Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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WORKING closely with staff at their local hospital fire safety officers in Tameside have helped to reduce the number of false alarms attended by firefighters.
On Monday, January 25, 2016 a call challenging protocol was introduced at Tameside Hospital following years of work between GMFRS and the hospital.
The partnership has already led to a noticeable difference in the number of times crews have been called to false alarms at the hospital.
Staff members at Tameside Hospital now check what has set off their alarms before calling 999 whereas previously the person working on the switchboard would call for a fire engine immediately.
This means that when there isn’t a genuine emergency, firefighters and resources are available to respond to more serious incidents.
Tameside Fire Safety Officer Jon Sweeney said: “The protocol at Tameside Hospital means that call challenging is now taking place Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, which will hopefully further reduce calls outs to false alarms at the building.
“Fire safety officers, including myself, have been working closely with the hospital for four years and we have already seen a drop in the call outs which means that firefighters are available for genuine emergencies and other important tasks.
“Crew now attend around five incidents at the hospital each month, compared to 24-30 before the partnership started.”
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “Over recent years GMFRS has noticeably reduced its attendance to false alarms as a result of work with local businesses, including Tameside Hospital.
“Protection officers across GMFRS raise awareness of the impact of false alarms and advice people how to avoid them where possible, and our colleagues at North West Fire Control challenge calls to automatic fire alarms and where appropriate ask callers to check for signs of fire before sending a fire engine.”