Training and development is a continual process within Fire Control because every day, Firefighters (Control) face challenges that they have to be prepared for. Therefore, so that they can carry out their role effectively, Fire Control staff receive regular training on a range of topics.
The training ladder
All Fire Control staff follow the training programme outlined below:
1. 12 Week Initial Training Course The initial training course, which all new members of staff must complete, involves intense theory sessions and practical application in the classroom followed by live practical interaction within Control environment as part of a watch. Standards of performance are measured through regular assessments during the course and each trainee is mentored and assessed regularly when they join a watch and start to develop their skills and knowledge.
2. Completion of Level 3 NVQ in ‘Control Operations’To progress from being Firefighter (Control) in development to a Firefighter (Control) with competent status, Fire Control staff complete a NVQ level 3 qualification. Once they have successfully completed this qualification, they are classed as competent in this role.
3. Maintenance of CompetenceFire Control staff have to maintain competence in role and this is achieved by following an annual training programme and the use of Personal Development Reviews. All training undertaken is recorded and reviewed via an electronic recording system called PDRPro.
Firefighters (Control) also receive training from fire service specialists and members of other emergency services. This training includes:
Wildfire To better understand the complexities involved with fires involved large areas of grassland and the impact that this can have upon mobilising fire appliances.
HARTSouth Wales Ambulance Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team. HART members are trained to assist the fire and rescue service in dealing with incidents of a hazardous nature, particularly if there are casualties involved. Firefighters (Control) need to know when to request their assistance.
Road Traffic Collision AwarenessTo gain a better understanding of the different types of RTCs that can occur. Callers can be asked targeted questions which will ensure that the correct fire appliances are mobilised speedily.
Systems TrainingTraining on the systems used in Fire Control is continual. Fire Control staff have a responsibility to make sure that they remain familiar with the use of all systems.
Career progressionAnyone who wants to progress into a supervisory manager’s role must attend an Assessment Development Centre (ADC). During an ADC, individuals are assessed to identify if they show the potential to work at a supervisory level and are measured against the Personal Qualities and Attributes that supervisors are expected to demonstrate whilst carrying out their daily role. Areas of strength and weakness are identified and individual development plans are then drawn up.
Fire Control staff also train on an all Wales basis and both with their counterparts in the other welsh Fire Control and with other emergency services.