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Shared training facility ‘enhances the quality of service received by the public’

9 Jan 2019
  • More than 150 police recruits have now completed their training course at Longfield Training Development Centre.

  • The Fire and Rescue Service and police hold regular joint exercises, including scenarios such as road traffic collisions, at the site.

  • The shared facility is bringing benefits to both blue light services and ensures closer working.

In the past year more than 150 police recruits have completed their 16-week training course in its entirety at Longfield Training Development Centre in Stevenage.

The centre, which is run by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and owned by Hertfordshire County Council, has also played host to role play scenarios, other training and graduation ceremonies.

Regular joint exercises are held at Longfield, which is suitably equipped and ideal for such training, and sees firefighters and police officers work closely together at scenarios such as road traffic collisions.

Run by experienced police and fire and rescue training staff, the collision scenarios are a great way of gaining valuable learning for each service to incorporate into their current operational response.

Police Initial Training Officer Jim Rogers said: “Being located at the centre has definitely enhanced the learning experience for our student officers.“They have developed a better understanding of how the fire service operates not only through joint exercises, but also through daily interaction with staff and firefighter recruits.”

Consolidating theory learning, the facilities at Longfield provide an authentic and realistic environment for practical scenarios and assessment.

“Being able to practice road traffic collision scenarios alongside the fire service is the closest thing to actually dealing with a real life incident before going out on shift,” said PC Becca Cornell who recently attended Longfield.

“It’s a great opportunity for us student officers and fire recruits to learn what each service does and how we can assist one another when dealing with incidents.”

Head of Initial Training at Hertfordshire Constabulary Detective Inspector Tara Kier said: “The centre is a fantastic venue for police officer initial training. The collaborative work between the two services really endorses and enhances the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP), which can then be applied out at incidents.

“By enabling emergency services to train together and gain a greater understanding, awareness and practical working knowledge of each other’s role responsibilities, this ultimately enhances the level and quality of service delivered to and received by the public.”

Group Commander Billy McGill, Head of Training at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for both services. We’re not just sharing a training site, but actually training our new recruits together in areas like road traffic collisions and investigation, and in crime scene awareness.

“It’s a great way to ensure that the police and fire services are aware of what support we can offer each other.”

Chief Constable Charlie Hall, who leads nationally on JESIP, said: “Anything that encourages closer and better working with our blue-light colleagues is fantastic. I am very pleased with how we are sharing facilities, learning and experiences across the services. This can only help further strengthen our working relationship with the fire and rescue service.”

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “The joint training facility at Longfield has been a great success over the past year and will help pave the way for closer and more effective working between our emergency services in future. That’s an objective I will continue to pursue through our new Emergency Services Collaboration Board as I think it will bring great benefits to the people of Hertfordshire.”

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