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There will be no Christmas Tree on top of the drill tower at Newport Fire Station this year due to poor morale amongst firefighters, Island Echo can reveal.

Each year, crews from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service erect a large tree high above Newport Fire Station for all to see as part of the festive celebrations.

The sight of the tree being hauled up the drill tower and decorated is often referred to as a ‘Christmas is coming’ moment.

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However, poor morale amongst firefighters has been blamed for the break in tradition this year. It is thought that this is the first time in around 40 years that a Christmas tree hasn’t appeared above the station.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council has told Island Echo:

“It is unlikely the tree will be provided this year following some local communication issues which are now resolved.

“The organisation of the tree is undertaken on a voluntarily basis by the firefighters from one of the watches at the station and not under the direction of the council.

“Although the council shares the community’s view about the iconic nature of the tree, it respects the choices made by the firefighters about its provision this year.”

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In Ryde, firefighters have decorated the station with Christmas lights and have placed a tree on their drill tower. The lights will be switched on during this coming Saturday’s Wight Brainy Bunch Christmas market.

Over in Shanklin, retained firefighters have made their own tree out of string lights.


The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Stuart McDonald

It’s really not a surprise that Firefighters have low morale in Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue after the council terminated 7 jobs this year. You can only erode goodwill so many times before there is nothing left.


I agree with you, its a shame that services like this are being eroded, one person having to do two or a three person job. Many of the fire stations have become more or less grave yards. No wonder moral is low.
To the firefighters, I hope the workforce will become a better place once again for you all. Merry Christmas.

Joe Blogs

Oh for heavens sake it is Christmas, let us have the Christmas tree on top of the fire station.

Jane Reading

Joe, put one up there yourself if you want one there.

Lee Malchin

Maybe speak to the fire brigade managers? ‍♂️

Stuart McDonald

I’m led to believe that the Firefighters were inspected and bullying by the management has been occurring and it’s still on going so I can see why they are suffering in this type of environment


If management bullying is a cause, then that’s just appalling! There is absolutely no place for bullying, in any situation, and especially not among our heroic firefighters whether retained or voluntary. They deserve the utmost support and grateful thanks from all of us for their brave and selfless efforts to keep us safe.
Get rid of the bullies and hopefully the morale will improve.
I for one wish them the very best possible Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

john miller

Poor morale among firefighters,hope they stick to their principles and they don’t have trees and decs at their own houses,if they do they are hypocrites

Jane Reading

They can do what they like in own home

john miller

Had a good weekend Christmas tree and decs are up,had a good win on the horses,and I’ve pissed off at least 57 people….happy days

John Cage

Aren’t you clever.

John Cage

This actually might be the most daft thing I have ever read. It’s beyond comprehension. Where do I start… maybe with the most simple:

If you have a problem with their choice why don’t you go and do it for them. Or that makes YOU the hypocrite.


Let us all down! Won’t be helping them by taking my car thru their car wash! Got low morale for car wash’s!! 🙁


Events like the car wash are fundraising events so they can save lives…maybe even yours one day? that is after all their job – funnily enough they aren’t just here to put up a tree and lighten your day.


I take it that you’ll refuse their assistance should you be involved in an accident that requires you to be cut out of your car.

Nigel Tuck

I assume the bosses/Council won’t contribute to the cost of the tree. Sadly missed – i grew up on Pan Estate and loved seeing the tree from 36 Robin Hood Street. Likewise when I moved to Ryde and could see their tree from my bedroom window at 8 East Street. Maybe a firefighter could correct me if I’m wrong about the reasons for the real issue?


so no tree because firefighters have the huff


Perhaps they are too busy mmmmm


It has got to a really bad situation when morale is so low that the Firefighters at Newport are not going to bother with a Christmas Tree, cmon you can do better than that, as an exfirefighter involved in the First Fire Service Strike we put up a Christmas Tree and lights, outside our Station over the Christmas period , Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, ( B****r the management dont let them win )

Sarah Measor

We appreciate everyone of you hero’s x

Zack Zuck

2/10, see me after class 😉


Out of all the emergency services the fire sevice is stood down the most. A service which is in crisis is the ambulance service but they never moan publicly. .


I support our hero fire fighters. Too many cuts cuts cuts and still expected to risk there lives.
A co responder from the fire service recently saved my life.

Az-zahra Aziz

Looks silly there. Newport’s ugly sprawl cannot be counteracted with one tree meters up on an ugly building. Hardly a Winter wonderland setting. Just another town full of chavs, mini wana be gangsters, coming from homes where parents are into drugs.

See it for what it really is.

Station officer steel

Exactly send them backing back up north!


You really are such a delight aren’t you. Instead of criticising people, lumping a whole community together with your stereotypical insults and just being a general arsehole, how about taking a long hard look in the mirror. You have all these views but nothing to substantiate them I see you for what you really are…a hypocrite. You sit on nearly every single post spewing your venom. Chavs this people on benefits that, blame the immigrants, blame the parents…it really is becoming tedious. How about you get a hobby, or better still a job! Maybe then you wouldn’t have time to… Read more »

A happy isle

Well said! I’m one of the many, who don’t give his comments an ounce of attention. Skip straight by when I see the AZA bigoted rhetoric appearing!
(Read your response mind..)

Sad Day.

The council have never paid for a tree, years ago the tree was donated by the forestry commission & I believe its now been a local grower. They may have actually decided they don’t want to donate one of their very expensive & large trees. Not sure why our council expects everything to be done on good will & donations when they have systematically destroyed so many of our island services & wasted money time & time again. This isn’t just down to the firefighters, ask them & I’m sure they’ll tell you why, does everyone else who’s complaining go… Read more »

Russell Keeling

wonder if they have to buy the tree or is it donated to em if they have to buy it I can see his point the money could be better spent. I really do hope he changes his mind perhaps we should all write to him at the station asking him to change his mind


thay are still top of my tree .we all have to pull altogether on this one not there faults some have had to go xx

none given

It is unlikely the tree will be provided this year following some local communication issues which are now resolved. – probably arguing over which watch were going to be expected to do it, management trying to force the issue and those on the ground saying “f***off, why should I do that” as they are all volunteers/retained firefighters – why don’t they all just quit all together if they are so unhappy – no one is forcing them to be firefighters. Perhaps if they all walk out and no longer offer the service they were providing then the council and the… Read more »


We need to look after our firefighters. Look at what they have to deal with in their daily work. The way they have been treated is scandalous.

Nick Drew

Yeah all those fry ups they cook on top of pumping iron and washing cars…. they must be exhausted. And as for the nights they spend sleeping, well I barely know how they survive.

Station officer steel

Come off it you forgot about the hardship caused to them by the four appliances dispatched to the sheep with head stuck in a fence on the downs the other week or the four sent to the bin fire!


Spot on!!

Lee Malchin

Oh, Nick failed the entrance exam!

Station officer steel

Entrance exam for the fire brigade. Don’t make me laugh! No exam necessary. Entry requirement is that you hold another job and rip the public off! Typical response from either a fire fighter or wanna be!

Mary Jamerson

These firemen are NOT free volunteers. They are on good wages, all this tripe about ‘risking their lives’, no more so than many ordinary workers do on rooves, scaffolding, doorman, even the Lolly pop man. Standing yards away squirting a hose, having thermal imaging cameras and other hi tech equipment and safety clothing is not a dangerous a job as many think. They doss about all day, watching videos, are given an expensive gym to play in, and always overmanned for each shout. Certainly they save lives once in a blue moon, but rarely NEED to put their own skins… Read more »

none given

@mary Jamerson,, are you actually for real – do you even believe the crap you are spouting. If you happen to be woken up suddenly in the middle of the night with your home on fire, trapped in your bedroom due to an inferno outside the door and require the assistance of someone who is willing to put breathing apparatus on, a fire retardant outfit on and walk through an unsafe, burning building to rescue you, then you will be glad that they were there to help. If they all leave due to the way in which they are being… Read more »


Omg Mary Jameson I hope that you dont have a fire or a car accident that you have to call the fire brigade out for,maybe they should just let you burn or leave you to die,no because that’s not what they do,they go to places others dont want to,I certainly wouldn’t be trying to get someone out from a car that’s rolled over or a huge fire,you would certainly be happy for their help if you’re house is alight and you’re trapped by fire everywhere,you are a snowflake and need to realise what a firefighter does

Bob Frapples

This wouldn’t happen in Pontypandy

David Catling

When people who walk into burning buildings for a living state that moral is low, something is terribly wrong

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