Firefighters carry out wildfire training in Tameside

LAST week – on Tuesday, February 12 and Friday, 15 – Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) firefighters from Mossley and Stalybridge carried out wildfire training on the moors in Tameside.

Crew members worked with the local gamekeeper on the moorland above Carrbrook and Millbrook as part of their ongoing wildfire training programme.

Station Manager Dave Swallow from GMFRS said: “The recent wildfire training has allowed crews to observe and control real burns in the heather, which are completed at this time of year by the gamekeeper as part of the management of the moorland for grouse.

“Supported by wildfire officers, the crews looked at fire behaviour and discussed extreme wildfire behaviour and its causes. They also utilised the gamekeeper’s flail mower to cut control lines and were able to see the effectiveness of using control lines to limit fire spread.

“We also discussed and implemented the LACES Protocol – a national protocol - to manage the safety of crews - all of which is important to understand if incident, sector and crew commanders are to keep their staff members safe at wildfires.

“As well as this the crews, especially newer firefighters to the Service, got to use the Forced Air Firefighting Units (FAFUs) in real life conditions gaining valuable experience in their effectiveness in supporting fire suppression in this type of environment.”

The training involved the firefighters and officers spending a full day on the moors so that they could make the most of the time and it is hoped that as on these occasions other Wildfire Support Station and Wildfire Support Station will be involved in this kind of training in the future.

SM Swallow continued: “Thanks has to go out, not only to the gamekeeper for allowing us to work with him, but also to the crews for their flexibility and enthusiasm in supporting this training. Often this kind of training is arranged at quite short notice because the weather conditions have to be right, with a couple of dry days and suitable wind conditions for the burns to be completed safely.”

Firefighters dealt with a moor fire last night using some of the equipment and techniques put into practice during training – read about this on our news article.

18/02/2019 10:52 AM