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Rainbow Pump - A Waste of Public Cash?

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Yes, I know I will be called a bigot, a homophobe and God knows what - but please please tell me the LFB got sponsorship to paint this pump in Pride colours!

I have attended Pride in Paris (exactly one year ago) and it was a brilliant celebration, but what ever happened to austerity? Ridiculous waste of money


Pride Pump.jpeg

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This is a good example of the FRS engaging with groups of the community we were perhaps not that close to in the past.  

Its only a bit of paint that I don't suppose is permanent.  What's the problem? 

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I don't see it as an issue at all, it's much like the pink ones in Merseyside for breast cancer. They are not painted just vinyl wrapped which I believe is done via sponsorship in many cases anyway. 

As for not being billboards... I say they are exactly that. In Surrey we have joined the advertising campaigns on lockers party quite late but now 'advertise' on our trucks that we Co Respond with South East Ambulance Service and since the FBU sanctioned trial have attended over 5500 medical calls.

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I work in the public sector and money is tight. Very tight. Every £ is agonized over and every penny justified. 

We also have an obligation to promote diversity and are very successful

So Its from that background I am questioning the expense of this sort of gimmick

Plus Pride is a celebtation of freedom and not an opportunity for organisations or companies to promote their agendas.

Notting Hill Carnival has gone the same way . A  mock up of a RN submarine has no place at a Caribbean carnival. I suggest the same applies to a pump at a gay festival

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You know what, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, if this is a way of reaching out to LGBT community and the community as a whole to show how inclusive the LFB is then so be it, haven't you heard messy, austerity is dead!  It's a bit of paint, get over it... 

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31 minutes ago, WayneHealey said:

 haven't you heard messy, austerity is dead!  

You better have a word with Theresa May as she hadn't heard its dead either  ?

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Why not just send a normal fire engine? Strongly think that the brigade should be involved in reaching out to people and to be a part of communities but im not sure how much more equal people will feel because there is a brightly coloured fire engine there. Sightly patronising perhaps?

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I was a little disappointed as I proposed a LFB150 wrap for the first new Merc last year that even the (last) Commissioner liked but never say the light of day because of wrangling by the 'gatekeeper' of LFB's branding rights... who is by all accounts a nightmare. Having said that, this is almost certainly been done by Babcock as part of their image promotion as the owner of the appliances as part of sponsorship, which they have done for other things such as the Fire cadet minibus.

Either way, I don't have an issue with it in 2017.

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This issue raises a bit of a quandary while I'm trying to get my head around it.  Personally, I support many causes to varying degrees these being some.  As a provider of highly trusted public services the fire service should remain outwardly politically/socially/commercially neutral as one key fire service value is to serve our diverse communities equally regardless of the differences.   The fire service needs to be the caretaker of its own "brand" and reputation (local, national, and international) and not have it appropriated for political/social/commercial reasons.

The fact that fire apparatus and uniformed fire service members participate in the pride parade says all that needs to be said (to me at least).  

I'm on board with fire prevention and safety messages (core fire service value) but I can't help but get the impression endorsing whatever politically sensitive "great cause of the day" is currently popular will be a "special interest" management nightmare for the fire service.  What happens when the Healthy Heart association gets a fire apparatus wrap and Diabetes doesn't for example?

I do hope it engages community groups (and employees) we often don't reach; but I also wonder whether its perceived and appreciated in a positive light (in the ways that we think) or is it dismissed as lip service, gimmick, political correctness...

I will own up to being a hypocrite (because I can't have it both ways) and say; in this instance (100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge) this was an appropriate deviation from the fire safety message remembrance/patriotism...


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I have been at various events this weekend and at one the wrapped pump for city of culture was there.  I was chatting to the driver and he and others have said they are having near misses because as they approach people on blues no one knows it's a fire engine coming hence the pride one has a red front.  Apparently a senior officer was out with his partner a few weeks ago and as they are walking down the street his Mrs says oh look there a fire engine and he turns around and said there is actually 2 and she was adamant there was just the 1.  It's confusing for people.

Personally if they are going to be promoting stuff it needs to be fire related, and then really it needs to be lockers/rear half of crew cab.

I cannot see any benefit in covering a pump like a rainbow, it serves no purpose, if a black/white/yellow/gold person of what ever ethnicity etc etc wants to join the job they will do but not because of a coloured fire engine.  A fire engine is there to serve a purpose and not a bill board.  /rant over


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This one isn't on the run, so none of the issues in your rant are really an issue. It's an old mark one that was probably being used as a spare. 

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Yawn. I saw the truck being wrapped at Ruislip workshop the other week, it's big old sheets of vinyl melted on with an industrial hairdryer... I don't think it cost the brigade millions. As quite rightly pointed out it's as old as the MK.1 fleet gets (for example the trucks given to the fire cadets are a year newer) and so is most likely destined for decommissioning right after this. 

It's a nice gesture and I think a healthy image for the service to portray. I don't remember there being this much discussion when GMFRS launched their purpose converted glittery bubble shooting appliance.

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That actually makes it worse, wrapping a vehicle for a one off event, that is then going to be scrapped? Doing a quick internet search, I'm guessing your looking at a minimum of £2000 for a large box van, so a fire engine is going to cost you more. I'm with Messy, its a complete waste of money.

Regarding attending the event or anything similar, no problems whatsoever and as others have already stated, I think its actually better to turn up in a standard pump as this lets everyone know that they're welcome in the fire service.

In more general terms, I'm not a fan of any of these fancy designs, for two reasons. Firstly as has already been mentioned motorists hardly notice a big red fire engine, so anything that makes it harder to see doesn't make sense. More importantly though you've got to remember that we do attend serious incidents and would you want to be at a fatality in something that looks like one of the hideous party fire engines.

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i know I'm in the minority here, and i understand the points made, but i kinda like the machines being used occasionally to promote things which are spiritually positive and help to promote whats right. whether it be this, or although very different, when some brigades use them to promote cancer awareness, which is very close to my heart.


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I don't think Messy was saying he had an issue with it, meerly saying in todays climate (still 1.5 trillion plus in debt Wayne), given the fire service/public sector cuts, could this money of been spend more wisely elsewhere. 

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Thanks Phil. You are right. I have no issue with the LFB and others attempting to engage with the LGBT community as I totally agree that public services should recruit from all parts of the community they serve. I just query the way they and other public authorities spend disportionate amount of resources and time on the subject.

For example; London Underground are going to do away with "Ladies & Gentlemen' on their PA announcements as not to offend any of the binary/gender free community. I often wonder who is behind such policies? Has the change been made following complaints from those groups, or after well meaning white middle class men chat whilst sitting around a conference table at a policy steering committee meeting?

London scraps ladies and gentlemen

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