National training award for Devon and Somerset FRS

2016-12-05-photo-00000595Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s training department has won a national award for its use of new technology to provide firefighters with on-the-spot resources when dealing with complex incidents.

The team won the ‘Best blended learning project – public & non-profit sector’ category in the Learning Technologies awards 2016. Firefighters now have permanent 24/7 access to learning material which can be accessed from home, their primary employment or even their mobile devices while being operationally available. The training approach uses the benefits of technology and blends it with practical training sessions in simulated and real environments.

The judges said, “The professional design of this innovative blended programme, which has achieved significant results in terms of firefighter effectiveness and safety, was impressive.” 

The service’s Training Delivery Manager Matt Goodman said, “Due to a number of firefighter fatalities involving fires in high rise buildings in the UK, new operational procedures were developed nationally. With traditional training delivery this would have taken our service at least three months to introduce. However, with the high quality e-learning package our firefighters were immediately engaged. What would have taken months was achieved in days quickly, efficiently, consistently and in a highly cost effective manner.

“As an incident commander, I know that if I am mobilised to take charge of such an incident at three o’clock in the morning, I can use my mobile phone to access the training package when I get there to make sure the decisions I make and the procedures used are the right ones.”

This project is fundamentally going to change how Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service delivers its training function in the future.