THE Deputy Mayor of Stockport, Councillor June Somekh,
donned full protective clothing, breathing apparatus and battled
her way through a pitch-black 'smoke house' last week as part of a
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service training
The training day - which took place on Friday, September, 16 -
was designed to show local Mayors just what type of challenges
firefighters face, the specialist equipment the Service requires
and the varied nature of the firefighter role.
Other exercises at the Service Training Centre in Manchester
included Councillor Somekh using specialist cutting equipment in
order to remove the roof of a vehicle and also witnessing a rope
Speaking after her experience, Councillor Somekh said: "The
exercises were incredibly interesting. It definitely gave me an
insight into what firefighters face.
"Getting inside the breathing apparatus is so claustrophobic;
especially in a hot, dark building.
"I really enjoyed the day and it was fascinating talking to some
of the firefighters present. I'm completely full of admiration for
the job they do in helping look after our communities."
County Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Steve McGuirk, said: "I
think the Mayors who attended the training day had some fun whilst
learning about what we do. However, there is a serious side in that
we - like other organisations - need to show that we're providing
"It's important that Members understand what we do and how that
is changing. This kind of hands-on experience is invaluable when it
comes to showing people the kind of things our crews tackle on a