Comment: Fire service unfairly criticised over soggy squirrel saga

Somewhere roaming the verdant patches of Watford is arguably the most famous squirrel in the world.

Yet this bushy-tailed rodent is oblivious to its newly-acquired renown or the global media hullabaloo it inadvertently provoked when it took a near-fatal dip in Watford pond on Sunday.

Its assent to stardom began when passers-by were left aghast to see this soggy squirrel stranded on island in the middle of the water feature in The Parade.

The result was a 999 call to the emergency services as people started entering the pond in an attempt to rescue the forlorn creature.

Fire crews from Watford responded to the call with their standard response for reports of a person in water - in this case two fire engines and a water support appliance.

When the firefighters arrived they discovered there was no one in the pond except the aforementioned squirrel. However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it.

One fire crew remained and decided to send one of their own in, dressed in waterproofs, to coax the squirrel onto a ladder and back onto dry ground.

Also present was a firefighter, who is also a photographer, and who took some shots of the squirrel making its sodden journey to safety. These pictures the fire service shared online via their Twitter feeds to let residents know what all the fuss had been about in the high street.

Yet they were unaware of chain of events this was about to set off.

The Watford Observer reported the story on Monday and after that it started to get picked up by national papers, which also used the fire services pictures of the rescue.

The slant of these stories was feigned shock that three fire engines had been enlisted to save a mere squirrel.

By Tuesday morning the story was in most of the national papers, including on the front page of the Sun, which lambasted the fire service for allegedly spending around £6,000 on the rescue operation. By then it was also starting to get picked up internationally and appeared as far as America, Spain and Australia.

In every publication the basic story was along the lines of ‘public sector gone mad, as three fire engines rush to aid of a squirrel’.

Details about why that many engines had attended, i.e. because the initial call had mentioned a person in the water, did not feature in these stories.

The result was Hertfordshire’s fire service, specifically firefighters in Watford, were pilloried on an international stage for what - when one looks at the chronology of events - appear to be perfectly sensible actions.

Had the fire crews who attended the call been callously officious and left on discovering the only thing to rescue was a squirrel the animal would most likely have died. Also there would have been a risk of drunk people clambering into the pond in a misguided attempt to save it. 

At around 3ft at its deepest point, the pond is not the most life-threatening water feature. Yet I doubt this scenario would have a beneficial ending for either the squirrel or its inebriated would-be rescuers.

So having already taken themselves and their equipment to The Parade one crew decided to spend a couple of minutes to safely guide the animal dry land. The operation lasted around 15 minute and the fire service said the cost was only that of the petrol to drive to and from the job.

In this light, taking the short time to get the squirrel out of the pond seems to have been the sensible course of action. It is certainly not a decision that warranted the international ridicule it prompted.

The fire service has said that had there been another call to an incident during the time spent rescuing the squirrel, then the crew would have of course attended that immediately. But there was not.

Firefighters do not spend every minute of the day battling towering infernos or pulling injured people from the wreckage of crashed cars. As someone who calls the local stations regularly, I know there are quiet days.

These tend to be filled with firefighters practising their life-saving skills so they are sharp and ready for when they are called into use.

They are also the men and women who will walk into a burning building to save us or our loved ones, should we ever find ourselves in such an unimaginably terrifying situation.

The fire service is not beyond criticism. But it has been unedifying this week to see firefighters unfairly lampooned across the world for simply doing their job.

Comments (42)

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12:38pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers.

There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter!
Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers. There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter! Roy Stockdill

1:02pm Fri 11 Jan 13

crazyfrog says...

in a nutshell herts fire service has been a victim of media sensationalism, a well known method for selling papers
in a nutshell herts fire service has been a victim of media sensationalism, a well known method for selling papers crazyfrog

1:03pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

If the world's media were set on decrying ridiculous wastes of public money, then thank God they never found out about the £4.3m being spent on putting a bridge over the pond!
If the world's media were set on decrying ridiculous wastes of public money, then thank God they never found out about the £4.3m being spent on putting a bridge over the pond! TRT

1:06pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

"However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it."

were also a number of...
"However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it." were also a number of... TRT

1:39pm Fri 11 Jan 13

MarsLander says...

I don't suppose they had anything better to do, although why multiple appliances were sent does baffle me.

Next time let's just send in the drunks, they'd have done it no problem.
I don't suppose they had anything better to do, although why multiple appliances were sent does baffle me. Next time let's just send in the drunks, they'd have done it no problem. MarsLander

2:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

dytham says...

TRT wrote:
"However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it."

were also a number of...
A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it." were also a number of...[/p][/quote]A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange. dytham

2:15pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Watfordengineer says...

If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail, the cornerstone of media hype, then click "highest rated" all the comments are highly supportive of what ended up being a kind act to an animal. and the sort of news story with a great picture that makes people smile and distracts from the rest of the news! I hope the photographer is getting royalties from all the papers that publish the photo! he can treat the watch to a few drinks!
If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail, the cornerstone of media hype, then click "highest rated" all the comments are highly supportive of what ended up being a kind act to an animal. and the sort of news story with a great picture that makes people smile and distracts from the rest of the news! I hope the photographer is getting royalties from all the papers that publish the photo! he can treat the watch to a few drinks! Watfordengineer

2:29pm Fri 11 Jan 13

mmrobb says...

Roy Stockdill wrote:
Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers. There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter!
Sod off weirddo!!!! obviously not an animal lover!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers. There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter![/p][/quote]Sod off weirddo!!!! obviously not an animal lover!!!!!! mmrobb

3:22pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

"A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange."

Yeah, a number of people has already pointed that out. (sarcasm mark).
"A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange." Yeah, a number of people has already pointed that out. (sarcasm mark). TRT

3:56pm Fri 11 Jan 13

bobbi 1 says...

I am proud of our fire brigade! I think they done a great job in saving the squirrel, as they reported they did not have any calls to respond to & in light of the call they took they had to go to check the possibility of people at risk, although that was not the case they have a heart & done the right thing I applaud them, yes some say squirrels are vermin but no animal deserves to die in such a way especially if it can be prevented. I agree with the other reader who is as disgusted as I am that the RSPCA whom we think we can rely on in any animal emergency situation fail to help, I have in the past called them to report neglect or possible illness & they wont do anything until they are pretty much dead as the law stands!!! what a farce!. so thank god our Herts Fire Service have a heart & the understsanding to do the right thing.

Well done guys.
I am proud of our fire brigade! I think they done a great job in saving the squirrel, as they reported they did not have any calls to respond to & in light of the call they took they had to go to check the possibility of people at risk, although that was not the case they have a heart & done the right thing I applaud them, yes some say squirrels are vermin but no animal deserves to die in such a way especially if it can be prevented. I agree with the other reader who is as disgusted as I am that the RSPCA whom we think we can rely on in any animal emergency situation fail to help, I have in the past called them to report neglect or possible illness & they wont do anything until they are pretty much dead as the law stands!!! what a farce!. so thank god our Herts Fire Service have a heart & the understsanding to do the right thing. Well done guys. bobbi 1

3:57pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Squirrels are vermin and pests and disease carriers, along with rats, wild rabbits, foxes and pigeons.

Isn't it funny how sentimentalists get all soppy about rabbits, squirrels and foxes, but never about cockroaches, wasps, garden slugs and lice which are also living creatures?

mmrobb has obviously seen too many Disney cartoons! The mistake so many animal lovers make is attributing human characteristics to animals and giving them names like Brer Rabbit, Bugs Bunny and Squirrel Nutkin. The only animal characters I've ever much liked are Tom and Jerry and those in the Wind In The Willows, Mr Toad, Mole and Ratty, etc, but only as a pantomime when I was a kid. I've never been a Disney fan and I never read Beatrix Potter.

In any case, grey squirrels are hardly an endangered species. True British squirrels are the red variety, found on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour and, I am pleased to say, are apparently being increasingly sighted once more in the north. Grey squirrels are interlopers from America and should have been exterminated.
Squirrels are vermin and pests and disease carriers, along with rats, wild rabbits, foxes and pigeons. Isn't it funny how sentimentalists get all soppy about rabbits, squirrels and foxes, but never about cockroaches, wasps, garden slugs and lice which are also living creatures? mmrobb has obviously seen too many Disney cartoons! The mistake so many animal lovers make is attributing human characteristics to animals and giving them names like Brer Rabbit, Bugs Bunny and Squirrel Nutkin. The only animal characters I've ever much liked are Tom and Jerry and those in the Wind In The Willows, Mr Toad, Mole and Ratty, etc, but only as a pantomime when I was a kid. I've never been a Disney fan and I never read Beatrix Potter. In any case, grey squirrels are hardly an endangered species. True British squirrels are the red variety, found on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour and, I am pleased to say, are apparently being increasingly sighted once more in the north. Grey squirrels are interlopers from America and should have been exterminated. Roy Stockdill

3:59pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Anonymous Commentator says...

dytham wrote:
TRT wrote:
"However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it."

were also a number of...
A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange.
@dytham.

The reason that 'WAS' sounds strange above is because it is incorrect.

"The number of" is singular, "a number of" is plural.

"The number of grammatical errors in the newspaper IS getting worse every day."
versus
"A number of grammatical errors WERE found in this week's newspaper."

Please feel free to do an online search to verify this.
[quote][p][bold]dytham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it." were also a number of...[/p][/quote]A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange.[/p][/quote]@dytham. The reason that 'WAS' sounds strange above is because it is incorrect. "The number of" is singular, "a number of" is plural. "The number of grammatical errors in the newspaper IS getting worse every day." versus "A number of grammatical errors WERE found in this week's newspaper." Please feel free to do an online search to verify this. Anonymous Commentator

4:44pm Fri 11 Jan 13

dytham says...

Anonymous Commentator wrote:
dytham wrote:
TRT wrote:
"However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it."

were also a number of...
A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange.
@dytham.

The reason that 'WAS' sounds strange above is because it is incorrect.

"The number of" is singular, "a number of" is plural.

"The number of grammatical errors in the newspaper IS getting worse every day."
versus
"A number of grammatical errors WERE found in this week's newspaper."

Please feel free to do an online search to verify this.
Anonymous Commentator wrote:
Please feel free to do an online search to verify this.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Don't believe everything that you read online"
[quote][p][bold]Anonymous Commentator[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dytham[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: "However according to firefighters present, there was also a number of drunk people present threatening to jump in and rescue it." were also a number of...[/p][/quote]A NUMBER is singular, so WAS is correct, even if it may sound strange.[/p][/quote]@dytham. The reason that 'WAS' sounds strange above is because it is incorrect. "The number of" is singular, "a number of" is plural. "The number of grammatical errors in the newspaper IS getting worse every day." versus "A number of grammatical errors WERE found in this week's newspaper." Please feel free to do an online search to verify this.[/p][/quote]Anonymous Commentator wrote: Please feel free to do an online search to verify this. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Don't believe everything that you read online" dytham

5:42pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Perhaps he had a hangover from dipping his nuts in the night time economy and wanted to drown his sorrows.
Perhaps he had a hangover from dipping his nuts in the night time economy and wanted to drown his sorrows. Mohandas

5:47pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

What hasn't been explained is how the squirrel managed to get onto the island in the first place. Did it swim there or was it thrown? CAN squirrels swim? And I can't imagine anyone, even a drunk, being daft enough to pick up a squirrel, even assuming he could catch it in the first place. He would get either a nasty bite or some unpleasant disease.
What hasn't been explained is how the squirrel managed to get onto the island in the first place. Did it swim there or was it thrown? CAN squirrels swim? And I can't imagine anyone, even a drunk, being daft enough to pick up a squirrel, even assuming he could catch it in the first place. He would get either a nasty bite or some unpleasant disease. Roy Stockdill

6:57pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Wacko Jacko says...

TRT wrote:
If the world's media were set on decrying ridiculous wastes of public money, then thank God they never found out about the £4.3m being spent on putting a bridge over the pond!
But think how much easier rescuing a squirrel would be from the new bridge, no need to call out the fire engines then. BTW TRT you need to get your facts straight, £4.3m, or whatever, is the cost of the whole of the new paving etc. from the underpass down to Clarendon Road, not just the bridge
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: If the world's media were set on decrying ridiculous wastes of public money, then thank God they never found out about the £4.3m being spent on putting a bridge over the pond![/p][/quote]But think how much easier rescuing a squirrel would be from the new bridge, no need to call out the fire engines then. BTW TRT you need to get your facts straight, £4.3m, or whatever, is the cost of the whole of the new paving etc. from the underpass down to Clarendon Road, not just the bridge Wacko Jacko

2:06am Sat 12 Jan 13

Phil Drackley says...

Watfordengineer wrote:
If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail, the cornerstone of media hype, then click "highest rated" all the comments are highly supportive of what ended up being a kind act to an animal. and the sort of news story with a great picture that makes people smile and distracts from the rest of the news! I hope the photographer is getting royalties from all the papers that publish the photo! he can treat the watch to a few drinks!
Watfordengineer wrote:
If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail...


Then you are beyond hope.
[quote][p][bold]Watfordengineer[/bold] wrote: If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail, the cornerstone of media hype, then click "highest rated" all the comments are highly supportive of what ended up being a kind act to an animal. and the sort of news story with a great picture that makes people smile and distracts from the rest of the news! I hope the photographer is getting royalties from all the papers that publish the photo! he can treat the watch to a few drinks![/p][/quote]Watfordengineer wrote: If you go to the comments section of the Daily Mail... Then you are beyond hope. Phil Drackley

4:51am Sat 12 Jan 13

TRT says...

The figure I quoted was for the whole project yes, including resurfacing, getting rid of the cycle lane and art works installed 10 years ago during the last refurb, closing half of the stair cases to the underpass, hiding the taxi rank behind a grassy knoll, agency and design fees etc. But the fibdems are unable to divvy up a project into component parts, so the whole thing becomes economically less secure without the bridge and criticising that part of the project jeopardises the entire scheme which is needed for securing jobs and growth for the residents of Watford. Won't somebody think of the partygoers?
The figure I quoted was for the whole project yes, including resurfacing, getting rid of the cycle lane and art works installed 10 years ago during the last refurb, closing half of the stair cases to the underpass, hiding the taxi rank behind a grassy knoll, agency and design fees etc. But the fibdems are unable to divvy up a project into component parts, so the whole thing becomes economically less secure without the bridge and criticising that part of the project jeopardises the entire scheme which is needed for securing jobs and growth for the residents of Watford. Won't somebody think of the partygoers? TRT

9:53am Sat 12 Jan 13

theguitarman says...

We now have a local asset, shouldnt Watford Council put up a nameplate on the Island and call it "Squirrel Island" with some floodlights at night.

If Dotty's bridge is placed correctly we could advertise it worldwide and have dozens of people crossing the bridge so that friends could take photo's ala Abbey Road Studios zebra crossing in London.

We could also have Roy Stockdill sitting on the Parade outside a tent with banners saying "Kick the squirrel out of Watford"

If you think the above is silly then its not a daft as the comments berating the Fire Service, well done Watford Fire Crews you did a good job !
We now have a local asset, shouldnt Watford Council put up a nameplate on the Island and call it "Squirrel Island" with some floodlights at night. If Dotty's bridge is placed correctly we could advertise it worldwide and have dozens of people crossing the bridge so that friends could take photo's ala Abbey Road Studios zebra crossing in London. We could also have Roy Stockdill sitting on the Parade outside a tent with banners saying "Kick the squirrel out of Watford" If you think the above is silly then its not a daft as the comments berating the Fire Service, well done Watford Fire Crews you did a good job ! theguitarman

10:35am Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Not everyone finds squirrels attractive and cuddly! Try cuddling one and you'd be left with a very nasty bite requiring immediate hospital treatment.

Ask anyone who has a splendid garden if they like squirrels and await a brusque reply. I have a friend whose husband's hobby is drowning squirrels because they cause so much damage to his beloved garden.

I repeat: squirrels are vermin and pests, along with foxes, wild rabbits and pigeons. All offer health dangers to humans. Unfortunately, too many people in this country fall for all the touchy feely, cuddly-wuddly rubbish about animals and see them all as characters with human characteristics in Disney films and Beatrix Potter books.

Grey squirrels are interlopers from North America and almost wiped out our own British species of red squirrels, which once survived only on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour but are now, thankfully, being reintroduced into parts of Scotland and the North of England where there have been many sightings and also, I believe, Cornwall. See a number of websites about reintroducing and breeding red squirrels. Anyone who truly cares for animals should be supporting this work and not worrying about one grey squirrel which could easily have been left to drown, making one less. I'd like to see the grey squirrel exterminated and our indigenous red squirrels making a comeback.
Not everyone finds squirrels attractive and cuddly! Try cuddling one and you'd be left with a very nasty bite requiring immediate hospital treatment. Ask anyone who has a splendid garden if they like squirrels and await a brusque reply. I have a friend whose husband's hobby is drowning squirrels because they cause so much damage to his beloved garden. I repeat: squirrels are vermin and pests, along with foxes, wild rabbits and pigeons. All offer health dangers to humans. Unfortunately, too many people in this country fall for all the touchy feely, cuddly-wuddly rubbish about animals and see them all as characters with human characteristics in Disney films and Beatrix Potter books. Grey squirrels are interlopers from North America and almost wiped out our own British species of red squirrels, which once survived only on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour but are now, thankfully, being reintroduced into parts of Scotland and the North of England where there have been many sightings and also, I believe, Cornwall. See a number of websites about reintroducing and breeding red squirrels. Anyone who truly cares for animals should be supporting this work and not worrying about one grey squirrel which could easily have been left to drown, making one less. I'd like to see the grey squirrel exterminated and our indigenous red squirrels making a comeback. Roy Stockdill

12:47pm Sat 12 Jan 13

cameluk says...

Roy

I'd rather have a garden filled with grey squirrels, pigeons, rabbits and foxes than a drab sterile plot of land filled with dull grass and non native plants
Roy I'd rather have a garden filled with grey squirrels, pigeons, rabbits and foxes than a drab sterile plot of land filled with dull grass and non native plants cameluk

1:15pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Thinking of the Equal Opportunities Act would a brown squirrel be treated as a special category and not merely asked to climb any old ladder?
Thinking of the Equal Opportunities Act would a brown squirrel be treated as a special category and not merely asked to climb any old ladder? Mohandas

1:25pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

My neighbour, who has a pond in his back garden, has twice had the unpleasant task of burying umpteen frogs found dead with limbs and heads bitten off - almost certainly the work of a fox. Anyone who keeps chickens will also tell you what havoc a fox can create in a henhouse.

There is a lot of sentimental twaddle talked and written about foxes. They are predators that kill for fun and not necessarily for food - just like many cats. And urban foxes are becoming a serious menace to young children as well. How many stories have we read of a fox getting into a house and attacking a baby?

Having said that, I agree that pieces of land with no wildlife are not terriby pretty to look at. However, it doesn't alter the fact that squirrels, pigeons, wild rabbits and foxes ARE vermin that have to be controlled.
My neighbour, who has a pond in his back garden, has twice had the unpleasant task of burying umpteen frogs found dead with limbs and heads bitten off - almost certainly the work of a fox. Anyone who keeps chickens will also tell you what havoc a fox can create in a henhouse. There is a lot of sentimental twaddle talked and written about foxes. They are predators that kill for fun and not necessarily for food - just like many cats. And urban foxes are becoming a serious menace to young children as well. How many stories have we read of a fox getting into a house and attacking a baby? Having said that, I agree that pieces of land with no wildlife are not terriby pretty to look at. However, it doesn't alter the fact that squirrels, pigeons, wild rabbits and foxes ARE vermin that have to be controlled. Roy Stockdill

1:28pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Red squirrels are protected. Grey squirrels have only limited legal protection. Fuller details can be found with Google.
Red squirrels are protected. Grey squirrels have only limited legal protection. Fuller details can be found with Google. Roy Stockdill

1:31pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

It seems that colour is important in the animal world and who is driving the numbers game especially if they are red and indigenous which everyone seems to be PC about and safe as the reds were driven to the outer edges of the British Isles. Is it ok to assume that protection and support ladders should always be there for small groups to stop bullying by bigger groups?
It seems that colour is important in the animal world and who is driving the numbers game especially if they are red and indigenous which everyone seems to be PC about and safe as the reds were driven to the outer edges of the British Isles. Is it ok to assume that protection and support ladders should always be there for small groups to stop bullying by bigger groups? Mohandas

3:14pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Sanity 750 says...

Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) you are rambling again. What are you trying to say?
Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) you are rambling again. What are you trying to say? Sanity 750

4:26pm Sat 12 Jan 13

bobbi 1 says...

Roy Stockdill do you actually have a life? & realise that other people have the right to their own opinions! me thinks not reading all of your posts!!
Roy Stockdill do you actually have a life? & realise that other people have the right to their own opinions! me thinks not reading all of your posts!! bobbi 1

4:30pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Of course everyone has a right to their opinion. However, mine are usually based on facts, logic and common sense, thus I happen to think they are usually correct!

To restrict it to this particular debate, do you deny that grey squirrels ARE vermin and a pest especially to gardeners?
Of course everyone has a right to their opinion. However, mine are usually based on facts, logic and common sense, thus I happen to think they are usually correct! To restrict it to this particular debate, do you deny that grey squirrels ARE vermin and a pest especially to gardeners? Roy Stockdill

6:06pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

For clarity you simpleton check WFC score - it's in numbers for you.Hope this loud and clear Spartacus says Safe Smeagol – Disconsolate Andrew Mortimer lost over 700 votes and hasn’t a clue. Look no worries mate about what people think of you. They don't do it very often.
For clarity you simpleton check WFC score - it's in numbers for you.Hope this loud and clear Spartacus says Safe Smeagol – Disconsolate Andrew Mortimer lost over 700 votes and hasn’t a clue. Look no worries mate about what people think of you. They don't do it very often. Mohandas

8:28pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Sanity 750 says...

Thank you Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) for explaining your previous comment.

You are as unintelligible as ever!
Thank you Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) for explaining your previous comment. You are as unintelligible as ever! Sanity 750

10:41pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Smeagol should run for Councillor again. The Liberals can sit back and win again. Smeagol is the Lib Dem's secret weapon.
Smeagol should run for Councillor again. The Liberals can sit back and win again. Smeagol is the Lib Dem's secret weapon. Razor Sharp

11:13pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Insanity 750 aka Smeagol says...

Sanity 750 wrote:
Thank you Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) for explaining your previous comment.

You are as unintelligible as ever!
I second my own comment. I am going to run for Councillor again. The soggy Squirrel will be my mascot. I will fight for all squirrels of Watford.
[quote][p][bold]Sanity 750[/bold] wrote: Thank you Councillor Meerabux (Mohandas) for explaining your previous comment. You are as unintelligible as ever![/p][/quote]I second my own comment. I am going to run for Councillor again. The soggy Squirrel will be my mascot. I will fight for all squirrels of Watford. Insanity 750 aka Smeagol

11:55pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Insanity 750 aka Smeagol says...

I am Sanity 750's alter ego. I want to dress up as a giant red squirrel, jump in the pond, climb a tree and be rescued by a big butch fireman.
I am Sanity 750's alter ego. I want to dress up as a giant red squirrel, jump in the pond, climb a tree and be rescued by a big butch fireman. Insanity 750 aka Smeagol

9:36am Sun 13 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time?

I find the last few messages unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use.

This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post.
What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time? I find the last few messages unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use. This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post. Roy Stockdill

10:13am Sun 13 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

As if it's possible to have a serious debate about a soggy squirrel!
As if it's possible to have a serious debate about a soggy squirrel! Razor Sharp

10:42am Sun 13 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Well, it started out as a semi-serious debate about the whys and wherefores of whether or not the fire brigade should have attended, whether any money was wasted or not. If you don't think it was serious, then that reinforces my view that the squirrel should have been left either to drown or make its own way out of the pond.
Well, it started out as a semi-serious debate about the whys and wherefores of whether or not the fire brigade should have attended, whether any money was wasted or not. If you don't think it was serious, then that reinforces my view that the squirrel should have been left either to drown or make its own way out of the pond. Roy Stockdill

11:25am Sun 13 Jan 13

TRT says...

Given the details they got in the call to action, there's no question that it was right for them to turn out. But what mileage is there in headlines like "Firecrews attend false alarm. Remove source of problem."
Now if the fire dispatcher/controlle
r had access to the CCTV covering the area, they could have turned the engines round before they'd even hit the ring road.
Given the details they got in the call to action, there's no question that it was right for them to turn out. But what mileage is there in headlines like "Firecrews attend false alarm. Remove source of problem." Now if the fire dispatcher/controlle r had access to the CCTV covering the area, they could have turned the engines round before they'd even hit the ring road. TRT

11:55am Sun 13 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

I agree, TRT, given that it was initially thought that people might be in danger, albeit drunken ones. However, I tend to think that any drunk falling into the pond wouldn't be in much danger except perhaps of a soaking and a blow to their dignity. It would probably even have sobered them up!
I agree, TRT, given that it was initially thought that people might be in danger, albeit drunken ones. However, I tend to think that any drunk falling into the pond wouldn't be in much danger except perhaps of a soaking and a blow to their dignity. It would probably even have sobered them up! Roy Stockdill

9:14am Mon 14 Jan 13

garston tony says...

If by doing this they had been delayed putting out a fire somewhere else blah blah then some critism would have been understandable. But still wrong as I'm sure they ensure that any delay to attending emergencies is minimised in these sorts of circumstances.

Talk about being blown over the top, the fire crews have done nothing wrong. I'm sure whilst on duty they must train occassionally how to save someone from water/ponds etc. so this is at worst just a training excersise with the added bonus of saving some poor creature.

It’s the moaners and groaners who should be ashamed, it seems that too many people have too little to do
If by doing this they had been delayed putting out a fire somewhere else blah blah then some critism would have been understandable. But still wrong as I'm sure they ensure that any delay to attending emergencies is minimised in these sorts of circumstances. Talk about being blown over the top, the fire crews have done nothing wrong. I'm sure whilst on duty they must train occassionally how to save someone from water/ponds etc. so this is at worst just a training excersise with the added bonus of saving some poor creature. It’s the moaners and groaners who should be ashamed, it seems that too many people have too little to do garston tony

9:28am Mon 14 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

An alternative, of course, would have been to call in an expert marksman from the council's pest control department and shoot it, except that that would probably contravene some law or other about discharging a firearm within so many feet of a public highway.
An alternative, of course, would have been to call in an expert marksman from the council's pest control department and shoot it, except that that would probably contravene some law or other about discharging a firearm within so many feet of a public highway. Roy Stockdill

2:41pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

Roy Stockdill wrote:
What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time?

I find the last few messages unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use.

This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post.
Nice one Roy and plenty of respect to John Dowdle. We felt your comment desreved a reply. We decided to broaden our postings from just WFC and I'm sure you would not look down on those who wish to engage in issues in the interests of the great Brtish tradition of free speech and democracy. In the interests of transparency, the lads and I have offered to meet Sanity at a WFC home match but have been met aliases such as ethnic MKHAN, razorsharpe, etc with name calling which some of us regarded as infantileand disappointing from some one so grand. I'll be honest, we've met one or two cllrs and was impressed by one or two especially over the allotments. We like those who stand up for the underdog issues and are not back stabbers, and 'dishonestly' PC. Thanks for your comment but to be honest one or two of us are disillusioned with the childish blanking by Sanity & co. Our nickname is Spartacus and we are educated.
[quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time? I find the last few messages unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use. This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post.[/p][/quote]Nice one Roy and plenty of respect to John Dowdle. We felt your comment desreved a reply. We decided to broaden our postings from just WFC and I'm sure you would not look down on those who wish to engage in issues in the interests of the great Brtish tradition of free speech and democracy. In the interests of transparency, the lads and I have offered to meet Sanity at a WFC home match but have been met aliases such as ethnic MKHAN, razorsharpe, etc with name calling which some of us regarded as infantileand disappointing from some one so grand. I'll be honest, we've met one or two cllrs and was impressed by one or two especially over the allotments. We like those who stand up for the underdog issues and are not back stabbers, and 'dishonestly' PC. Thanks for your comment but to be honest one or two of us are disillusioned with the childish blanking by Sanity & co. Our nickname is Spartacus and we are educated. Mohandas

6:56pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Well, what do you expect from the likes of Smeagol, aka, Sanity 750, mkhan1, razorsharpe. The individual is intellectually bankrupt and sought to do postings on the sly at http://www.watfordob
server.co.uk/news/10
113134.Party_upholds
_decision_to_expel_c
ouncillor/

I've given up on him ...... he's too intellectually limited for meaningful discourse and he does not understand irony or parody in the form of Insanity 750 aka Smeagol.

He has failed to add anything meaningful beyond "you are Malcolm". At least the rest of us have made a sustained effort to enter into meaningful discussion, provide informed comments and from time to time, rip it, as here.

Sometimes radical or random comments can stimulate interesting debate. There are some good Councillors, but the majority leave a lot to be desired. It's the way the system is set-up ..... it encourages and rewards under-performance, maintaining the status quo and toeing the party line.
Well, what do you expect from the likes of Smeagol, aka, Sanity 750, mkhan1, razorsharpe. The individual is intellectually bankrupt and sought to do postings on the sly at http://www.watfordob server.co.uk/news/10 113134.Party_upholds _decision_to_expel_c ouncillor/ I've given up on him ...... he's too intellectually limited for meaningful discourse and he does not understand irony or parody in the form of Insanity 750 aka Smeagol. He has failed to add anything meaningful beyond "you are Malcolm". At least the rest of us have made a sustained effort to enter into meaningful discussion, provide informed comments and from time to time, rip it, as here. Sometimes radical or random comments can stimulate interesting debate. There are some good Councillors, but the majority leave a lot to be desired. It's the way the system is set-up ..... it encourages and rewards under-performance, maintaining the status quo and toeing the party line. Razor Sharp

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