Three firefighters from the Airport Fire and Rescue Service recently completed a two-week Road Traffic Collision Instructor course at the Fire Service College (FSC) in UK. This course provided Firefighters Jonathan Falero, Julian Lopez and Lee Muscat with all the skills, knowledge and understanding to design and deliver training on road traffic collision specialist equipment. It also incorporated instruction on the latest rescue and cutting techniques and on the procedures applied across a wide range of scenarios.
The emphasis of the course centred around the six phases of a vehicle incident; scene safety, stabilization, space creation, glass management and access for the extrication of a casualty. Excellent training facilities are available at the FSC allowing it to create a convincing sense of realism whilst working in conjunction with other Fire Service colleagues, attending paramedics and ‘live’ make believe casualties, all of which greatly enhanced the overall experience.
Understanding the latest developments in car design is paramount in enabling firefighters to apply the correct rescue techniques to safely and effectively resolve an incident. Vehicles are becoming ever more complex with numerous safety systems and associated technologies. These, coupled with the global shift towards vehicle electrification, as well as newly emerging alternative fuels, can present particular hazards if a vehicle is involved in an incident, so it is crucial to understand and keep abreast of these developments.
From an aviation perspective most of the skills learnt during this course are then very easily transposed for rescuing persons trapped within a crashed airframe, since the techniques and principles are quite similar, making this type of course all the more useful.
Additionally, Leading Firefighters Jamie Linares and Shane MacDonald have also just returned from a Breathing Apparatus (BA) Instructors’ course at the FSC. Again working alongside colleagues from across UK Fire Services it provided them with the necessary instruction and tactical experience on the procedures to be observed when setting up exercises to deliver BA training.
It involved delivering instructional presentations on BAs, associated equipment and their appropriate operational procedures. Practical elements included the structured implementation of all health and safety requirements as well as methods for establishing ideal conditions for BA ‘hot wear’ live fire training scenarios. Various operational roles and activities were practised which included setting a scenario to achieve the desired training objectives, whilst also conducting the appropriate pre and post exercise briefings to delegates and Safety and Instructional staff.
The course facilities provide excellent opportunities to experience a good number of BA hot wears in various types of compartments and live fire scenario environments, which also involved the efficient use of thermal imaging cameras to achieve the operational objectives. Obtaining exposure to such hot and realistic settings is an essential element of this safety critical training, not normally available to firefighters locally, so experiencing these conditions provide an invaluable learning and professional skills development opportunity.
The Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, Minister with responsibility for the Fire Services, said; “It is vital for our firefighters to maintain their skills through continual training and being as prepared as possible to maintain our community safe. Their continued professional development is of utmost importance and the public is the ultimate beneficiary of that.”