Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are further enhancing their specialist training given to stations in their county by delivering specific training packages based on its local community risks as part of its integrated risk management planning.

Area Manager Andy Perry, Head of People Development and Safety, said: "To ensure all of our operational personnel in Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service are competent to carry out their role, in line with the risks they face, a specific ammonia training package was required for those stations which have an ammonia risk in their area with a subsequent awareness package being delivered to all other stations and operational personnel."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service have identified four major ammonia risks in the county. Kev Faulkner, Group Manager Operations, said: "As part of our IRMP action plan a risk analysis was carried out by all stations to confirm and identify new risks in their station ground. This information was then sent to the operations department who carried out a risk assessment to determine the level of risk posed to the service.

"This was then followed up by an update of all our risk information data and, in conjunction with the training and development centre, the identification of any training need to deal with specialist risks including ammonia."

Four personnel attended an ammonia training course in Denmark delivered by Faulk Nutec on the hazards and risks posed by ammonia, which is widely used in industry including cold storage and food manufacturing, how to deal with incidents involving ammonia leaks and specialist safety equipment. 

Drew Perkins a Training Instructor at Shropshire's Training and Development Centre, said: "The course consisted of both theoretical and practical elements and provided valuable skills for the team to return to Shropshire to develop a specific ammonia training package based on our local risks.

"The dangers and hazards associated with members of the public or Firefighters coming into contact with ammonia is extremely dangerous and is caused by inhalation of the gas or vapours, ingestion or skin contact. When ammonia enters the body it reacts with water to produce ammonium hydroxide which is very corrosive and damages cells in the body.

"There are other hazards associated with ammonia including an environmental impact to animals, plants and water courses."

Watch Manager John Pritchard, Blue watch Telford, after receiving the presentation from the Training Department, said: "I now have an increased awareness of the risks of ammonia and a better technical awareness of dealing with leaks/ fire related incidents."

Operational intelligence has also been gathered from carrying out exercises at the risk venues. This has provided the means to test the resilience and standard operating procedures of the service.


Posted January 31st, 2012 at 1155 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: