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Relief Duties


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Relief duties has been quite a controversial topic this past few week in GMFRS and so I want to try and get an understanding of how its conducted in your FRS. Pumps in GMFRS can be sent reliefs at any time and dependant upon the job, time of year and resources involved, means that the time on reliefs varies. 

The biggest problem comes when you are on reliefs and remain on the job after finishing time. OK, this may not be an issue for some and obviously involves a certain amount of overtime. However, what about childcare issues or the use of one family car? Should you be expected as a firefighter that you may be called out and still be out after a certain time? Is it an occupational hazard. 

I must admit I have had very few instances where its caused issues but know of a few recently were firefighters have been getting home some hours later due to a relief strategy not being in place and this clearly causes some issues. 

Please feel free to discuss and where possible detail the relief system you have in place within your FRS.

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Being RDS the issue with employers can be an issue. On station we try and cater for those that cant attend for this reason however there has been a couple of cases where people try and get out of it if they are working in 5hrs time etc. If this cannot be catered for then people make an effort to get a replacement for them. This is normally down to the individual and the crew remaining. 

We have two methods of relief either via the turnout system (alerters go in) or a JO on call will get a call from control and ring around based on our ladder system. Both have their benefits and disadvantages, the system used is dependent on the incident requesting the relief (notice periods) or time of the day. Who will answer their phone at 2am? 

Personally I prefer the turnout system as everyone on call has to respond and gets the chance to respond rather than the JO selecting crew from those on call that answer their phone. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

General policy is relief after 4 hours but it's very rare. WT crews are usually given relief priority and I've often seen WT crews go back after 4 hours and RDS crews carry on to 6 or 7.

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In H&W i believe the Day Crewed Plus guys wont go on reliefs after 8pm as it will go into their negative hours. Discussing this recently a WC said that if crews were on reliefs but babysitting monitors and not really doing much, as long as they had adequate welfare and were nowhere near finishing time they could be there for up to 7 hours

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Here's it's as long as is necessary. The Officer in charge at an incident will usually try to make allowances if certain pumps need to get away but in principle we can be here quite a while. We have hot pack meals on the pumps and the volunteers come out to prolonged incidents on tea and biscuit duties and we are generally faiy well looked after.

Four hours is still about right but have been to more than one job where we've stayed between 7 to nine hours. However the Level 2 will usually ask if we're happy to carry on rather than assume.

Like HB2016 says however I have definitely noticed an effort is made to get the wholetime away from jobs sooner than the on call. I personally don't have an issue with that but interesting I'm not the only one whose noticed it.

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I havent noticed that as such, however i know that if its a day job, the WT will get away sooner ( especially if its close to finishing time ) but thats only for the night crew to come on duty and bring the pump back. There is a school of thought “well they’re already being paid so we’ll use them” thats a double edged sword though

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