The revised operational training model is a new initiative that has removed the need for a large, centralised training team, (with a sheep dip approach towards training) and replaced it with a model that provides support to first-line managers on the ground. This new initiative means that line managers have the skills and support they need to train their own crews more effectively, using the guidance of their area trainer, whenever they need it.
The model has empowered managers to take responsibility for quality, because they are the best placed people to do this. The area trainers are ensuring consistency of standards across the Service and provide support, guidance and quality assurance to the crews, line managers and training manager.
We are also working in a partnership agreement with the Fire Service College.
Through this partnership we have gained full use of the facilities at the college to run realistic validation training exercises. This gives the crews the opportunity to re-validate their breathing apparatus and incident command qualifications in realistic, live environments. The crews attend the college for a day or night shift and are mobilised to a variety of challenging incidents, just like they would when out on the road. They have the added benefit of being assessed through external validation, rather than the old traditional in-house method; bringing more credibility to their role.
The area trainers have also attained additional training qualifications as part of the partnership. Our area trainers now use their professional knowledge and skills to provide assistance to the college running their courses. This means our staff now train people from other UK fire and rescue services, and potentially delegates from all over the world.
This training model is the first of its kind and is yet another example of how we can do things differently to improve cost, quality and resilience.