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A week of wellbeing for fire service staff

HEALTH and wellbeing is on the agenda for fire service staff in Greater Manchester this week. 

Physical fitness, mental health and general wellbeing will all be explored by staff at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) from today (Monday, January 30) as part of a week-long focus by the Service’s Health and Wellbeing team. 

The events will see fire service staff take on a number of challenges focusing on different aspects of health and wellbeing. A signing of the MIND Blue Light pledge will also take place on Thursday (February 2) to mark Time To Talk day and boost the Service’s commitment to mental health awareness. 

The week of activity comes as GMFRS’ Health and Wellbeing team celebrates one year of supporting firefighters and the wider fire service workforce. 

Deputy County Fire Officer Paul Argyle said: “We are very proud of the work the Health and Wellbeing team has achieved in its first year. 

“Keeping our staff in the best possible physical and mental state is one of the most important things to us and some of the schemes and opportunities that are now available to all our staff go that step further in ensuring this.” 

More than a dozen GMFRS staff have been trained to work with frontline firefighters who may have encountered a difficult, traumatic or fatal incident, resulting in nearly 60 of these sessions being delivered in the past year. 

During the past 12 months, the equivalent of more than one counselling session a day has been delivered, peer support groups have been launched so staff can support each other through difficult times, and talking benches have been installed across all fire stations for staff to take time out. 

Sheni Ravji-Smith, GMFRS lead on wellbeing, added: “The responses to the initiatives that have been introduced so far have been largely positive, particularly that they have helped to pull down barriers and stigmatisms between firefighters. 

“We hope by having a whole week dedicated to such an important issue that we continue to drive home the message of how important health and wellbeing is in the workplace.” 

Members of the public are encouraged to learn more by following #Wellbeing on Twitter.

Last update: 30/01/2017 17:22:19
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