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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 15:53 GMT
Interim Bain review at a glance
Firefighters deal with flooding in Todmorden, Yorkshire
Changing roles - but no Fire Service reform since 1947
Firefighters must be prepared to modernise working practices in return for pay increases, according to the Bain review into the fire service.

In his interim position paper, Professor Sir George Bain calls for "fundamental reform" of the service and says the first changes should come within the next eight weeks.

He also recommends the government backs the changes with new legislation to replace laws which are virtually unchanged since 1947 and "hopelessly outdated".

The Fire Brigade's Unon (FBU) has rejected the report as trotting out a "tired, old agenda" and of being part of a "derisory and insulting" offer.

Here are the main points of the interim review:

  • Two stage pay increase totalling 11%. This would be made up of 4% with effect from November 2002 and 7% by next November - all dependent on accepting the reforms and implementing them swiftly
  • Introduce flexible and "family friendly" shift patterns alongside the traditional two days on, two nights on, four days off
  • Abolish "quasi-militaristic" discipline regulations and bring in modern personnel management practices
  • Allow voluntary pre-arranged overtime
  • Introduce "specialist" payments to reward scarce skills
  • Accept the Fire Service's role extends to public safety beyond just putting out fires
  • Maybe consider changing name from 'The Fire Brigade' to reflect this
  • Abolish single level entry to encourage graduates or people from other professions to join the service
  • Reform the pay and promotion structure to allow staff to move "laterally" and achieve pay rises within their grade
  • Pay retained (part-time) firefighters the same, pro rata, as full time staff
  • Encourage more women and people from ethnic minorities to join the service
  • Allow staff to work off front line duties beyond current retirement age if they wish
  • Allow firefighters to train as paramedics
Actions for government include
  • New Fire Service Act to provide legislative basis for reforms
  • Give HM Fire Service Inspectorate a more audit based role
  • Create a new department to research new concepts and technologies
  • Modernise the Fire Service College


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