GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's new Small Incident
Units (SIUs) are now being used to help tackle small fires and free
up more fire engines.
The new units were launched last week with the aim of reducing
the impact of low-risk incidents on staff and resources, leaving
more fire engines available for life-threatening incidents such as
house fires and rescues.
They will also leave crews free to carry out vital operational
training and community fire safety work to help prevent fires
without interruptions, unless there is a serious
Rather than buying brand new vehicles, GMFRS has converted four
of its current 4x4 vehicles to carry a crew of two, a fogging
system (a high pressure pump designed to consume less water but put
the fire out quicker) and various items of equipment to deal with
Trial vehicles have already been successfully used on a number
of occasions including over two bonfire periods.
Careful consideration is given to the type and location of the
incidents that SIUs get sent to which include rubbish and wheelie
bin fires in the open and small bonfires.
They are a considered to be roaming appliances rather than
station-based vehicles and are intelligence-led as to which areas
they work in.
For example, the new units have been used in Bolton this week to
roam parks and wooded areas following a number of deliberate
rubbish fires started by children with matches across Greater
Read more about these incidents by seeing a previous article
Area Manager Tony Hunter said: "Converting our current 4x4
vehicles has proved a very cost effective way of trialling the
concept of Small Incident Units and their success during bonfire
periods supports this logical next step.
"Utilising the units on a more regular basis will assist our
fire engines in remaining available to respond to emergencies where
life may be at threat and not otherwise occupied at small nuisance
incidents such as rubbish and wheelie bin fires."