GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is inviting the public to share their views on a series of proposals that would see an increase in the number of fire engines in the city-region and two new ‘enhanced rescue stations’ to respond to complex and technical incidents.
Following reviews of GMFRS’s fire cover and special appliances carried out during the last year, a package of changes are being proposed, which also include introducing two additional ‘day crewing’ fire stations and changes to some special appliances.
Today (Monday 5 June 2023), a six-week public consultation opened to gather views on the proposed changes. People can have their say until Monday 10 July 2023 via GMConsult.org (opens link in new window).
GMFRS’s Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel, said:
“Our Fire Cover and Special Appliance Reviews set out the changes we are proposing to ensure our resources are used in the most effective and efficient way. Based on extensive data and insight, we believe the package of measures proposed are the best way for us to build a stronger, more resilient fire and rescue service while maintaining the highest levels of safety and lowest levels of risk as we protect our communities, work together and save lives.”
The four areas we are seeking the public’s views on are:
- Introducing two additional ‘day crewing’ fire stations at Offerton and Sale.
- Introducing two new Enhanced Rescue Stations at Ashton and Leigh.
- Increasing our frontline operational fleet from 50 to 52 fire engines, with the additional two engines placed at Manchester Central and Moss Side.
- Enhancing our special appliances including our water search and rescue capability.
Following the two reviews that have taken place, which included extensive modelling and data gathering, GMFRS is proposing to introduce a ‘day crewing’ model at fire stations in Offerton and Sale. These areas are classed as lower risk and have some of the lowest numbers of night-time incidents in the city-region.
At ‘day crewed’ fire stations, firefighters are on-call during evening hours (6pm to 8.30am) and are called to incidents via a mobile phone from their homes. There are currently six other ‘day crewed’ stations across Greater Manchester in areas of lower risk and lower demand especially during the night time.
The changes in these areas will not see any change to emergency cover during the daytime and do not affect plans to build a new state-of-the-art fire station in Stockport (opens link in new window).
The reviews also recommend a more flexible and resilient approach for GMFRS’s technical rescue capability operating from ‘Enhanced Rescue Stations’ at Ashton and Leigh. The new capability would combine the role of a frontline firefighter with an enhanced rescue technician, meaning crews would be able to respond to every type of incident, including more complex scenarios, providing greater resilience.
Financial savings from implementing these proposals would allow GMFRS to introduce two new fire engines in Manchester’s rapidly transforming and growing city centre – at Manchester Central and Moss Side community fire stations – taking the service’s operational fleet from 50 to 52.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Kate Green, said:
“Greater Manchester is a diverse, growing and ever-changing city-region with a complex infrastructure. This means that our fire and rescue service has to constantly review where its resources are located and how they are used to manage the risk and demands we face and ensure that firefighter and public safety remain at the forefront of any plans.
“Taking the steps set out in this fire cover and special appliance review consultation will allow GMFRS to further build our resilience, capacity and capabilities and bring savings of approximately £0.340 million a year, which will be reinvested to increase funding for other priority areas in the service such as prevention, protection and people services.”
To read the consultation document and for any further information about how the proposals were reached, visit the Fire Cover Review pages on our website (opens link in new window).
05/06/2023 09:45 AM