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Graduation success for firefighters

10 November 2015 @TeesUniNews


Firefighters who completed unique qualifications in fire investigation have celebrated their success at a graduation ceremony.

Family and friends gathered at the brand new fire training centre at Bowburn, County Durham, to watch as nine firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) were given their certificates by academics from Teesside University.

The nine firefighters, along with a colleague from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, had completed a foundation degree or university certificate in professional development (UCPD) in Fire Investigation.

The courses are the only qualifications of their type in the country and have been developed by CDDFRS fire investigation manager Lee Aspery in collaboration with Teesside University.

The degree involves an intensive two-year programme of study covering modules in forensic awareness, fire scene photography, forensic reconstruction, fingerprint recovery and fire scene investigation techniques. The UCPD in Fire Investigation requires a one year study period and assessments in investigation, the science of fire and forensic evidence recovery.

Guests at the graduation ceremony were also treated to a display by Scrappy, CDDFRS’s fire investigation dog who was able to demonstrate how he could find minute particles of accelerant.

Firefighters also staged a demonstration of how they put out a blaze at the centre’s state-of-the-art training rig.

CDDFRS Chief Fire Officer Stuart Errington said: 'I’m extremely proud to be holding this graduation in this fantastic centre. It gives an indication of the importance the service and fire authority place on training and development.

'Education and training are a key element of maintaining the safety and security of our communities.

'Our partnership with Teesside University has produced a cadre of professional fire investigators across the UK who are able to work collaboratively with a wide range of bodies such as police and trading standards.'

Professor Simon Hodgson, Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and Dean of the School of Science & Engineering added: 'This course has been developed by CDDFRS and our School of Science & Engineering and is the only one of its type in the UK and possibly the world.

'It is a fantastic example of a University and a major employer working together to identify and develop the skills of the future.'