From:                                         Mernock, Nick

Sent:                                           20 February 2015 09:21

To:                                               All MFRS

Subject:                                     24HR WTR

Attachments:                          Whole time Retained.docx




To update operational personnel with regard to the implementation of 24-Hour Wholetime Retained (24HRWTR) working.



All operational personnel.




Further to the communication dated 20th Jan 2015 there has been continued positive dialogue between the Authority, FBU and FOA which has led to the agreement of a framework that provides for the introduction of 24HRWTR working at up to 8 locations. This agreement is subject to / dependent upon the take up of sufficient wholetime retained contracts (WTR) to crew 4 x WTR appliances at merged station locations.


The Authority requested expressions of interest from staff who were interested in undertaking wholetime retained contracts, with a preference for either 24HRWTR or 12HRWTR shifts being sought. The Authority can now confirm that over 350 personnel expressed an interest in undertaking a Wholetime Retained contract, with the overwhelming majority stating 24HRWTR shifts as their preference.


This update is intended to provide further detail regarding the 8 stations that the Authority has identified as being suitable to implement the 24HRWTR system on and on the proposed system itself. Further information can also be found in the FAQ’s which will be issued shortly


·      The Authority has determined that based on a clear operational rationale it is possible to introduce 24HR WTR working at the operational stations identified below which will be paired into ‘units’ as follows:


o   Kirkby & Bootle Netherton

o   Huyton & St Helens

o   Old Swan & Speke Garston

o   Upton & Bromborough


·      The Authority is progressing with the proposed station mergers, an integral part of which is the implementation of wholetime retained. During the interim period the wholetime retained appliances will, for practical purposes be situated at the following stations:


o   Bromborough (Wirral)

o   St Helens (St Helens)

o   Kirkby (Knowsley)

o   Old Swan (Liverpool)


·     The 48 staff who undertake a 5% WTR contract will work as a self-contained team across each pair of stations (as listed above). It is envisaged that if the self-contained team at individual locations operates in an efficient manner that staff movement between locations will be minimal.  The team will ensure that both WT appliances are crewed with 5 riders (inc an OIC and driver), and the WTR appliance has 5 personnel (inc OIC and driver) providing cover within the 30 minutes isochrones.


·        A selection process will be carried out if applicant numbers exceed available positions within each self-contained unit (pair of stations).


·      The team of 48 allocated to each unit will be made up of 10 x WM and 38 x FF’s. Each team member will be required to undertake a 5% WTR contract (at WMA or FF) with a commitment of providing 1 x 24hr period of WTR cover every 8 days (on average over an 8 week reference period to provide additional flexibility for teams)


·        Each ‘unit’ will operate as a self-contained team and will organise 24HR WT shifts, 24HR WTR cover and leave locally in line with a team based approach that accommodates individual preferences and needs along with skills/staffing requirements for each unit. Required periods free from duty prior to and after 24HR shifts will be as detailed within the extant 24HR Collective Agreement.


·         For clarity there is no requirement to work any additional shifts outside of what staff would be contractually obliged to provide post 1st April 2015 : i.e. 2x 24hr WT shifts and 1x 24hr WTR However all participants must be aware that if any location is unable to provide the required staffing levels then the station will revert back to the 12/12 duty system


·       Each unit will effectively work as a 3 pump station/unit (2WT and 1 WTR) however staff can be required to work across both unit locations. The attached document “Wholetime Retained” illustrates how the system will be approached.


·         To provide personnel working 24WTR with additional flexibility when rostering their wholetime or retained shifts the four designated units (Kirkby & Bootle Netherton, Huyton & St Helens, Old Swan & Speke Garston, Upton & Bromborough) can utilise the SI 0812 ‘Management of Watch Based Self Rostering – Exchange of Duty Model’ to exchange wholetime or retained shifts between the 2 paired locations. The parameters contained within the SI will apply within these units and operate at no additional cost to the Authority.



·        Staff will be required to carry their own PPE when providing WTR cover to ensure that when mobilized, a 30 minutes response can be achieved. Two pool cars will be assigned to each unit (one for each location) to assist with PPE movement.


·        The Service will undertake a review of existing staff welfare facilities at all 8 locations to determine if facilities require and can feasibly be improved for those units where 24HRWTR will be worked.


Staff will be aware that the agreed framework communicated on 20th Jan 2015 included provision for the Authority to utilise WTR contracts to sustain 28 WT appliances until 1st April 2015. This stated that individuals holding contracts would be mobilised for 24HR under their retained contract to support the crewing the current 28 WT appliances. The Authority remains committed to utilising this approach up until 1st April 2015 once sufficient staff have been issued within retained contracts and commenced 24HR working.




TRM now seek requests from staff who are interested in undertaking the 24HR WTR system as described above to be considered for one of the 4 units.



Staff who did not initially express an interest following the 20th Jan communication remain eligible to submit a request for consideration.


Requests submitted for a preferred unit will signal a firm intent of the individual to work this system however final confirmation will only be agreed once the relevant contractual agreement is reached between the Authority and individual.


Applicants should email confirming their wish to be considered for a position within one of the 24HRWTR units. The specific unit (Wirral/St Helens/Liverpool/Knowsley) requested must be stated on the email. Specific stations will not be recorded.


The time frame for requests will be 21 days from the date of this email after which time the selection process to confirm successful candidates will commence. During this 21 day period the Joint Secretaries will work towards formalising an agreement for 24HRWTR based on the above criteria.




Nick Mernock ( Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority


Mark Rowe ( FBU


Chris Case ( FOA