Dear Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service,

Can you advise how many drivers you have that are permitted to use Blue Light warning devices fitted to a vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.

Can you advise at what level these Drivers are trained to? (Eg is it an internal award or recognized by an external awarding body) What is the total contact time duration of this course.

Are these courses compliant with Section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

Has there been an impact assessment on the introduction of Section 19 conducted in the last 3 years, if please provide the report.

If section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006 was to be enacted what, if any, impact would it have on the service.

Yours faithfully,

Norma Barrow

Hannah Buxton, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Our ref: FOI 19 62

 

Dear Norma

 

Thank you for your request for information regarding blue light drivers
and driver training.

 

We received your request on 19 July 2019 and we are dealing with it under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We will supply you with
our findings as soon as possible, on or before 16 August 2019.

 

If you have any queries regarding this request, please contact me
directly, quoting the reference number above.

 

Kind regards

 

Hannah Buxton

Information Compliance Officer

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre

Hulse Road | Salisbury | SP1 3NR

Tel: 01722 691084 | [mobile number]

dwfire.org.uk

@DWFireRescue

Internet e-mail is not to be regarded as a secure means of communication.
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Service takes all reasonable steps to ensure electronic communications are
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loss or damage sustained as a result of software viruses. Intended
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before opening any attachments.

Hannah Buxton, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Ref: FOI 19 62

 

Dear Norma

 

Further to your request of 19 July 2019, which I have treated as a Freedom
of Information request, please find below our response to the information
that you requested.

 

Query and response:

 

Can you advise how many drivers you have that are permitted to use Blue
Light warning devices fitted to a vehicle while the vehicle is in motion.

 

We currently have 470 emergency response drivers within Dorset & Wiltshire
Fire and Rescue (DWFRS).

 

Can you advise at what level these Drivers are trained to? (E.g. is it an
internal award or recognized by an external awarding body) What is the
total contact time duration of this course.

 

We have two levels of emergency response driver training;

 

Emergency response driver acquisition, which is for new emergency response
drivers. This is an internal award and conducted over five days on a 1:1
basis, with an independent assessment at the end of the course.

 

Emergency response driver refresher, which is a reassessment that we
require all emergency response drivers to complete at least every three
years. This is an internal award and conducted over one day on a 1:1
basis, with the final assessment being completed at the end of the day.

 

Are these courses compliant with Section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006.

 

Yes, these courses are compliant with the National Fire Chiefs Council
(NFCC) guidelines, which mirrors section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006.
All documentation issued by NFCC Driver Training Advisory Group (DTAG) is
used on all response courses as we have to comply with the 69 modules
contained in 8 elements for the course and 15 modules contained in 2
elements for the final drive at the end of the course.

 

Has there been an impact assessment on the introduction of Section 19
conducted in the last 3 years, if please provide the report.

 

No

 

If section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006 was to be enacted what, if any,
impact would it have on the service.

 

The future introduction of section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006 will
replace section 87 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. Both pieces of
legislation relate to exemptions from speed limits for certain vehicle
purposes.

 

The changes will have two major effects; firstly it will potentially allow
certain other vehicle purposes to be included in speed limit exemption
regulations and, secondly, it will prescribe a high-speed training course
that drivers must undertake before they are permitted to exceed speed
limits. The change in legislation will make it an offence to exceed speed
limits for police, fire and rescue authority, ambulance or Serious
Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) purposes unless a vehicle’s driver “has
satisfactorily completed a course of training in the driving of vehicles
at high-speed”.

 

Section 19 has not been implemented to date, but its main elements have
been embedded in NFCC Codes of Practice since September 2018. This relates
to course duration in both the acquisition and reassessment course and the
ratio of instructors to students. NFCC DTAG have distributed documentation
which covers all modules of the high-speed training.

 

The implementation of Section 19 would have no impact on the driver
training that is currently carried out within our Service. Under current
practices;

 

o No staff member is permitted to drive any Service vehicle on emergency
response, without successfully completing a high-speed driving course
in that category of vehicle.
o We are compliant with course duration requirements.
o Our policy specifies a more frequent period of reassessment of three
years, as opposed to the five years period required by section 19 and
NFCC Codes of Practice.
o NFCC documentation is completed within the student portfolio for both
the acquisition and reassessment courses and all modules within the
different elements are complied with.

 

We currently employ three fully qualified driver trainers, which enables
the Service to be recognised as a ‘Training Body’ within the NFCC DTAG.
Instructors are peer assessed every twelve months and will be further
assessed by NFCC Quality Assurance (QA) group within a five year period.
This QA group will also assess the complete training package i.e.
PowerPoint content and delivery, method of instruction and assessment of
students. The instructor portfolio will also be scrutinised. The NFCC QA
group will be made up of one permanent member of staff and a regional
representative, the training will be assessed over a two day period.

 

I trust this answers your queries, however if you are unhappy with the
service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of the decision, you should write to the
Information Management Team, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service,
Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre, Hulse Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire
SP1 3NR within 40 working days of receipt of the original
decision. Alternatively you can email
[1][DWFRS request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint or review, you
may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a
decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the complaints procedure at the Fire Authority. The ICO can be
contacted at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Tel: 08456 30 60 60

01625 54 57 45

 

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Hannah Buxton

Information Compliance Officer

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service

Five Rivers Health & Wellbeing Centre

Hulse Road | Salisbury | SP1 3NR

Tel: 01722 691084 | [mobile number]

dwfire.org.uk

@DWFireRescue

Internet e-mail is not to be regarded as a secure means of communication.
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service monitors all Internet e-mail
activity and content. This communication and any files transmitted with it
is intended for the person(s) to whom it is addressed and may be
confidential, legally privileged and protected in law. Unauthorised use,
disclosure, copying or distribution is prohibited. Please notify the
sender if received in error then delete it from your system. Opinions
expressed in this communication may not be official policy. Whilst every
effort is made to carefully choose websites that we may provide links to,
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service cannot guarantee the standards
of these sites. Virus Disclaimer: Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
Service takes all reasonable steps to ensure electronic communications are
protected from virus infection but cannot accept any liability for any
loss or damage sustained as a result of software viruses. Intended
recipients are responsible for carrying out virus checking as is necessary
before opening any attachments.

References

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