Fire Service now offering Cycle Training

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Paul Power

Fire Service now offering Cycle Training

Postby Paul Power » 6 Jul 2006, 12:59pm

Oh, I kid you not!

The latest edition of West Sussex County Council's residents magazine arrived on our doorstep yesterday, and one of the features was on The Fire Service, who are now offering cycle training to young people.

The first place to go live in West Sussex is in Shoreham-by-Sea and the picture in the magazine was of a number of firemen complete with red 'fire service' mountain bikes all ready to start training young people.

And their qualification/experience for undertaking such training - quote from one of them was they see only too well the results of poor road safety.

And whose to blame - The cyclist, of course.

For those who don't know West Sussex County Council is one of those councils who refuse to entertain the notion of NATIONAL STANDARDS. Instead preferring to recruit an army of free, pensioners, many of whom I'd imagine have never cycled a bike....but they know their Highway Code.

Now they're using the Fire Service to carry out training....

Would it be cynical of me to ask if some of this £15m cycle training money has gone into buying our fire service new mountain bikes??



Re:Fire Service now offering Cycle Training

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jul 2006, 9:20am

The fire service is something of an 'all or nothing' set up. When there is a fire or rescue emergency they are very busy, historically, the rest of the time there has not been so much to do, once they have done the training and the Penny Lane bit. As fire fighting has become more specialised with the dangers of modern materials burning, so there has been less scope for retained crews with a 'daytime' job.

It is a bit of a paradox, we all want the very best fire and rescue service possible, but hope we never need it and there is a reluctance to pay.

So, the demands for modernisation - a posh word for widespread redundancy - have made the fire service very keen to find worthwhile things to do to between the emergencies. Mick Agar

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Postby Tandemist » 16 Jun 2007, 2:19am

As a service that only recruits particularly fit individuals, the Fire Service in my experience has a fair number of cyclists in it's ranks, and they tend to be phenomenally fast on their bikes even when they have retired. My guess is that most fire stations will have at least one keen cyclist in their midst, so if it is they that are doing cycle training then why not ?

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Postby Paul Power » 2 Aug 2007, 1:34pm

Because they're not trained, or willing to train their officers to deliver National Standards Training.

The whole point of National Standards Training is to get more people, undertaking more journeys by bicycle.

The way to achieve this is by teaching riders who to ride confidently and assertively in today's road conditions.

National Standards Training provides just this.

But to teach it, you first need to be trained in it yourself, which our local Fire Service are not.

How about letting qualified cycle instructors deliver quality cycle training and letting our fire service get on with what they're trained to do?


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Postby towedhaul » 6 Aug 2007, 12:48pm

Absolutely! What happens if there's an emergency during the course? Do the trainees get left on the side of the road while the fire crews rush off?
Cycling instructors should be properly trained to deliver National Standard courses. They also need an infrastructure to support them properly with ongoing training and mentoring, etc.
By all means fire crews could do cycle training but there's a lot more to think about other than just fitting it in between emergencies.