The University offers a BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue degree and students become community volunteers working with the fire service during their studies.
The new agreement will enable students to carry out placements with fire services in Herefordshire & Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. The University already has links with West Midlands Fire Service.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed at the University by Professor Sir Geoff Hampton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University and Chief Fire Officers or representatives from each of the region’s services.
The event was also attended by Chris Williamson MP, Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government.
Professor Sir Geoff Hampton from the University said: “We are delighted to have signed this new agreement which will enable our students to gain valuable practical experience alongside their academic studies.
“The BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue was developed with input from West Midlands Fire Service to ensure it offers a solid but challenging foundation for those seeking to pursue a career in the fire service.”
Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: “I am delighted that Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service can support the university in this initiative. A career in the modern fire and rescue service is very challenging, both academically and physically, and by working with potential future staff in a real work environment we hope we can give students a valuable insight into the role of this vital public service.”
Chief Fire Officer Graeme Smith of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Allowing people to develop and flourish is desirable, and to do it within the fire sector is something fire chiefs should support. I am delighted that Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service can come together with our neighbours and work within the academic rigour of the University of Wolverhampton to create something special.”
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “I am very pleased to be able to contribute to this exciting initiative by the University to support the development of potential entrants to the Fire and Rescue Service. The role of our organisation is now far greater and more complex and the contribution we make to the lives and wellbeing of those we serve goes far beyond the traditional expectations of an emergency service. I am sure that providing opportunities for students to experience the work of a modern Fire and Rescue Service first hand will enhance their academic and professional development.”
Vij Randeniya, West Midlands Fire Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “This is an excellent qualification which offers students who are interested in joining fire and rescue services a valuable insight into the challenges we face.
“Fire Fighters from West Midlands Fire Service took part in international search and rescue (ISAR) missions in both New Zealand and Japan this year, which demonstrates the significance and magnitude of what we do. It is therefore essential that Fire Fighters of the future have the best possible training and qualifications available to them”
The BSc (Hons) Fire and Rescue aims to prepare students for a challenging career in the fire service through academic study and work placements. The degree includes modules focused on crisis management, leadership, fire law, fire investigations and the chemistry of combustion.
The course can be studied full-time over three years, or part-time over four to six years. The degree is offered by the University’s School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, in partnership with the School of Health and Wellbeing, School of Technology, the University of Wolverhampton Business School and the School of Applied Sciences.
Picture: Seated left to right: Professor Sir Geoff Hampton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University and Chris Williamson MP, Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government. Back row (L-R): Chief Fire Officer Graeme Smith of Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Louise McKenzie of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Vij Randeniya, West Midlands Fire Service’s Chief Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
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