A NEW team is being set up to provide enhanced skills
during emergency incidents in Greater Manchester.
Changing risks in society mean that Greater Manchester
Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is being used to deal with more
bariatric rescues, terrorist threats, rescues from height,
collapsed building search and rescue operations, body recovery and
trench rescue than ever before.
Whilst GMFRS has always had specialist equipment, existing
capabilities have limitations.
So a Technical Response Unit (TRU) is being created to
provide specialist response for the whole of Greater Manchester
whilst still being available for life-risk incidents, including
fire and road traffic collisions.
Group Manager Jim Hutton, who's leading the project, said:
"We're developing the TRU to bridge capability gaps in our
technical response provision and ensure we're giving the best
possible protection for the public and crews.
"Current operational staff will be up-skilled to provide
additional technical response capabilities alongside their core
"The TRU will comprise of two vehicles which will be
crewed by 54 staff based across two locations - Ashton and Leigh
"The locations provide wide geographical cover with the
ability to reach any part of the county within 25 minutes. This
capability will be implemented with minimum cost - providing a
greater service and increased public value."
Staff within the Service will be sought to transfer to the
TRU, with training planned for later in the year and the TRU is
scheduled to be operational before the end of March
GMFRS currently has Enhanced Rescue Units (ERUs) at Ashton
and Leigh which contain specialist rescue equipment such as ropes,
heavy duty cutting equipment, jacks and larger air bags to deal
with non-fire-related emergencies.
These vehicles will be converted to form the new TRU
vehicles which - along with highly-trained crews - will provide an
even greater response to incidents of a technical
Tameside Borough Manager Jon Heydon said: "Tameside
already has an enhanced rescue capability at our Ashton station and
it is a natural progression for us to further develop this rescue
provision. Not only will this make Greater Manchester safer, but it
will bring an enhanced level of response to rescue emergencies
"We strive hard to reduce risk to people and property in
all areas of the borough and have identified road traffic
collisions and other none fire-related emergencies as areas we want
to work harder at, to continue to make the people of Tameside
"Once trained, these firefighters will be better equipped
to address the changing hazards associated with increased road
usage and other risks associated with construction, demolition and
"To be able to draw on the considerable expertise and
knowledge that firefighters will receive following extensive
training will continue to make Tameside a safer place to live, work
Borough Manager for Wigan, Steve Sheridan, said: "The TRU
will enhance the service in the Wigan area and be of great benefit
to the fire crews locally.
"Not only will we have further expertise but increased
fire cover at night time. In addition, firefighters trained with
additional skills will safeguard other staff at