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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

SFRA technical rescue skills and services

Reference No: 039/2015
Request Date: 01/04/2015


I would like to make a freedom of information request to you regarding the technical rescue skills and services that your FRS  provides. I would be very grateful if you will provide responses to  the following questions; 

  1. Please list the range of technical rescue services that your FRS provides(ie line rescue, water rescue, USAR, Animal rescue etc).
  2. Please state what stations carry out which technical rescue services.
  3. Please advise if your firefighters/staff directly provide these services or whether or not an external organisation is contracted in.
  4. Please advise whether your staff who carry out these services are whole time or retained duty systems.
  5. Please state the duration of initial training courses for each skill set as well as the continuity training commitment.
  6. Please state whether firefighters/staff who undertake these technical rescue skills are also required to undertake full operational firefighting duties.
  7. Please state whether firefighters/staff who undertake these technical rescue skills are also required to undertake normal CFS  duties.
  8. Please state the terms and conditions of employment for firefighters/staff who undertake these technical rescue skills ie secondary contracts.
  9. Please explain what additional payments (skills payments if any)  exist for firefighters/staff who undertake these technical rescue  skills.
  10. Please explain if your FRS operates skills payments for any additional roles undertaken by firefighters/staff ie LiFE trainers, CBRN/Hazmat teams, aerial appliances, HV pumping etc.


  1. SFRS have the skills and equipment to provide an emergency response to Water incidents (rescue of animals and people); Large and domestic animals in distress, Level 1,2, and 3 line rescue working at heights. In addition SFRS has an accredited ability to perform confined space rescue supported by line rescue capability, Breathing Apparatus and atmospheric monitoring.
  2. Additional capacity available through team of jointly trained and accredited volunteers from Staffordshire Search and Rescue
    1. Newcastle/ Tamworth: Water Rescue Unit ( boats/inflatable walk ways/sledges)
    2. Rope Rescue - Sandyford and Tamworth= Level 2 Rope rescue, Stafford Level 3 Rope Rescue and all remaining stations have a Level 1 working at Height (fall restraint) capability.
    3. Leek and Cannock = Specialist Animal Rescue (AR3) appliances and equipment
    4. Longton = Heavy Rescue Tender ( not USAR)
    5. Rugeley = High Volume Pump ( HVP)
    6. Newcastle and Burton = Incident Response Unit ( IRU), for mass decontamination
    7. Hanley = Detection, Identification and monitoring (DIM) unit for unknown substances
  3. SFRS work with nationally accredited awarding bodies to deliver in-house training supported by external verification during requisite refresher programmes.
  4. Both wholetime and Retained staff are trained to delivery specialist technical services depending upon where the appliance /Skill is stationed
  5. All specialist skills are aligned to national requirements with varied initial durations according to level and a scheduled refresher programme which again reflects the component skill but in the main is based upon a 2 or 3 year reaccreditation schedule. Please see Rescue3 international standards. All local training on specific skills is maintained within a quarterly themed training programme which enables maintenance across core skills and specialist areas.

    National Resilience funded courses. Detection Identification and Monitoring (DIM) modules last 5, 5, and 3 days for modules 1, 2 and 3 respectively. High Volume Pump Instructor (HVPi) is 3 days. Mass Decontamination Instructor (MDi)is 3 days. Powered Respirator Protection Suit Instructor (PRPSi) is 2.5 days. Multi Agency Gold (Strategic) CBRNe Command course 4 days and the Multi Agency Silver (Tactical) Command course 5 days.
  6. All staff trained to undertake technical rescue skills will also be expected to maintain their core firefighting/BA/RTC/HazMat skills as well
  7. All staff who undertake these technical rescue skills are also required to undertake normal CFS duties.
  8. All activities are undertaken within core duties with the exception of national resilience response which is based on a national cost recovery model and which does not impact on core business. Training roles in these areas are covered through a centrally coordinated group of full time training staff and associate trainers
  9. No specific skills payments are applied in SFRS. Additional payment exists for associate trainers to deliver courses. Any other payment would be within conditions of service such as overtime to complete courses where required.
  10. As above