Greater Manchester: Removed Fire Service ’cause of concern’ over terror attacks

Firefighters welcomed the inspectors’ decision to remove a “cause for concern” about how their department is responding to “marauding terrorist attacks”.

The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service had been challenged by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Police and Fire and Rescue Services in 2021.

At the time, inspectors believed at the time that the service was ‘unprepared’ to respond to a terrorist attack, such as the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, but now with progress being made in coaching over 1,000 firefighters this cause for concern has now been removed.

Deputy Fire Chief Ben Norman said: “As GMFRS strives to become a modern, flexible and resilient fire and rescue service, it is investing in what matters most to the service: its people. , its communities and its future by ensuring that it is ready to respond to any type of emergency.

Deputy Fire Chief Ben Norman (Source: GMFRS)

“The safety of our communities and our colleagues is our priority.

“Our firefighters receive the proper training and kit to keep them safe while providing the crucial emergency support needed in any situation they may find themselves in.

“By April 2023, we will equip every fire apparatus in Greater Manchester with specialist equipment to support a rapid and effective multi-agency response to a marauding terrorist attack or mass rescue incident.”

Inspectors regularly assess police and fire services across the country and were concerned in 2021 by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue’s apparent lack of ability to deal with terrorist attacks.

This was particularly sensitive, with the service having previously apologized for serious failings in handling the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017.

But the service has now expanded its training to deal with “marauding terrorist attacks” and deal with large numbers of casualties.

This includes three-day training programs running since April this year and two-day trauma courses with full-day practical sessions where firefighters deal with scenarios involving various partner agencies.

The service estimates that more than 1,100 operational crew and officers will have completed their training at the GMFRS Training and Safety Center by April 2023.

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The GMFRS has also reached an agreement with the firefighters union on how to respond to events like these.

DCFO Norman said: “Through positive collaboration between the GMFRS and the firefighters union and the signing of a collective agreement in April 2022, our new MTA capability will keep our firefighters and officers safe, while significantly improving the response that we can provide in the event of a terrorist attack or the rescue of the injured.

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