The 25th February 2021 saw the first Defence Fire Training Unit (DFTU) Trainee Fire Fighter course graduate from the Fire Service College (Moreton-in-Marsh).
This marks an impressive achievement in the Defence Fire and Rescue Project (DFRP). DFTU sits within 22 Group and under the Commandant RAF College Cranwell. The Reviewing Officer, Gp Capt Mark Smith BA (Hons) PGCE RAF, Commandant of the Robson Academy of Resilience, presented all twelve graduating Trainees with their certificates. The awards for ‘Best Attitude to Physical Education’ was presented to Leading Aircraftman Daniel Protheroe and ‘The WO Ewen Garwood Memorial Axe’ which signifies the ‘Best Overall Trainee to Leading Aircraftman Charlie Gray.
This event marks the culmination of several years of hard work and dedication, dating
back from the formation of the DFRP after the Strategic Defence review in 2010, up to 2019, when the MOD announced Capita had been awarded the £525m contract for the provision of fire service delivery in Defence.
The contract award saw a financial investment into the Fire Service College, with the construction of a new accommodation block designed primarily for Defence Trainee Fire Fighters, an aircraft hot fire simulator based on cargo and passenger aircraft fuselages and a stricken aircraft cabin; all supported by world renowned structural training facilities already available on site. Capita, Air Command and DFR are working hand-in- hand to deliver Defence firefighting using a ‘Whole Force Concept’ ethos. Training is a vital part of this collaborative working environment and the success of the first Trainee Fire Fighter course is an example of ‘one service, one standard’ in action.
After several months of planning, the DFTU stood-up in August 2020 and delivered the first Defence course in early September. This was operating concurrently with the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC) at Manston in Kent, which completed its final course, and was closed to fire fighter training on 22 Oct 20. DFTU are responsible for delivering all specialist and non-specialist fire courses on behalf of Defence.
Across all the courses delivered at DFTU, new developments are continually being introduced; from a new vehicle fleet of Multi-Purpose Response Vehicles (MPRV) and High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) Striker airfield vehicles, to changes in Tactics, Techniques and procedures for dealing with incident response. During the last six months, a consistent challenge has been the ability to deliver training within the bounds of a Covid-19
safe environment. The Training team in conjunction with the Fire Service College staff, have managed to ensure that output has not reduced.
This is the start of a fantastic relationship between the Fire Service College, Capita and Defence. Ensuring that the
next generation of Firefighters are trained to the highest standards.