Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has earned external accreditation for the quality of training its firefighters in command are given to manage incidents. It becomes only the fifth fire and rescue service in the country to win the seal of approval from Edexcel, which is a feather in the cap for the in-house learning and development team that developed the Initial Incident Commander Development course, a spokesperson told FIRE.

The training includes written and operational command assessments based upon practical simulations and an exercise tool called Vector which computer-generates images of incidents and simulates how the fire or rescue situation develops in response to the actions that are taken.

All crew and watch managers go through the training to test how they would manage the incident if they were in charge. They carry out dynamic risk assessments and consider health and safety issues, the tactics to be used and the procedures to be followed as the incident develops.

The decisions they take could prove critical to the effective management of the situation, the safety of firefighters, members of the public and other agencies involved and the impact on neighbouring property and the environment.

Each participant's performance is assessed following the exercises and learning points are identified. Future participants will receive a certificate that will count towards achieving full competence in incident command management.

The Initial Incident Commander Development course is aligned to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and the Skills for Justice learning outcomes. It has also received high praise from the Head of Command Training at the Fire Service College, Brian Taylor who said: "It shows the service's commitment to ensuring that people have the right skills to deal with risks in the service's area".

NFRS Area Manager Andy Pearson said: "We are only the fifth fire and rescue service in England to achieve the accreditation from Edexcel, which is recognised nationally and internationally. It means that our incident commanders will be among the best-trained and equipped to deal with the situations they face at the scene of an incident.

"I am extremely proud of this achievement, which is testimony to the effort and commitment of the team that developed this training."

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Posted January 19th, 2012 at 1635 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: