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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 15:46 GMT
Fire service beds to be scrapped
Fire crews at the scene of the fire
Fire crews will be allowed to rest in reclining chairs
The beds in fire stations in Greater Manchester are to be removed as part of modernisation plans.

Fire fighters will instead be given the chance to rest in reclining chairs.

Traditionally fire crews have been able to sleep for seven of their 15 hour night shifts, providing they had no call-outs or other operational duties.

A spokeswoman for the Greater Manchester Fire Service told the BBC that the fire service had to rise to "new challenges".

Many of those challenges were laid out in the fire service's modernisation agenda, following prolonged industrial action that began in 2003.

Manchester's county fire officer and chief executive Barry Dixon, who is leading the modernisation plans, said: "Crews will now be expected to do training and night-time inspections, although they will be allowed rest periods.

"These (night) shifts need to be more productive and we are rising to the challenge to make that happen."

Fire crews work fifteen hours on a night shift and 8 hours on a day shift.

Mr Dixon added: "For 50-years there have been beds in fire stations but there are new challenges, new procedures and new responsibilities we have to deal with today and we're rising to those demands."

Asked if other brigades would be removing beds, Mr Dixon said: "Greater Manchester tends to lead the way on things like this."



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