Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is the most improved fire and rescue service in the UK after the release of a report today, Friday.

His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services inspected the fire and rescue service for the third time in the autumn of last year.

Previously, it required improvement across a number of areas, particularly in its preparedness for a terrorist attack in the aftermath of the Arena Bombing.

On Friday (March 8), the inspectorate released a report in which it said it is prepared for a terrorist attack as well as to prevent and to protect the public from fire and other risks.

His Majesty's Inspector Michelle Skeer said: "I am pleased with the performance of the service to keep people safe and secure from fire and other risks.

"Overall, I commend the service on the changes it has made and I expect it to continue to work to resolve the areas for improvement we have identified."

GMFRS is 'adequate' in one metric and 'good' across ten other metrics. It does not require improvement across any of these metrics although there are two areas for improvement down from more than 20 areas for improvement six years ago.

On Friday, mayor Andy Burnham attributed the change to Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel, who took on the role in 2020 after a switch from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. It came after a period in which the service saw three of its most challenging incidents in three years in the form of the Arena Bombing, the 2018 wildfires and The Cube fire at student accommodation on Bradshawgate, Bolton.

Mr Burnham said: "We made a commitment to rebuild the fire and rescue service and we have confirmation of it. We have the most improved fire and rescue service in the UK and it is one of if not the best fire and rescue service in the country. 

"I want every single person who works for GMFRS – our firefighters, the support staff, the senior staff – to hold their heads high today."

The Chief Fire Officer, who received the King's Fire Service Medal in this year's New Year Honours List, acknowledged colleagues, the mayor and the deputy mayor for their support.

He stressed the need to "maintain momentum" on the road from 'good' to 'outstanding'.

Mr Russell said: "Our journey to becoming an outstanding fire service continues and I have complete confidence we will reach our destination of becoming an outstanding fire service.

"There is more to come and there is more we can contribute and I believe the improvement will be easier as we go forward. I can guarantee we are not going to let up in any way."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.