The role of a firefighter has changed dramatically over the past few years and will continue to do so as the modernisation agenda is developed.

This will have implications for everything associated with the service and in particular in relation to the type and delivery of basic training. The wider role of rescue work and the demands of community fire safety require skills that need to be taught in a different manner to that of firefighting. All of this will require the initial training to be delivered in a manner that meets the new agenda. People joining the Fire and Rescue Service are highly motivated and are very keen to learn the skills that will equip them to contribute to the work of the service as soon as possible.

The training centres that deliver training to new entrants must be at that forefront of the new agenda. They provide the first impression of the service and it needs to be one that reflects the service of tomorrow and sets the cultural change required in motion.

I am sure that people who are responsible for running training centres that provide new entry entrants training will read this report with great interest and examine their training methods to see if they will provide the new firefighters with the skills they require to deliver the modern service the public expects.

Sir Graham Meldrum
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Fire Services for England and Wales