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Firefighters support top flight work experience


A training exercise, which sees a re-enactment of a plane crash where firefighters must evacuate a smoke-filled fuselage, was staged at Tresham College this week.

Firefighters from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) joined forces with Travel and Tourism students to recreate the scenario yesterday (Tuesday, May 14) using the plane fuselage based at Tresham’s Kettering campus.

The simulated fire, which used synthetic smoke, enabled students from various courses including Travel & Tourism, Uniformed Public Services, and Drama to get involved and play a key role in the practice response to this incident.

NFRS, who were also supported by St John Ambulance, sent five fire appliances and about 30 firefighters to take part in the exercise.

The training exercise aims to give students, from multiple different disciplines, an opportunity to respond to a staged emergency. It also helps students to complete assessments as part of their course and ultimately a qualification in Cabin Crew. Learning in a real life scenario helps them prepare for the challenges of the role and allows them to see how agencies work together.

Taking part in the exercise also enables NFRS to practice large aircraft procedures and firefighting techniques such as using breathing apparatus to carry out search and rescue procedures in smoke and darkness.

Lucy Skipper, lecturer in Travel and Tourism at Tresham College said: “This annual training event is a fantastic live action opportunity to gain experience in the roles and responsibilities for those wanting to pursue a career as cabin crew. Having our own aircraft on campus is a great training tool, but being able to work with Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in a 999 exercise is an added bonus in terms of real life work experience.”

NFRS Watch Commander Garry Hodgkins said: “This exercise has become an annual event, which offers valuable experience to both students and firefighters in responding to an incident which is thankfully very rare.

“The students really impressed us with their professionalism and the enthusiasm with which they took on the many different roles involved in this scenario. From our perspective, we were pleased to be able to support them in their learning and it also provides us with even more training in terms of working alongside different agencies in responding to a serious incident.”

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