Manchester Mayor & FBU question GMFRS 90-minute turnout to attacks

Date Published : May 25th, 2017    Published By : admin

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham is considering ordering an independent review into decisions made by fire brigade managers on the night of the Manchester terror attack.

Manchester Evening News is reporting that firefighters are infuriated after they were prevented from responding to the scene for up to 90 minutes after the 10.33 attack.

Manchester Attack MEN 1 640
Pic: (Manchester Evening News)

The regional control centre for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service GMFRS issued two pre-alerts to firefighters at Central Station shortly after the incident and the crew prepared to turn-out to the incident, they were told to remain on standby at Philips Park station.

One firefighter told the Manchester Evening News that fire crews waited for an hour while their colleagues in the North West Ambulance Service assisted Police at the arena following the incident.

GMFRS were waiting for ‘specialists’ in bulletproof overalls to arrive from Leigh and Heywood before being sent back to Manchester Central before five fire appliances were mobilised to the scene, however, according to the firefighter, ‘by then all of the dangerous work of entering the blasted Arena foyer to tend to badly hurt and dying victims had been done’.

GM MAyor at Leigh Fire Station
Photo: Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham with fire officers at Leigh Fire Station on 14th May.
Pic (GMFRS @manchesterfire)

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham said “I am aware of concerns from firefighters about the speed of the response to the terror attack at the Manchester Arena on Monday night. I am taking these concerns seriously and, at the appropriate time, they will be subject to a full evaluation and briefing but they have to be seen in context. Large numbers of highly-trained professionals were on site within minutes providing support to people. I could not be more proud of all of Greater Manchester’s emergency services who have gone to incredible lengths to carry the city through this dark time.”

Gary Keary, Brigade Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said: “We have had a meeting with the County Fire Officer and we have raised initial concerns which will be included in a joint investigation.”

The meeting was attended by the County Chief Fire Officer Peter O’ Reilly and Matt Wrack, national leader of the FBU.

Mr Burnham has asked people not to jump to conclusions in this moment when Manchester was still coming to terms with what has happened. ‘What we can say is that this was an extremely serious, fast moving situation and the full nature of it did not become clear for a number of hours. In coming weeks, we will have to understand what decisions were made and why.’

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