Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service response to terrorist incidents no longer 'cause for concern'

Date published: 13 September 2022

The cause for concern placed on the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service last year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has been lifted.

In the public interest, HMICFRS independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces and fire and rescue services.

During its last inspection of GMFRS, the Inspectorate expressed concerns about the service’s capability in relation to responding to terrorist incidents.

Since that time, GMFRS has made huge progress to develop its operational capability in responding to incidents involving marauding terrorist attacks (MTA) and large numbers of casualties with three-day MTA training for staff beginning in April 2022.

The training includes a two-day trauma course and a full day practical session made up of various scenarios involving partner agencies.

Training is taking place at GMFRS’ training and safety centre and is expected to be complete by April 2023, at which point more than 1,100 operational crews and officers will have completed the training.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer 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 – ensuring it is prepared to respond to any type of emergency.

“The safety of our communities and our colleagues is our priority. Our firefighters are being provided with the right training and kit to keep themselves safe whilst delivering the crucial emergency support needed in whatever situation they may find themselves in.

“By April 2023 we will equip every fire appliance in Greater Manchester with specialist equipment to support a timely and effective multi-agency response to a Marauding Terrorist Attack or a Mass Casualty Rescue incident.”

In April 2022, an agreement was signed by GMFRS and the Fire Brigades’ Union in relation to GMFRS’ capability to respond to an MTA or a Mass Casualty Rescue.

DCFO Norman continued: “Thanks to positive collaboration between GMFRS and the Fire Brigades’ Union and the signing of a collective agreement in April 2022, our new MTA capability will ensure our firefighters and officers are safe, while significantly improving the response we will be able to provide in the event of a terrorist attack or a casualty rescue.”

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