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GMFRS Programme For Change

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GMFRS always appears to have been undergoing change. So, here is the latest "Programme for Change".

The review follows on from the request by the Mayor Andy Burnham following the Manchester Arena Bomb. 

Full "Programme for Change" site and documentation can be found here.

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I know this will be difficult for those in GMFRS to comment publicly about but from a quick read the changes seem to be cutbacks bought in and dressed up as improvements. The summary as far as I can see is:

  • Less 5 rider crewing
  • Less fire stations
  • Less fire appliances
  • A 10 minute attendance time throughout the GMC area  (A 100% increase on the old 'A' risk PDAs of the past)
  • An aspiration of no compulsory redundancies, but no firm commitment as such - although recruitment has recommenced (go figure!)
  • A significant emphasis on more responsibility to front line staff with no mention of increased renumeration 

With wholetime shift changes, leave changes, day crewing shift changes and a number of changes of basic conditions of service and an acknowledgement that the Manchester Arena incident was a huge cock up (which embarrassed and angered frontline crews) - its a damning report and one that principle managers surely must take the blame. Have any of them fallen on their sword yet?

Have I got this wrong? Is my assessment of this report incorrect?

Is this a real and significant improvement for what is the UK's second city (Sorry Birmingham!). Or is this a worrying precedent that other metropolitan fire services may follow?

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Makes for depressing reading, particularly with these once proud Fire Brigades such as West Midlands, Surrey, and now GMC being cut back to the bone to breaking point in some cases.

I have read that Merseyside have hit rock bottom where cuts are concerned after the previous CFO resigned and went off to Australia, to the point where they are now putting four extra Pumps back on the run because management have realised that the cuts have gone too far. Surely this will put Manchester in the same boat as Merseyside?

Don't forget Manchester have also had a Firefighter fatality in recent years you'd think bearing that in mind, dropping crewing levels from 5 to 4 would also be off limits.

Politically, it would appear Andy Burnham is carrying on the New Labour tradition of decimating the Fire Service but still dressing it up as improvements. Now that his election is over he has well and truly stabbed Firefighters and the public in the back. It's a shame that he couldn't implement a 'no more cuts' policy similar to London. Whoever is responsible for the Fire Service in Manchester must have a short memory re: the Arena Attack but also the resource Intensive moorland fires which happened last summer that will probably being more frequent as global warming takes place. Hopefully the public campaign will have some impact. 

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Shame it does not mention the cost paid out to firms for all of this, not cheap at all, and rates going up to fund the fire service, bit like our pensions pay more to get less.

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10 hours ago, TrainHardFightEasy said:

5 riders on appliances in the next few years will be a thing of the past nationally which is a shame. 

Unfortunately we live in a world where people think that fire stations or fire engines keep them safe. Neither will rescue them or put out a fire. Until people realise that it's firefighters that do all the work then we will continue to see this trend.

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