The Firefighters Story is a fitting tribute to our remarkable profession and our incredible union. We want more people to see it, writes Tam McFarlane
A new documentary charting the history of the FBU over the past 100 years is receiving widespread acclaim and we want your help to ensure more people see it.
The Firefighters’ Story: 100 years of the Fire Brigades Union examines the contribution the union has made over ten decades to improve public and firefighter safety through its campaigning work.
Produced by In Focus productions to mark the union’s centenary, the film uses archive footage throughout including the Blitz which shows the incredible bravery of the firefighters Winston Churchill called ‘Heroes with Dirty Faces’. The film explores the appalling conditions early firefighters worked under, and the role of the union in building the modern fire and rescue service.
FBU Regions and Brigade Committees are organising screenings of the film throughout this year, often showing the film on a date that has a special meaning to local firefighters, such as the anniversary of a large incident or the loss of a colleague in the line of duty.
I have attended three screenings of the film and can attest to the powerful, overwhelmingly positive impact that it has had on those who watched it. In Bristol, where the film was first shown, an audience of FBU members from the past and present, with their families, joined politicians and other trade unionists to watch the film before taking part in a question and answer session with general secretary Matt Wrack. This format, which has created interesting discussion and audience participation, has been repeated in subsequent screenings in London and Glasgow.
At every screening audience members have heaped praise on the film calling for it to be shown to as wide an audience as possible – a goal shared by everyone at FBU Head Office.
We want local officials to work with their FBU Region to organise a screening of the film in your local area. You can do this at a number of venues, such as a local independent cinema or other facility, and your regional secretary will be able to access standard templates for invitations and programmes to make your task all the easier.
All our experience shows that the best, most effective way, for the film to be shown is at an organised group screening where people can interact, ask questions and add their own experiences to the dialogue and discussion afterward. This is why we will not be releasing the film on the internet for the time being.
Please consider organising a screening in your local area. I can assure you that the experience will be worth it and, if recent screenings are anything to go by, the reaction from those present will be both powerful and positive.
If you want to organise a screening (and I really hope you will) please contact your local FBU regional secretary who will be able to access the availability of the film and the materials to help you put it on. Alternatively, fill in this online form.
This is our Centenary, let’s all take a part in it.