Members of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority have enjoyed an 'out of this world' experience.
A visit to the Fire Service College in Morton-in-Marsh to watch firefighters tackle a pioneering training course revealed why Staffordshire remains at the forefront of the UK's fire and rescue services.
"For Staffordshire’s firefighters to be able to learn at such an amazing facility is wonderful"
Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman, Len Bloomer
Members observed 14 colleagues on the Incident Command programme which has been designed by Lead Incident Command Instructors, Alan Bateman and Chris Berry, from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Training Development department.
Training is staged around specially constructed units which include a full size shopping mall, a high rise building, oil refinery, a motorway, a pile of earthquake rubble, a railway, military and commercial aircraft, an underground bunker and a concrete ship.
Commenting on his first ever visit to the College, Authority Deputy Chairman, Barrie Mycock, said: "It was absolutely fabulous.
"I got to see them putting fires out and in one operation in particular they had to rescue a man locked in a garage with his car burning inside with him.
"It was a brilliant day and the facilities they have there are amazing, there was earthquake rubble, a tower, a motorway, everything.
"It far exceeded my expectations. For firefighters to train there with the support of experienced officers who can advise and tutor them they learn an awful lot. Being at the College was really was out of this world."
Fire and Rescue Authority Chairman, Len Bloomer, agreed.
"It was fantastic to see the firefighters on the course," he said.
"For Staffordshire’s firefighters to be able to learn at such an amazing facility is wonderful."
Alan Bateman added: "The training programme highlights the tenacity, determination and drive to realise our vision of making Staffordshire the safest place to be, you simply cannot achieve these diverse training venues anywhere else.
"From understanding their legislative powers to deciding on tactics, the training tests the ability of fire service personnel to assess risk in a robust and highly calculating manner, ensuring a safer and more effective operational service for the public we serve."