GMFRS puts culture at heart of new plan for the year

  • Service’s new Annual Delivery Plan 2023-24 launches with culture as a key priority throughout.

  • New ‘Culture First’ Programme Board to be established with independent co-chair to scrutinise major work.

  • Annual Delivery Plan sets out how GMFRS will achieve the aims and ambitions in its four-year Fire Plan 2021-25 over the next 12 months.

  • Plans include building three new community fire stations and investing £3.2 million in refreshing others.

Culture is at the heart of a new annual plan launched by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) today (Friday 21 April 2023), which sets out the Service’s priorities for the year ahead.

It is GMFRS’s third Annual Delivery Plan outlining the key projects and programmes that will be delivered over the next 12 months to achieve the aims and ambitions of the city-region’s four-year Fire Plan 2021-25.

This year, the plan shines a spotlight on cultural improvements with a series of commitments to ensure improvements in the Service move further and faster than before. This will include establishing a new cultural programme board with an independent co-chair to ensure culture is at the forefront of all major programmes of work. 

GMFRS’s Chief Fire Officer, Dave Russel, said: “Since taking leadership of GMFRS in 2020, I have made it clear that GMFRS will be an organisation where everyone is welcome, valued and respected. In recent months, a spotlight has been rightly shone on some of the appalling behaviour that has happened in fire and rescue services across the county. This plan further supports my promise that at GMFRS, there is no place for bullying, harassment or discrimination in any form and I will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone that goes against these values.

“I can already see huge positive changes to the culture within GMFRS to when I took over as Chief Fire Officer. We are now ranked 50th in Stonewall’s Top 100 list for leading LGBTQ+ inclusive employers and our Rainbow Network recently received a national Stonewall award; our firefighter apprenticeships programme has been rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ for its approaches to personal development and behaviour and attitudes, as part of a ‘good’ overall rating; and our most recent HMICFRS inspection rated us ‘good’ at looking after our people – a significant improvement from our previous inspection. However, we recognise there is much more to do, which is why we are putting culture at the forefront our 2023-24 plan.”

Alongside the cultural improvements, the plan details a series of new projects across all areas of the Service, including consulting on recommendations from a Fire Cover Review, which aims to deliver a stronger and more resilient Service, with increased capacity and capability for our frontline; building three new community fire stations and investing £3.2 million in refreshing other stations; launching new customer insight and feedback surveys; and hosting this summer’s British Firefighter Challenge.

The final plan was shaped following a period of engagement with GMFRS staff, partners and the public, which included a consultation that was carried out earlier in the year.

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Kate Green, said: “The new Annual Delivery Plan is an ambitious plan that will help ensure GMFRS continues to provide a modern, flexible and resilient Fire and Rescue Service which its staff and the public of Greater Manchester deserves and rightly expects.

“We recognise that GMFRS still has work to do in some areas of its work, but we have a Chief Fire Officer in Dave Russel who has made culture within the organisation an absolute priority and he has demonstrated that he will not tolerate anything that falls short of an organisation where everyone is welcome and respected.”

CFO Russel added: “The importance of achieving the right culture and behaviour cannot be overstated, it is one of the hardest factors to get right, but undoubtedly one of the most valuable. We are making big improvements to GMFRS with bold and ambitious plans for the year ahead – as outlined in our latest Annual Delivery Plan – and culture is at the heart of that.”

You can view the full Annual Delivery Plan or a ‘plan on a page’ summary on the GMFRS website here:

 To find out more about GMFRS plans and strategies, you can view a short animation video here:






Article Published: 21/04/2023 14:21 PM