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Statement from Dawn Docx, Interim Chief Fire Officer, GMFRS, in response to the Kerslake Arena Review

“The 22nd May 2017 was Greater Manchester’s darkest hour and it is clear that our response fell far short of that which the people of Greater Manchester have a right to expect. I apologise unreservedly for that. 

There were clearly failures in leadership and poor decisions made. As a result firefighters themselves, desperate on the night to attend the incident, were also let down by their senior colleagues. It is because of them that this report was commissioned in the first place and I want to thank them for raising their concerns. I also want to apologise to all of our workforce who demonstrate day in and day out their bravery and commitment to keeping the people of Greater Manchester safe.

I want to thank Lord Kerslake and the panel for their openness in conducting the review and writing their report, and the respect they have shown to our firefighters throughout the process.  We accept the findings of the report and as part of our new position within the GMCA, work is already underway to fully implement the recommendations. 

As the Deputy Mayor has already explained, she is leading a root and branch examination of policy, practice, leadership and culture within the service and North West Fire Control, and this will go well beyond the specific recommendations in the Kerslake report. As interim Chief Fire Officer I fully embrace this process and will be working closely with the Deputy Mayor.

The fundamental mistake made by the fire service that night was failing to communicate with our partner agencies and that is something at the forefront of our plans to change fundamentally the fire service and its culture.

We must ensure that the principles of partnership working are deeply embedded within the service. This is about us acting together as one, which I know everybody, including all our firefighters, will agree with. 

By working together we will ensure that the mistakes of that night are never repeated.”

Last update: 27/03/2018 14:01:30
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