Fire Fighting in Northern Ireland

Issue 2 and Volume 135.

Fire Fighting in Northern Ireland features For most Americans, the notion of fighting fire in Northern Ireland brings to mind a nightmarish, network-news vision: A group of people on a Belfast street; an overturned and burning car; and a “pump” arriving, its two-tone European siren unable to shield it from a barrage of bricks and stones. The image is that of a heroic group seemingly unable to do more than respond to one incident of civil disturbance after another. That picture is, in the opinion of those who head the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade, not accurate. The “troubles” Chief Fire Officer George Morrison, who heads the brigade which protects all 5239 square miles of Northern Ireland, explains that while in 1969 the “troubles” accounted for 18 to 20 percent of the brigade’s workload, the figure for 1981 stands at 1 to 2 percent. In fact, the leading causes of fire…

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