FOLLOWING the conclusion today of the inquest into the death of Firefighter Stephen Hunt on July 13, 2013, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has issued the following statement.
County Fire Officer and Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Peter Oâ€™Reilly, said: â€œI speak for everyone in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service when I say that we feel the same today as we did when we lost Stephen three years ago and that is utterly, utterly devastated. The inquest has heard and seen some harrowing evidence over seven weeks of intense scrutiny. It has been hard on everyone but our thoughts are always with Stephenâ€™s family first and foremost, who have conducted themselves with dignity and grace despite having to hear and see the most terrible information anyone could hear or see about their son or brother or dad.
â€œWe cannot bring Stephen back and we cannot change the events of that day, as much as we would give everything we have to do so. What we can do is learn from the mistakes that were made to ensure we never face anything like this again. I am sorry for anything anyone from the Service did or did not do that might have changed the outcome for Stephenâ€™s family. Itâ€™s clear from the evidence we got some things wrong, although some of Stephenâ€™s colleagues acted with tremendous bravery to try and save his life too.
â€œAs a Service we will now seek to make every conceivable improvement to protect every firefighter who so proudly wears our badge to protect the communities of Greater Manchester. I know they do that selflessly every day despite the clear danger involved. Stephen was a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice doing a job he loved and I owe it to his memory to do everything I can to ensure this never happens again.â€