Opening Pandora's Box on operational competency: has the Fire and Rescue Service lost focus on core competencies? Are the training needs greater now due to more responsibilities, roles and new equipment? Is less time now spent on training and on the drill ground? Is incident command a high priority?(Viewpoint)

The above questions and more were posed to Fire and Rescue Service leaders and were, unsurprisingly, met with a range of responses: some focusing on local FRS response, others on IPDS, and nearly all covered the integrated approach. Is there really a need to worry?

Fact or Fantasy?

Or is there any basis for this provocative line of questioning? The basis for FIRE's approach was the numerous messages of concern coming from every Service quarter questioning preparedness for future firefighting operations. Whilst it is unwise to charge ahead on hearsay and speculation, the quality of commentators decreed further scrutiny.

Comments from our interview with the Minister (see FIRE February), suggested this was not on the political radar. …

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