TRAINING has begun for 54 firefighters who will become Greater
Manchester's new response and rescue team.
The Technical Response Unit (TRU) will provide specialist skills
at emergency incidents in the county whilst an on-call team will be
available for national and international incidents as part of the
Urban Search Rescue (USAR) and UK ISAR (International Search and
The firefighters - recruited from elsewhere in the Service -
have embarked on an intensive 10-week training schedule taking
place at local and national venues.
You can follow the training via our online video diary here.
The TRU will provide specialist response for the whole of
Greater Manchester while still being available for everyday
life-risk incidents, including fire and road traffic
It's been set up because changing risks mean that Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is dealing with more
bariatric rescues, terrorist threats, rescues from height,
collapsed building search and rescue operations, body recovery and
trench rescues than ever before.
And while GMFRS has always had specialist equipment for such
incidents, existing capabilities have limitations.
Group Manager Jim Hutton, who's leading the project, said: "The
TRU will ensure we're giving the best possible protection to our
firefighters and the people of Greater Manchester.
"The training will up-skill firefighters so they can provide
additional technical response capabilities alongside their core
The TRU will consist of two vehicles which will be crewed by 54
staff based across two locations - Ashton and Leigh fire
Group Manager Hutton added: "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."
The training course consists of seven modules over 10 weeks at
local and national training centres.
The first week of training saw delegates complete USAR training
at Whitehill Fire Station and rope rescue training at the Training
and Development Centre in Manchester.
The modules of training are rope rescue, confined space
training, firefighter skills, USAR and swift water rescue.