Apprenticeships for Tri-Service Safety Officers are a national first

Cornwall’s Tri-Service Safety Officers who can respond to fire and ambulance calls and support police work are enhancing their skills through an innovative new apprenticeship.

The Level 3 Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship is the first training course of its kind in the country and is being offered through a unique partnership between Truro and Penwith College and the Tri-Service Safety collaboration.

All 10 of the Tri-Service Safety Officers (TSSOs) recently deployed to rural communities across Cornwall will now undertake the additional training to support them with the role’s unique challenges.

The team comprises experienced personnel from Cornwall’s emergency services and stationed in St Ives, Liskeard, Looe, Hayle, Bude, Fowey and Polruan, St Just, Perranporth, Lostwithiel and St Dennis.

The new apprenticeship, developed with fire and rescue services across the UK, was approved for delivery by the National Apprenticeship Service in late March and will form the basis of the 15-month programme. Truro and Penwith College’s Public Services team began delivering the training on 1 May.

Lecturers have worked with the TSSOs to adapt taught units to focus on challenges and scenarios that they will face, including communication with other emergency services, equality and diversity and health, safety and security. In addition, field training is also being developed, including mock search and rescue missions and managing training days that will see the TSSOs deliver basic training to public services students at the college.

Louise Coley, Sport and Public Services Deputy Team Leader at Truro and Penwith College, said, “The college’s Public Services team is thrilled to be building on the success of our Fire Fighting Apprenticeship and continuing to support Cornwall’s emergency services with the new Tri-Service Apprenticeship. This is not only fantastic news for the TSSOs and the communities they serve but also all Public Services students at the College who will benefit as we continue to work with the emergency services to develop our training and offer students experiences that complement their training.”

TSSOs support emergency 999 calls in their area, and are likely to be the first to arrive at a range of emergency scenarios. They also form relationships with businesses and community groups in an effort to reduce 999 calls, offering help and advice in relation to fire safety and security, and are asked to attend non-emergency 101 calls on behalf of all three emergency services. The role is jointly funded by all three emergencies services in the region, Devon and Cornwall Police, South Western Ambulance Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service.

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, said, “In partnership with Truro and Penwith College we’re delighted to be launching this new, dedicated Apprenticeship for TSSOs which is the first of its kind in the country. The increased training our TSSOs will receive will further enhance their specialist skills and contribute to our ongoing efforts to improve community safety and help those in emergency need.”

Mark Hewitt, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said, “The innovative Tri-Service Safety Officer role is really making a positive and visible difference in the areas in which they are working. To ensure that the TSSOs serve our residents, visitors and communities, it is our aim to ensure that they are trained and equipped with the appropriate levels of skills and knowledge. The Level 3 Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship will add tremendous value to their personal development and we are delighted to be working with Truro and Penwith College to deliver this.”