'Firm fundamentals' trigger inspired leadership.(Greater Manchester Profile)

A relentless raft of work and ongoing disruption has led FIRE to lay off profiling fire and rescue services as modernisation bulldozers on. However, as Greater Manchester undergoes a period of 'consolidation' the senior management team proffered an invite to discuss evidence-based progress. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Could the Fire and Rescue Service be turning the corner?

"What is Greater Manchester?" Barry Dixon asks himself. "It is solid, built on firm foundations. Running through is a belief about operational service delivery and a balance between what the service is expected to do in future and being there for the community."

Without prompt, he adds: "We never lose sight of the fact that last year we rescued over 580 people."

As a leader Barry makes a great spokesperson. A few seconds earlier he yelled to enter as I hovered outside his office, bursting into laughter at first sight [not an uncommon response]. A few hours earlier a principal officer casually remarked that coming up short leaves you feeling as if you have not only let the organisation down, but Barry as well. Which says something.

Back to now, he is emphatic on operational delivery--unsurprising given his CFOA brief--and he soon points to the important work being undertaken by the Operational Assurance Task and Finish Group, and resultant assessment consultation document. …

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