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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Staffordshire firefighters trial fire behaviour unit

23/10/2014

Crews at the fire behaviour unit
Crews at the fire behaviour unit

Staffordshire firefighters have been the first to trial the Fire Service College’s new mobile fire behaviour unit.

"Fire behaviour training is an area of expertise for us here in Staffordshire so we were delighted to be invited by the Fire Service College to trial their unit and provide them with feedback which will help to shape how Fire Services deliver training in new and innovative ways." 

Ian Housley - Head of Learning and Development for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue

The unit, which is integral to a 40 foot articulated lorry, provides a live fire training environment which can be transported. The Fire Service College has designed the unit to enable fire services to deliver their own training locally.

Seven trainers from Staffordshire went to Moreton-in-Marsh to trial using the unit and provide valuable feedback to the college to support future use.

Head of Learning and Development for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, Ian Housley said: “Fire behaviour training is an area of expertise for us here in Staffordshire so we were delighted to be invited by the Fire Service College to trial their unit and provide them with feedback which will help to shape how Fire Services deliver training in new and innovative ways.

“Providing flexible ways of training your workforce is becoming increasingly important, especially in areas where there are a lot of retained firefighters or fire services which cover a large geographical area. This unit is a step towards providing a more flexible approach, allowing training to be taken to the firefighters rather than them travelling to their nearest training centre.”

Staffordshire Trainer Jon Crew added: “We were really impressed by the unit and the potential it has. Quite often we find it difficult to train a full watch of retained firefighters because training them together in a central location would mean taking appliances off the run. The unit overcomes this issue by taking the training to the firefighters allowing them to train together, in the realistic environment and at an appropriate time. The watch benefit from training together, the Service benefit from not having to juggle rotas and pay for additional travel time/mileage, and the local community benefits from their local appliance staying on the run.”

Jon Hall, Director of Training at the Fire Service College commented: "Every fire service and every professional fire officer knows the problem we are facing with less and less operational incidents occurring which is resulting in less and less experience, so the ability to rehearse in technical fire attack and understanding the behaviour of fire in the places where they work is absolutely vital. The ability to do this frequently and to have accredited training that can prove the competence of our firefighters is a massive step forward.

"We are immensely proud of the investment we have made,  this is ground breaking and new and gives fire services the ability to put their firefighters into hazardous situations in a controlled way and assure their competence – our firefighters will be safer as a result of training in this sort of unit."

To find out more you can view the unit in action on the Fire Service College YouTube channel or contact the College at: www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk