SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - June 18, 2012) -
Editors Note: Not for use before 00.01 18 June 2012.
Today is the start of what could be a long legal process to establish the facts and get to the truth of the events of 6th April 2010. The Fire Brigades Union knows from the bitter experience of other firefighter deaths that this process can be very harrowing for all involved.
Firefighters James Shears and Alan Bannon tragically died in the line of duty while tackling a serious fire on the 9th floor of a block of flats. James and Alan were well-liked and respected by their colleagues and their loss is still deeply felt by family, friends and colleagues.
Karl Horan, FBU Executive council member, said:
"Nothing can bring our lost colleagues back and nothing will lessen the pain of their loss. However we owe a duty to the firefighters going into burning buildings today to learn lessons and make their work as safe as possible.
"Firefighting can never be a health and safety free zone, quite the opposite. The more dangerous the working environment the greater standards of health and safety are required to stay safe.
"In the history of the modern fire service our greatest advances in firefighter safety have come from learning and applying the lessons of tragedies. No matter how painful that process may be it is important to fully understand what happened at Shirley Towers and to learn the lessons."
The Fire Brigades Union is providing legal assistance at the inquests to the families of James Shears and Alan Bannon.