Students at the University of Wolverhampton have been given a taste of life as a firefighter as part of an innovative partnership with West Midlands Fire Service.

BSc Fire and Rescue students have spent four weeks at the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) Academy in Smethwick completing the same training as newly recruited firefighters.

The 28 students have learnt to use ladders, pumps and hoses as part of their degree course, which combines academic theory with practical experience.

Mark Taylor, a former WMFS firefighter is the Course Leader and said: "This is the first time a vocational training course of this type has been run in the UK. The University and the WMFS have worked together on this degree since its creation more than three years ago.

"These students will not only achieve a good academic qualification but will also have proved that they are valuable members of the community through their volunteering work and have been trained in the basic skills of a fire fighter."

Students can also become community volunteers and retained firefighters with some fire and rescue services around the region during their three years of study, as well as undertaking this initial firefighter training with WMFS.

West Midlands, Staffordshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Shropshire and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue services contribute to the curriculum design and content, and the programme includes a 'guest lecture' series during which students engage in discussion and debate with leading fire and rescue experts on current practice and policy.

Posted 12/06/2012 by