On the 6th of February 2018 at 0400hrs, the job I’ve done for the past 8 years will cease to exist. It has been decreed that some faceless entities in Dundee can do our jobs better than we can. This was decided by other faceless entities in the central belt, most of whom got a nice promotion out of it with absolutely no care in the world about those of us it is devastating or how dangerous it is going to be.
Yes I’m the first to admit I have had a love/hate relationship with this job. There have been a lot of personality clashes and changes, for what feels like changes sake, over the past 12 years I’ve worked for this organisation. Offsetting all of that though have been the friendships, working understandings and relationships forged through difficult situations and helped along with a lot of laughter. Yes, tempers have frayed, yes, sometimes things have gone wrong, but we are all only human. We worked together because, ultimately we cared. About each other, about our communities and about people.
Of course some people will say that change must happen for us to move forward. I do agree. However, when no sense can be made of the changes other than boxes being ticked and arses being covered then something is far wrong. I’ve heard it being said that it was to save money. This actually makes me laugh until I cry. The amount of money wasted by mismanaged projects, unreasonable missed deadlines and other baffling expenditures is, quite literally, criminal.
I can confidently say that this organisation does not care one jot about its staff. Oh, of course it is seen to be doing the bare minimum of “there, there” initiatives, patting us disgruntled northern country bumpkins on the head and telling us we should be glad to have any jobs at all. They are covering up failures, arrogance, lack of any clear communication, manipulation of statistics and on occasion, down right lies I’m sure.
Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m emotional. Yes, I’m scared for the future, not just mine but of the whole of the North of Scotland. I do not believe that the population is safe when it comes to the emergency services. You no longer get to speak to anyone locally or who has any local knowledge of our large and diverse area for the fire service and as of 4am on the 6th of February 2018 nor for the Police.
The only local knowledge left in the area to help will be the last few remaining front office staff in stations. That is if you can find a station that is still manned/open/or has any of these legends left.
There has been no outcry from councils or media. Media only choosing to report, it seems, when our staff can be vilified in some way. Why is no one else angry that our skilled jobs in the Highlands have all been stolen away south? Why is no one else afraid of what will happen when they are going to need these services and they simply won’t be there?
I don’t have those answers. I just have disappointment that no one fought for us.
I hope that you never need to call. In fact at this point I’d say pray to whatever imaginary beings you believe in, that will be as useful as calling 101 or 999.