Meta Monday: How Brexit is Going to Screw Fireman Sam
Starting something new. Short meta thoughts on Monday mornings.
How Brexit is Going to Screw Fireman Sam
For those who aren’t up on semi-educational Welsh originated childrens’ shows Fireman Sam is an animation about fireman Sam, the hero firefighter of the little Welsh village of Pontypandy. Yes, it is named Pontypandy. It’s a seaside fishing village that is also near rugged mountains good for having adventures. And it has the most amazingly equipped Fire, and Search and Rescue services, ever.
Pontypandy has a population of about forty, and that includes the sheep. Despite that they have two large fire engines, a fire boat, an old fire engine that runs on train rails, an amphibious rescue vehicle, jet skies and three boats for water rescue, a helicopter for mountain rescue, mobile command unit, and a GPS heat seeking drone for finding dumb ass kids that get themselves stuck dangling over a waterfall at night. In Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm, where a hurricane hits Pontypandy (hello climate change) they get an entire new station with a high-tech voice operated computer system somehow linked up to the entire village and a fifty percent increase in personnel. Where did the money for all this come from? No way a fishing village, even one attracting a couple of tourists, has the tax base to afford that kind of equipment. My best guess is EU grants.
The official website of Wales has an entire page devoted to EU funding in Wales with links to grants including ones for rural and maritime communities, plus links directly to a funding search checklist. An ambitious member of the Pontypandy civil service could almost certainly find some money as they fall under both rural and maritime. The Welsh website also assures people that EU grants are going ahead as usual but that’s not going to last. And depending which news outlet you read Brexit is likely going to kill the economy of the UK with public services getting cut first.
The problem with having all that fancy equipment is maintaining it. Police services realized this when they used Homeland Security money to buy military surplus tanks and high end surveillance systems. Then they realized that tanks get about five feet to the gallon with spare parts that are proprietary and expensive. And you actually need to hire someone to watch all the high-tech surveillance equipment. I don’t see Fireman Sam fairing much better.
It will be more exciting when Sam has to rescue kids by climbing up snow covered mountains or hiking through the woods alone. One of them is bound to die horribly. Probably Norman Price. Firefighters Ellie and Arnold will probably get let go. Last in first out. And undoubtedly a lot of that new equipment is going to get mothballed. The old captain may find out about forced retirement. At least fireman Sam will still be able to warn kids about the dangers of hot irons, overloading power sockets, and give Bonfire Night Safety Tips.