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Thread: Civil Servants Give Me A Laugh

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Civil Servants Give Me A Laugh

    London Fire Brigade has just announced the figures for false alarm callouts to Hospitals in the area they cover. One of our local Hospitals has been shown to be the fifth worse with a claimed 94 false alarms. In response to this the Civil Servant responsible for the Hospital has stated that the figure is wrong and there were 'only' 86. (Well it made me smile.)

    Not so good though is that they blame aerosol cans being used too close to detectors. What kind of aerosol sprays are they using in a Hospital that sets off fire alarms?

  2. #2
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    Naw! I'm not going to answer that one, it just makes my mind boggle?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2012
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    When I started working for the NHS, I was based in an old hospital. After a couple of years, we moved, lock, stock and barrel, to a brand new building.

    In the old hospital, it was the practice for the staff in maternity to make the new mothers toast and boiled eggs in the ward kitchen. I believe that this service was much appreciated by new and expectant mothers.

    In the new hospital, with new alarms, the steam from the kettle, and the smoke from the toast, set the alarms off. After a couple of tries to make it possible, the service had to be abandoned.

  4. #4
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    The new hospital here in Fife has banned anything being put on the walls, this includes get well cards, or even staff notices?

    The whole building is bland, and boring, with no atmosphere, even the staff don't like being there, let alone the patients?

  5. #5
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    Our new hospital had some original art which they commissioned from a local art college. Some was pretty weird, but it was at least bright. They also painted a mural on the walls of the children's ward. It was like walking into a film set for Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland combined.

    We too had a total ban on anything being put on walls, doors or glass. There were cork boards for cards etc, and any temporary signs had to conform to a standard and they had proper stands to put them on. It didn't last - go there now and there is stuff all over the place. It takes a strong management to enforce these things.

    It is one of the things that I am most proud of - organising the removal of an entire 400 bed hospital, together with the administration, from their old home to the new one 20 miles away.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2016
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    Some years ago, civil service computer operators had scrunched up some computer paper to play improvised football in the computer room. Apparently this paper hit the device on the ceiling which activates the foam water spray, which in turn activated the fire alarm.

    As it was a large building in the centre of Liverpool about 15 fire appliances turned up.

  7. #7
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    I am boggling a little at the idea of a "foam water spray" in a computer room.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2017
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    A friend told me a story about a building in which high level optical break-beams were fitted for smoke detection. The beam being broken by a solid object would register an alarm on the fire panel, a second broken beam would evacuate the building.

    One day, an electrician came along to do change some light bulbs and put up his ladder, swinging it through the beam and resting it on the wall. This caused an alarm, so a security guard ran to the area, found a false alarm, and said to the electrician "You've set the alarm off with your ladder! Let me ring Bert who's at the panel to cancel it".

    Our electrician is a little worried he's caused a kerfuffle, so he decides that it'd be better to take the ladder down. He swings it back, promptly breaking the beam a second time and evacuating the entire building.

  9. #9
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    May 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    I am boggling a little at the idea of a "foam water spray" in a computer room.
    and a test button to set off a sprinkler system, surely not...

  10. #10
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    At the new hospital, fire precautions were very well thought out. The two story building is a series of crosses all linked by a main 'street' and by connecting doors which would usually be closed. If a fire started in a ward, patients could be evacuated in their beds through to the next cross and the fireproof doors would shut off the smoke. All the doors in the 'street' were normally held open by electro-magnets, and if the alarm went off, they all closed automatically.

    This meant that the fire and smoke was confined to one wing of one cross and there were powerful fans there to blow the smoke out of the roof. We did regular drills, and once a year there was a major one, involving all the emergency services and volunteers in beds acting as patients. Fortunately we never did it for real.

    We also rehearsed major incidents. One I was involved with was a train wreck; A commuter train had failed to stop at the local station (a terminus) and mayhem ensued. There is a group of volunteers who specialise in being casualties at these things, and the make-up they use is very realistic. We all think about the firemen etc dragging victims out, and the medics battling to save lives, but we also rehearsed the peripheral stuff like handling the bodies, the press and the panicking relatives (volunteers for them too). Then afterwards, the inevitable meetings to look at what went wrong and how to fix it.

    The funny story happened in the middle of the chaos that was A&E reception. Triage nurses trying to sort out the incoming victims; ambulance staff, relatives and police milling around and one of the volunteer casualties decided to stage a heart attack. The hospital team were so into it by then the he was on a trolley and having his chest pounded by a burly nurse before anyone realised that he was only acting.

    The 'casualties' came from the Casualties Union. Look at their website and see how realistic they get - http://www.casualtiesunion.org.uk/

    A story one guy told me was that in another simulated train crash they had done, a volunteer was sent back down the track aways to be someone who had been thrown out of a window. The police were suppose to walk right back to the start of the crash site searching for victims like him, but someone didn't do the job properly. Eventually, after three hours lying with a 'broken leg' in the rain, he gave up and came limping in by himself, pretty disgruntled.
    Last edited by Santa; 05-02-17 at 09:56.

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