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Forward Facing Seats - Finally

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Well, after god knows how many years, many of Manchesters pumps are finally getting forward facing seats in the back. For those who didn't know, we have always sat backwards in the back of the pump, but after what seems an eternity we are slowly moving forwards, literally. 

Im not sure if there are other FRS's that sit facing backwards but the guys on my watch are looking forward to it. The down side is that its only the 2009 onwards pumps which are being converted, and as my second pump is an 08 plate I will end up with one of each. 

It hopefully comes back in the next 2 weeks so I shall share some photos, although in saying that, it will be nothing spectacular to most, perhaps I should post the rear facing photos which will be out of the ordinary for most ;)

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Only other Brigades that I know that ride backwards are ones with the XL type cabs that can crew with 10 that I know of, Shropshire have/had some, Scotland have an odd one or two left (one been the white Dennis one station has), there a few more but cannot think off the top of my head.

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I’m very glad of this also. I don’t know why they were backwards facing to begin with from an operational point of view. We got called to a lorry alight on M62 and it was only when we rocked up at the scene I was actually aware it was going like a b*****d!

Also, and I suspect this might be new topic material, but the cab stowage is absolutely awful. Not only is it so cramped you can never seem to access anything without having to move something else. I’ve always thought (and it’s not just GMC) why don’t we have all the essential equipment stowed in the cab in a practical and purposeful way so that it is easy to quickly grab on arrival at an incident? Things like the TIC, forcible entry equipment etc.

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I got promoted in 2007 and so facing forwards has been the norm for 10 years. It used to make me feel sick to be honest when travelling backwards. Im interested to see how it differs when  I get my pump back and get feedback from my BA crews. :o

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Why the decision to change now Carl and to convert most of the current fleet. I'm guessing that it won't be a cheap job.

Only thing we had with backwards seating were the old ET's which are long gone. Most of the time you either ended up sitting sort of sideways on or standing in the foot well leaning against the pockets.

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To be honest Keith, I think they have just decided to do it as the CFO wanted to align with everyone else. Many within the service have expressed a desire to change them. I also think its due to our stowage arrangements become problematic. We do seem to struggle to put stuff on the pumps these days. The first question on everyones lips when new kit arrives is where are we going to put it. 

Some stations have already completed the conversion and are pretty pleased with it. Those on my station who have seen the others are also impressed, especially as there is now more room in the back. 

We shall see. 

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