of 'brave' firefighters. What a bunch of snivelling cowards- i mean the fire men on the ground not the Managers- no one expects them to be 'men' these days.

    The simple fact is that they were too scared of being reprimanded or losing their jobs to do the normal decent human thing and rescue the poor woman.

    It's a simple basic tenet of our common humanity that you help anyone in danger no matter what the possible cost to yourself, no matter whether you're 'qualified', 'certified' or 'allowed'.

    That is all our duty.

    The ground crews should be charged with manslaughter.

    Although I'm puzzled how the woman managed to fall down a mine shaft in the first place. Did it suddenly open up in front of her while she was out walking? That can apparently happen although its hella rare...even in Scotland.

  7. SBC ... I have to agree that it's basic humanity to help.

    l was once driving down a secluded road and saw this little kid of about 8/9 screaming by the side of the road. l stopped and went over to find his friend had fallen in the canal. He was just staying afloat but the walls were sheer so l hung over the side full length. My legs were up to my knees in the water. l hung on whilst he climbed over me to the top. l then pulled myself up ... with some difficulty. l then took them home to their parents in my car.

    l'd probably be accused of being a pedo and kidnapper these days but l'd do it again regardless.

  8. SBC .. l read one of them did go down and refused a command to come back up.

  9. Yes a very sad situation indeed, But to explain, I live in an ex mining community in lanarkshire, These old private mineshafts are in many places, Country parks and open ground, They are death traps just waiting to grab anyone who is unlucky enough to walk in the wrong place at the wrong time, Most are long since forgotten and the miners who wotrked them 50+ years ago are long gone as well. They ave been just abandoned by the mine owners who were expected to make them safe, That costs money, so they were covered over with wood or metal sheets and left.

  10. SH hit the nail on the head --- not brave, no heart. They wear yellow helmets, that yellow should continue down their backs for all to see.


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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