Alison Hume was only 44 years old when she was left for hours, by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Services, injured at the bottom of a mineshaft.
She was taking a shortcut home through a field behind her house when she stepped on the cover of the disused mineshaft and fell 45ft. Her daughter raised the alarm and the local fire and rescue services arrived. One fireman was lowered down to Mrs Hume (and stayed with her for more than four hours) and another paramedic was strapped up in a harness ready to follow when another senior officer arrived at the scene and insisted they wait for a police mountain rescue team to arrive. They arrived eight hours later.
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The behaviour of senior officers was condemned by a judge this week: "I found their evidence bullish, if not arrogant, in their determination to justify the subservience of the need to carry out a rescue to the need to fulfil to the letter... brigade policy".
A woman died unnecessarily because of senior officers at the scene cited 'health and safety concerns' and insisted that winching equipment was for the use of staff only. If Mrs Hume had been removed from the shaft earlier she may well have survived, but she died from a heart attack brought on by hypothermia.
One of the officers involved in stopping the rescue, Paul Stewart, is still in the service and awaiting promotion to divisional commander.
Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, said at FMQs this week that he had ordered a fresh enquiry into the incident. All the family of Mrs Hume can do is hope that those guilty of contributing to the death of the mother of two are again clearly identified and if Paul Stewart is one of them, he should be sacked for gross incompetence.
We spend a great deal of money providing the fire service with the most modern equipment and training facilities in the western world and are content to donate to other countries. Hopefully the Palestinians are free of arrogants senior officers.