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Fire: Why we are recruiting Emergency Fire Crews

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

MANY will no doubt have seen in the news that we are currently recruiting an Emergency Fire Crew in case of industrial action and this is provoking quite a debate.

The recruitment is in response to a ballot that is currently taking place, that could see firefighters across the country take part in a national strike. It is a dispute between the unions and the Government over pensions, and not between GMFRS and our firefighters.

However, having said that, it does have a serious implication for us, as it may mean we have no fire cover. So we are trying to put a contingency plan in place for the worst case scenario.

People will remember the Armed Forces with Green Goddesses stepping in to help during previous industrial disputes (a decade ago now), but they are no longer available to us. So, we have to come up with another option, and indeed we have a legal obligation to do so - but of course we also want to keep the public as safe as possible in all circumstances.

It is something every fire service is facing - though  every fire service...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: Why we are recruiting Emergency Fire Crews

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

MANY will no doubt have seen in the news that we are currently recruiting an Emergency Fire Crew in case of industrial action and this is provoking quite a debate.

The recruitment is in response to a ballot that is currently taking place, that could see firefighters across the country take part in a national strike. It is a dispute between the unions and the Government over pensions, and not between GMFRS and our firefighters.

However, having said that, it does have a serious implication for us, as it may mean we have no fire cover. So we are trying to put a contingency plan in place for the worst case scenario.

People will remember the Armed Forces with Green Goddesses stepping in to help during previous industrial disputes (a decade ago now), but they are no longer available to us. So, we have to come up with another option, and indeed we have a legal obligation to do so - but of course we also want to keep the public as safe as possible in all circumstances.

It is something every fire service is facing - though  every fire...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: A big thank you for the support following death of Firefighter Stephen Hunt

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

IN more than 30 years working within fire and rescue services across England, I have to say this week has been the hardest and saddest I have lived through. 

Losing a colleague, friend, family member - anyone - is difficult in any circumstance and, of course, we have our fair share of illness and tragedy in the brigade as in any other walk of life and have bid farewell to many people over the years for all sorts of reasons.

But to lose someone in the line of duty, as we did with Stephen Hunt from Blue Watch Philip's Park Fire Station on Saturday night, is quite something else. 

I have been fortunate enough not to have experienced it before and I speak for the entire Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service family when I say it is utterly, utterly devastating. 

That is not to take anything away from the family's own debilitating grief - I can tell you they are working through it the most dignified way and recently thanked colleagues here at the service for the love they have shown them. It is...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: *No title*

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

This is the kind of blog/statement I hoped I would never have to write - but, tragically, it is with great sadness that I have to confirm the death of one of our colleagues, who has died while tackling a large fire in Manchester City Centre.

Stephen Hunt, a firefighter at Philips Park, was part of the team responding to a blaze in Paul's Hair World in Oldham Street. This has been a particularly difficult incident due to the complex layout of the building and the amount of materials inside. Unfortunately, he got into difficulty inside the building at around 8.35pm on Saturday 13th July, along with another Firefighter, and both were pulled out by their colleagues before being taken to hospital.

Sadly Stephen died, whilst his colleague remains in hospital though thankfully his injuries are not life threatening.

We are devastated by the loss of one of our colleagues who has died in the line of duty and, whilst we never expect to lose a colleague in this way, it brings home the dangers that our firefighters put themselves in every day to keep the...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: Changes to the GMFRS uniform

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

 

There has been a bit of commotion in recent days - and a predictable call to the Manchester Evening News by a 'dissatisfied member of staff' - about the issue of white shirts issued to watch managers and crew managers.
Amazing how, with so many things going on that are very serious and big issues, folks can get so agitated about the colour of a shirt.  We are investing millions in training facilities, we are facing up to massive questions arising from the Efficiency review, we await the Chancellors spending review in just a few weeks' time to get a sense of the magnitude of the cuts we will face in future years, and so on.  So in the grand scheme of things shirt colour doesn't seem something to get too worked up about - but there you go, people do.
So, I thought it helpful to push out some information/facts.
In 2009, a trial of new white duty rig shirts for officers commenced. In 2010, following suggestions to the Equipment Monitoring Group, this was extended to include trousers. The 2009 trial involved eight officers of Group...

Continues, Read More...


Fire: I wanted to say more about our volunteers and the co-ordinators...

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

I mentioned in my last blog I spent the day on Rochdale Borough yesterday and I wanted to use that opportunity to say more about our volunteers and the co-ordinators (and the whole machinery that supports volunteers of course).

I met three of our volunteers yesterday and was able to talk about how they get involved, what they do and crucially what they get from their involvement.  And, frankly, it was inspirational stuff and it's not too big a statement to say that in a couple of cases it really has changed their lives (for the better).

The volunteers have grown from strength over the last few years - about three years ago we realised we had a 'confused' ambition in terms of what we wanted volunteers to do. It was also mostly the case that the people who volunteered saw it as a stepping-stone in to the Service so when we froze recruitment we lost a lot.

Subsequently we have refocused and the volunteers stand on their own as a key arm of the organisation - that supplements or complements our core activity...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: Had a great day on Rochdale Borough...

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

Had a great day on Rochdale Borough meeting the crews from Rochdale, Littleborough and Heywood as well as the Management Team, Safety Advisors and volunteers.  I also managed to see the new site for the new station (scheduled for completion by the end of this year).

Lots of good things going on an a great chance to be able to say a bit more and explain a bit more some of he major things going on. 

Getting out on to the stations is a really important thing to do - it would be very easy to get chained to HQ and spend every day in meetings.

Thanks to everyone for their contribution and for the welcome and hospitality.



Fire: CFO Steve McGuirk: "Enjoy the Harlem Shake - but I won't be joining in!"

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

I really just can't ignore the" Harlem Shake" video that we have been getting a lot of publicity about. 

I will come clean from the outset - a bit like the Gangnam craze - I really don't get it!

But I guess that is probably a combination of age and one or two other things?

I am not doing too badly - I'm into Twitter and the like and Mumford and Sons are my favourite band at the moment (now Brit award winners as well as Grammy winners) -  so I am keeping up reasonably well.

But there are some lines that I won't cross - and getting sucked in to doing this type of stuff is one of them. 

So please don't anybody hold their breath expecting me to do Gangnam, Harlem or whatever the next craze is.

Our Community Ssafety Advisors, apprentices and indeed many other staff love it - and we have had huge positive publicity because of it - but I remain quite content to be an observer rather than a participant - and this is one I won't be "taking for the team".

But by all means those who enjoy - enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz3JkHiIezc



Fire: Post Incident Team praised for actions at serious collision

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

This morning members of our Post Incident Team - a recent service we have started to provide through our volunteers (a great service, by the way) - encountered a serious road traffic collision returning from an incident.

The Watch Manager who attended very kindly sent through some feedback - which was deservedly glowing in the approach and professionalism of the initial actions taken by the volunteers.

I think this is a great illustration of a lot of things and a real credit to everyone.

From the volunteers who did a great job (self-evidently) but also the supportive attitude and approach of the crews and the local officers, who reflect the attitude of everyone really, in recognising that there is scope for a lot of different people to work together in the fire and rescue service bringing different skills and qualities and doing different things - but complimentary to each other, and working together seamlessly to provide a brilliant public service. 

Such a breath of fresh air to be able to talk about...

Continues, Read More...



Fire: GMFRS continues to fight for fairer distribution of funding

Written by RSS Poster Chiefs Blog

We continue to keep up the pressure in relation to lobbying for a fairer settlement for Metropolitan Fire Services and Greater Manchester in particular. Recently, we have been talking to the Lords explaining the situation and seeking their support to keep the issue as a high priority.

Yesterday there was a question tabled that lead to further questions. There is a saying when people use when talking about controversial things: "there will be questions in the House"  - and I use this to illustrate that questioning of government this was is a very powerful part of trying to win arguments.

I have cut and pasted the whole session below (it is not too long) as I thought people would find it interesting.

I was particularly pleased at the question from Bishop Nigel McCulloch of Manchester - who is very much interested in this issue and very well informed.

Bishop Nigel obviously isn't a politician but, before speaking out in this way as a church leader, he needs to be clear of the issue and adopt a position that is...

Continues, Read More...





Latest Chiefs Blog Stories

Why we are recruiting Emergency Fire Crews
Why we are recruiting Emergency Fire Crews
A big thank you for the support following death of Firefighter Stephen Hunt
*No title*
Changes to the GMFRS uniform

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