Hundreds of police and fire staff have benefitted from more than 1,500 hours joint training, as collaboration between the two emergency services gathers pace.
South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue say more than 500 of their staff have taken part in shared courses from driver to first aid training- helping to save taxpayers thousands in the process.
The organisations now use each other’s premises to host training for their respective staff- including at the fire service’s development hub in Handsworth, Sheffield and the police training suite at Robert Dyson House in Rotherham.
Minibus, LGV driver, water rescue and health and safety training are amongst the specific courses delivered by fire service training instructors to police staff.
Police trainers have provided conflict management training and first aid courses to fire staff in return.
Managers from both organisations now routinely observe each other’s training exercises in a bid to improve understanding of responses to major incidents.
Fire officers have also benefitted from police led ‘joint decision making’ training, which improves the way managers make fast decisions at emergency incidents.
Managers say joint approaches to training like this save cash because it means organisations don’t have to needlessly buy in courses from specialist providers.
Group Manager for operational training at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Matt Walker said: “Since signing a joint collaboration agreement last year, we have been working closely with South Yorkshire Police to develop new ways of working together. This has focused heavily on sharing of best practice and looking at how we can build on and develop existing and future activities to improve the way we operate.
“Not only does collaborating on training like this save both services and the public money, but it also ensures we are delivering the best possible service to the people of South Yorkshire.”
Claire Hayle, Head of Learning and Development at South Yorkshire Police, added: “South Yorkshire Police recognise the collective benefits that can be achieved through closer working with emergency service partners, and this is just one of the ways we are working in collaboration with South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue.
“We are delighted to be able to deliver joint training to operational and support departments within both organisations, in turn gaining a greater understanding of each other’s organisations, saving public money and improving our services for the people of South Yorkshire.”
The Policing & Crime Act 2017 placed a new statutory duty on all three emergency services to look at opportunities to work with one another better to improve efficiency and effectiveness.