Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Firefighter to Chief Fire Officer what do they do?

The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, like all other Fire and Rescue Services has a rank structure that denotes the chain of command of its operational management. The roles are shown on the protective helmets that the firefighters wear and on the collars of their "undress" uniform as epaulettes.

The epaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank.

Epaulettes are fastened to the shoulder by a shoulder strap or "passant", a small strap parallel to the shoulder seam, and the button near the collar. Colloquially, any shoulder straps with marks are also called epaulettes. The placement of the epaulette, its colour and the length and diameter of its bullion fringe are used to signify the wearer's rank. The rank structure is shown as follows:

Firefighter

Incident Management Unit (IMU) Combined Platform Pump (CPP)

Carries out day-to-day firefighting and fire safety work.

Crew Manager

Senior Officer Vehicle Search & Rescue Team (SRT)

In charge of the watch at smaller fire stations or the crew of a fire appliance. Carries out day-to-day fire fighting and fire safety work. Will attend incidents as officer in charge of an appliance and will also take command of small-scale incidents. Will also undertake specialist duties such as training or fire safety.

Watch Manager

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

In charge of the watch at larger fire stations. Carries out day-to-day firefighting and fire safety work or junior work in policy areas. Can also undertake specialist duties.

Station Manager

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

Responsible for management of a fire station or day-to-day work in a specific policy area. Will take charge of large-scale incidents or undertake specialist tasks such as support at an incident.

Group Manager

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

Responsible for management of a group of fire stations or day-to-day work in a specific policy area. Will take charge of major incidents or undertake specialist tasks such as support at an incident.

Area Manager

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

Responsible for day-to-day management of an area of fire brigade operations or policy. Will take charge of major incidents or undertake specialist tasks such as support at an incident.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

A DCFO deputises for the Chief Fire Officer during their absence. Has strategic responsibility for directorates. Will take command of major incidents.

Chief Fire Officer

Small Fires Unit (SFU) Marine Rescue Boat

The CFO is the head of the organisation. Will take command of major incidents.

Role of a Firefighter

The role of a Firefighter is ever changing. Although responding to emergencies is what we are known for, the reality is that we spend a lot of time doing other things which include Community Fire Safety, Training & Development and Station Routines.

  • To prevent fire and accidents from starting in the first place.
  • Educating the community by visiting schools, community centres, people in their own homes, wherever the fire safety message can be delivered.
  • Having local knowledge of the area, such as streets, roads and buildings.
  • Advising people about planning escape routes within their own homes in case of a fire.
  • Actively seeking to understand and to value diverse individuals and groups.
  • Training and Development.
  • To undertake a continuous training programme by attending lectures, exercises, practical training sessions and other forms of training to maintain competence levels.
  • Take responsibility for developing your own skills.
  • Ensuring your fitness levels are maintained as the work can be demanding both physically and mentally.
  • Responding to Emergencies.
  • To respond immediately and safely to all emergency calls.
  • Minimise distress and suffering, including giving first aid.
  • Dealing with many kinds of emergencies, including pumping out flooded premises, chemical spills, providing casualty care and extraction at road traffic accidents and rescuing people who are trapped in buildings or lifts.
  • Station Routines.
  • You will need to maintain, clean and test fire service equipment ensuring its readiness for use, using approved procedures in accordance with current Health and Safety practice.
  • Each item of equipment to be maintained and updated using test record cards.
  • Access and record information whether written or using basic computer skills.
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