Fire bosses look into complaints at training centre
AFIREFIGHTER has been suspended and a second given ‘ management advice’ after concerns were raised about their relationships with women recruits.
An officer has been spoken to by bosses about the ‘ appropriateness’ of his behaviour with a female colleague following an informal complaint.
Another is currently suspended following a separate, formal complaint.
Brigade bosses are ‘having discussions’ about issues raised regarding the Greater Manchester Fire Service (GMFRS) training centre at Thompson Street, in Manchester, next to Manchester Central fire station.
Both complaints relate to male firefighters’ relationships with women recruited in the past few years.
A GMFRS spokesman said: “An internal allegation of inappropriate sexual behaviour has been made against one individual and they have been temporarily suspended while we look into the allegation.
“It would, therefore, be inappropriate to com- ment any further.
“This is not how we expect GMFRS staff to behave and any allegations of inappropriate behaviour are and will be taken very seriously indeed.”
The brigade has increased the number of women firefighters within its ranks in recent years following a number of successful recruitment drives.
The Fire Brigades Union says there are now 53 women firefighters at GMFRS. Of those, 90 per cent are said to have been taken on in the past two years.
In December, Dawn Docx became the highest ranking woman officer in the brigade when she was appointed as deputy county fire officer, moving from north Wales where she held the same position.
A fire service source said: “There has been an attempt to push all this under the carpet.
“Aspects of the culture of the training centre among some staff needs looking at.”
In September last year, a firefighter was suspended after a fourmonth investigation into allegations a couple had sex at a station.
An explicit photo was posted on a swingers website by a person claiming to be ‘genuine fire crew’.
The image clearly showed the brigade’s website address on the side of a vehicle.
So far, no disciplinary action has been taken against any officer in relation to that investigation.
The firefighter suspended in that case is back at work.
A firefighter has been suspended over an allegation of ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour’