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  • Grey Book to Green Book Review

    Introduction 1. Prior to the 2004 Fire Service Act, any alterations to the grey book operational

    establishment had to be approved by the Home Secretary thorough the section 19 process. Since 2004, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) have replaced a number of operational legislative fire safety officers with non-operational fire safety technical officers. The technical officers concerned have been able to fulfill the role effectively. One of the justifications for maintaining a number of grey book operational day related posts has been that as an organisation, we may rely on them in times of pandemic/strike. The 2006 strike and the subsequent resilience strategy that was put into place demonstrated that as a service we could accurately predict the number of staff required and how and where they would be deployed.

    2. The Equal Pay Act 1970 provides that contracts of employment incorporate an

    equality clause i.e. when a women is employed on like work or work related as equivalent or work of equal value as a man, and any terms of her contract (including pay) is less favorable than the mans contract, then the terms are treated as modified so as to be equal

    3. The Sex and Race Discrimination legislation also provide that an employer

    discriminates against another on the grounds of sex/race if they

    Treat the person less favorably than persons of the other sex/race, or Apply to one person a requirement or condition which the employer applies

    equally to all other persons, but which is such that the proportion of persons of the opposite sex or a different racial group who can comply with it is considerably smaller than the proportion of persons of that sex/race who can comply, and which the employer cannot show to be justified

    4 MFRS has undertaken a green book job evaluation process, which included the

    fire safety technical officers. This evaluation will provide a bench mark for jobs identified as suitable to be carried out by non-operational green book staff.

    In this respect, (MFRS) currently employs staff on grey book and green book conditions of service. Grey book staff respond, or are competent to respond to fire and rescue emergencies, whilst green book staff provide a wide range of non-firefighting services. The line between the two conditions in terms of roles has become less distinct as the fire and rescue service makes its own risk assessment decisions based around the Authoritys IRMP. MFRS is also now clearer over the likelihood of business interruption and its preparedness for such an event. It is timely therefore to review the current grey book roles and determine which should remain as grey book operational roles and which could be re-designated as green book non operational roles to ensure that the Authority can continue to comply with legislation in the areas of equal pay: discrimination, and best value.

    5 The factors considered that determine whether a posts should remain grey book

    are :-

  • Whether the post appropriately provides an emergency response element Whether the post requires a current knowledge or experience of fire

    fighting/rescue techniques and practice How many posts need to be maintained for the organisation to operate a

    suitable and sufficient operational resilience capability to enable the service to provide a minimum service in the event of significant business interruption such as industrial action or flu pandemic

    6 There are currently 76 day related operational grey book posts and to determine

    whether a post needs to be grey book two questions were posed;

    1. Is an element of emergency response appropriate for the role? 2. Is having a recent fire fighting background essential for effective service

    delivery; where recent is defined by having responded operationally within the previous three years?

    Why recent? Fire fighting methods, including fire behaviour, ventilation, water rescue, urban search and rescue, line rescue, new dimensions etc have developed significantly over the last ten years. A role that requires a current fire fighting background is one that requires a grey book element i.e. someone who regularly provides emergency response and/or someone who is current and up to date with modern response practice. If the post can be successfully undertaken by someone without that up to date knowledge, then by definition having an emergency response background is not essential as the knowledge is more general and can be learnt through training and development. As such one that requires a more general knowledge of how buildings, equipment, Fire-fighters behave/operate in fire does not require a grey book post.

    7 If the answer to both the above questions is no, unless there is any other

    justification, the post does not need to be held by a grey book member of staff. 8 The numbers of posts that have been identified using the criteria above are

    6 posts have been identified as requiring both Operational Response and Competence (as set out in paragraph 9 below).

    18 posts that require an Operational Competence (as set out in paragraph 10

    below)

    53 posts that do not require either an operational Response or operational competence (as set out in paragraph 11 below).

    9 Positions that require an Operational Response

    Emergency Ops Number of Response Competent Posts

    Motor Cycle crew manager-crew manager Yes Yes 1 1 post TRG-crew manager B-1 post Yes Yes 1 TRG-Firefighter-1 post Yes Yes 1

  • TRG- Watch Manager B-3 posts Yes Yes 3 New dimensions Crew Manager 1 post yes yes 1

    Total operational response 7

    10 Positions that require current and competent Operational Knowledge

    Emergency response Ops Competent Number of posts

    Ops planning Watch Manager B-2 posts No Yes 2 Ops A & E Watch Manager B-1 post No Yes 1 H & S Watch Manager B-1 post No Yes 1 Ops performance Watch Manager B-1 post No Yes 1 Prof Dev Watch Manager B 2 post No Yes 2 T & DA Watch Manager B 4 posts No Yes 4 T & DA Watch Manager A 5 posts No Yes 5 T & DA Crew Manager A 2 posts No Yes 2 Total current and competent 18

    11 Positions that do not require either Operational Response or Current

    Competency

    Emergency response Ops Competent No

    Ops planning-Watch Manager A 2 posts No No 2

    Ops A & E Watch Manager A-1 Post No No 1 Ops A & E Crew Manager 1 post No No 1 Ops performance Watch Manager B-1 post No No 1 T & DA watch Manager B 2 posts No No 2 T & DA watch Manager A 1 posts No No 1 T & DA Crew manager A 4 posts No No 4 IRMP- Watch Manager B 1 post No No 1 Corp Comms-Watch Manager B-1 post No No 1 FS mgt group-Watch Manager B-4 posts No No 4

  • Petroleum-Watch Manager B-1 post No No 1 Legislative FS-Watch Manager B-10 posts No No 10 Legislative FS-Watch Manager A-11 posts No No 11 Youth Engagement-FS-Watch Manager-1 post No No 1 Community FS Watch Manager B-3 posts No No 3 Community FS Watch Manager A-5 posts No No 5 Community FS Crew Manager-3 posts No No 3

    Total not requiring ops response/current competence 52

    12 Assessments in respect of individual posts are set out in paragraphs 13 to 23

    inclusive. 13 Fire Safety Management

    13.1 Legislative Fire Safety (LFS)

    LFS has 12 Watch Manager A positions and 15 Watch Manager B positions and these are based in the following locations:

    11 WMA across the four Fire Safety Districts 10 WMB across the four Fire Safety Districts and the Special

    Projects Team 4 WMB based at Service Headquarters 1 WMB based in Petroleum

    13.2 The position of WMA provides Grey Book Fire Safety Practitioners who do

    not need to have a high level understanding of risk data, such as sites involving COMAH, hazardous materials and other risks.

    13.3 WMB post holders are expected to have a high level understanding of risk

    data and building features contained within complex and high rise buildings. This understanding requires a greater degree of responsibility and knowledge.

    13.4 This greater degree of responsibility is typically reflected in the following

    activities:

    Post incident inspections and audits Providing operational intelligence to update 7(2)(d) records Inspecting plans for large, complex buildings Special Projects, which require consideration of FRS communications,

    site specific risk information and details relating to Building Disaster Advisory Group (BDAG).

  • 13.5 This role has no operational response attached to it and requires no specific need to be currently competent within WM7 of the operational role map as defined by the National Occupational Standards for Crew and Watch Manager Standards but requires some technical knowledge that can be developed through training.

    13.6 The Legislative Fire Safety Watch Manger does not have to show

    competence in the following:-

    FF 3 Save and preserve endangered life FF 4 Resolve operational incidents FF5 Protect the environment from hazardous materials FF6 Support the effectiveness of operational response

    And specifically would not be required to gain or maintain standards for WM7:- WM 7 Lead and support people to resolve operational incidents WM7.1 Plan action to meet the needs of the incident WM7.2 Implement action to meet planned objectives WM7.3 Close down the operational phase of incidents WM7.4 Debrief people following incidents

    No response or operational compete