Blogs from Police &   
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Fire: Council tax bills will rise following Fire and Rescue budget – but only by 78p a year for most people

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RESIDENTS across Greater Manchester will pay more Council Tax to support the county’s fire and rescue service – but only 78p A YEAR for most people.

Members of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRA) agreed a 1.99 per cent rise in their part of the Council Tax at a meeting this morning (Thursday, February 16).

But the increase, which will be listed as the fire and rescue service ‘precept’ on household bills, equates to just 78p extra for the whole year on a Band A property and £1.17 extra for the year on a Band D home.

The Service is the second largest fire and rescue service in England, looking after around 2.7 million people across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.

It provides emergency response through 41 fire stations and an operational crew of around 1,300 uniformed officers working a 24/7 shift pattern on four watches.

In 2016, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service:

Fire: The passing of the dog collar

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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is asking for help to give a codename to our newest recruit!

Primary schools county-wide are being called on to help give Eric, a 17 month old black Labrador, a codename for when he is out using the power of his nose to keep people safe.

Eric is intelligent, full of energy and his sniffing powers are second to none.

Other fire dogs have included Cracker, Ace and Echo, with Cracker soon to pass on her dog collar as she heads towards retirement after 10 years high quality work.

Entries need to be sent to [email protected] by Friday, March 3, with the winner to be announced shortly afterwards on Twitter @ManchesterFire.

Fire dogs are put through several months of intensive training to make sure they are the best they can be and can work in all kinds of situations.

Mike Dewar, Dog Unit Manager, said: “Eric is going to work really well as he has so much energy – which is exactly what you want from a fire investigation dog.

“Cracker has been showing him the ropes and he’s...

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Fire: Fire Service Teams up with Stroke Association

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STAFF at the fire service are swapping skills with a stroke awareness charity to increase knowledge about the most vulnerable people in our communities in a bid to make them safer.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has teamed up with the Stroke Association in the North West, to help improve the health and well-being of vulnerable adults in Greater Manchester and raise awareness of the work of both organisations.

Working in collaboration, the two organisations have established an agreement to promote referrals for Safe and Well Visits from GMFRS and support from the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Services in Manchester. The partnership also aims to increase fire safety awareness amongst people living with stroke in Greater Manchester, as well as stroke awareness amongst GMFRS staff.

Over the next 12 months, GMFRS will deliver fire safety awareness training to Stroke Association staff and volunteers, refer people in the community to the Stroke Association, promote the Stroke Association’s work and...

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Fire: Firefighters to carry out exercise with Sherwin-Williams in Bolton - Sunday, February 19

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FIREFIGHTERS in Bolton have planned an exercise which will test procedures in place at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) for dealing with incidents involving large-scale industrial properties.

Crew Manager Chris Wilcox, from Bolton Central Community Fire Station, said: “Bolton based industrial coatings manufacturer, Sherwin-Williams, has agreed to allow us to test our procedures.

“A number of firefighters and engines will be in and around Kestor Street and Mule Street, just outside Bolton Town Centre, between 10am and 1pm on Sunday, February 19, 2017. This is a routine exercise and we don’t want people to be alarmed if they see us in the area.”

The large scale exercise will see our firefighters deal with a complex mock incident at Sherwin-Williams involving multiple ‘casualties’.

No roads will be closed on the day and there will be access to all businesses around the cordon.

Fire: Don't end up Fifty Shades of Red this Valentine's Day

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ADVENTUROUS types are being given a word of caution about finding themselves trapped in red-faced situations by the fire service this Valentine’s Day.

As the second Fifty Shades of Grey film (Fifty Shades Darker) hits cinemas Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is joining London Fire Brigade and its Fifty Shades of Red campaign to ask people to think carefully before getting themselves into sticky situations.

Rescuing people from handcuffs, kettle spouts and bowling balls is not perhaps what firefighters are best known for but these are all examples of incidents GMFRS has been called out to since January 2016.

During the 12-month period GMFRS also rescued three men with rings stuck on their penises and 13 people trapped in handcuffs.

Crews have attended more than 420 incidents of people trapped or stuck, often in everyday household items, including:


  • One lady who got her thumb stuck in a bowling ball

  • Six incidents involving children with their heads stuck in potties or toilet...

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Fire: Rare Tornado strikes Bury

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A RARE Tornado Fighter Jet has been donated to the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for their Training and Safety Centre in Bury.


The multi-million pound, state of the art training facility will help firefighters train for a whole range of incidents and other scenarios that could potentially happen in Greater Manchester.

The tornado jet is just one of many scenarios being set up at the training site to help give firefighters realistic training of the highest quality to help keep local communities safer.

Reaching supersonic mach 2 speeds of up to 1,300 miles per hour, this masterpiece of aviation will sit in a carefully fabricated plane crash scenario, involving a partially demolished house.


Chris Wilson from Jet Art aviation who installed the facility said: “This F2 plane which was built in 1984 was donated by the Royal Air Force and will now serve as a training facility for firefighters and other emergency services, to help saves lives and keep the public safe.”

“This historic aircraft, the first of only 18 built, last flew in...

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Fire: Wigan firefighters meet teenager they saved from a fire

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A MAN rescued from a fire in Wigan last summer was overjoyed to meet the firefighters who saved his life.


Josh Swarbrick, who is now 18-years-old, found himself trapped in a smoke-filled room in a third-floor flat when a fire broke out on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, in Mesnes Terrace.

The reunion took place at Wigan Community Fire Station in Robin Park Road last night (Wednesday, February 8, 2017) when firefighters involved in the rescue were commended by the chief of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

During the event a Certificate of Outstanding Performance was presented to Firefighter Christan Dunn and other Green Watch members following their actions during the incident.

Josh said: Quote: “It was a very scary situation and I feel very grateful that the firefighters rescued me. They have saved my life.”

Joining Wigan’s Green Watch and Josh at the celebration event were staff members from New Stage Housing and officers from GMFRS, including Wigan’s station manager, Wayne Van...

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Fire: Unattended Cooking Starts Severe Fire in Home

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DO NOT get distracted while cooking is the message from fire officers this morning after a blaze tore through a bungalow last night (Tuesday, February 7).

It is believed the fire in Primrose Avenue, Uppermill, started in the kitchen of a dormer bungalow and was burning for some time before the fire service was called at 8.14pm.

Station Manager Mark Wilson said: “We believe the fire started when the resident put food in the oven and became distracted, possibly then falling asleep.

“It was some time until the fire was discovered. The flames had gone through the ceiling of the kitchen, into the bedroom, through the walls and burned through quite of a lot of belongings that were stored there.

“Sadly the property is very seriously damaged but luckily no lives were lost on this occasion. This is a timely reminder to residents to stay focused while cooking and not be tempted to start cooking if you are feeling sleepy. Most importantly, make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your property. If you have an elderly...

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Fire: Father and Son Firefighting Dream Team

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WHITEFIELD fire station has temporarily welcomed father and son firefighting combo, John and Sam Smith, onto its Blue Watch.

John and Sam Smith

John, who lives in Whitefield and Sam who lives in Radcliffe, made up half of the crew on Sunday, February 5.

Although it was a relatively quiet shift in terms of responding to emergency calls the watch were able to visit Salford Community Fire Station to use the state of the art training facilities and allow John and Sam to work together in a simulated emergency situation.

When asked what it was like to have Sam on shift with him, John said: “I found it surreal. It was really quite different to a normal day, it was brilliant to have him there and definitely one of the best days I’ve had in the fire service. I’m due to retire soon and I’m hoping to speak to some of the lads to swap shifts so I can spend the day with Sam on his shift.”

Speaking with Sam about how he felt working with his dad, he said: “It was a really good day, I’ve always wanted to be in the fire service and so to get to work with...

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Fire: GMFRS dedicates a week to health and wellbeing

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WELLBEING was at the forefront of conversation as GMFRS dedicated a week to mental health awareness.


Colleagues from all over the Service have committed themselves to promoting  various facilities and schemes that are available to anyone who might be struggling.

Kick-starting the good energy, Firefighter Wayne Norris from Leigh Community Fire Station hit the gym on Friday January 27 and spent a gruelling twelve hours on a treadmill in full fire gear and breathing apparatus.


Wayne said: “I’m raising money for Mind, Mind Blue Light and The Fire Fighters Charity, and in June will again be taking on Mind Hike and trekking 40 miles.”

On Thursday February 2, GMFRS celebrated Time to Talk day with a number of events.

In the morning Assistant County Fire Officer (ACFO) Geoff Harris, Sheni Ravji-Smith, the GMFRS lead on Wellbeing and Fire Brigades Union Brigade Secretary and Firefighter Gary Keary all signed a Blue Light Mind pledge.


The pledge was a display of commitment to help those who experience mental health problems...

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Latest News Stories

Council tax bills will rise following Fire and Rescue budget – but only by 78p a year for most people
The passing of the dog collar
Fire Service Teams up with Stroke Association
Firefighters to carry out exercise with Sherwin-Williams in Bolton - Sunday, February 19
Don't end up Fifty Shades of Red this Valentine's Day

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