London Fire Brigade

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Setting Simulation a Blaze

With the number of Road Traffic Accident (RTA) causalities increasing by 6% between  2013 – 2014 including a 5% increase resulting in 22,807 Seriously Injured people being involved in RTA over the last year, has meant that more and more Fire-fighters are becoming involved in Patient Care as they are often the first to arrive on scene when that 999 call is made.

20151123_140150The learners were really engaged during the whole process! It appeared to me that they did what they would do normally. They immersed themselves into the sim sessions and they handled the manikins and the situation as in real life.”

Nicholas Gosling and Fire Chief Mark Duggan of Woodside Fire Station in Croydon, pen a pilot scheme that Nicholas Gosling hopes will get him one step closer to his all-inclusive MDT simulation training strategy. To widen the audience Mark calls upon local stations in Lewisham and Croydon to increase the number of appliances involved to four. The GAPS team apply their hands on training approach which is both innovative and fresh to their audience by using the expertise of Resuscitation officers, Trauma Anaesthetists, Nurses, Operating Anaesthetist and Simulation/Education experts to provide a course that focuses on Non-technical skills (Human Factors) and Peer Observation Feedback. With no passive moments allowed, the fire officers are granted the opportunity to interact with the Mobile Simulation models that they will be using throughout the training and help them embrace the complexity of the GAP’s multi-layered approach to training.

The day was broken down into two parts where the focus was based on two RTAs scenarios with plenty of time reserved for debriefing and discussions. A key aspect of GAPS courses are the observing of Teamwork, Leadership and Decision Making as well as Situational Awareness by those that participate in the scenario. Those that are observing can still contribute, learn and develop their own knowledge by taking notes on prepared observation cards. The added ability to place microphones on individuals involved and two cameras to film the whole scenario, allows the cast and audience to review and display their findings to the group. Taken with a lot of seriousness the Fire Officers take on the scenarios with much curiosity and whilst the band of brothers and sisters don’t fully explore the observation feedback publicly to the group, notes can be seen scribbled down for personal development.

Conversations can be heard long after the Group team photos had been taken, where Chief Fire Brigade Officers and GAPs team members discuss about follow ups training session and potential Open Day partnerships that the two groups can run in order to improve Recruitment, Retention and Recognition of how to deal with a RTA.