Top firm helps train firefighters

Bridgnorth Aluminium MD Simon MacVicker receives an employers’ plaque and presentation picture from Andy Perry, Head of Development, Safety and Risk at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

A leading Bridgnorth business has been praised for lending out its premises to help train county firefighters.

More than 100 firefighters have taken part in “vital” training exercises at Bridgnorth Aluminium which employs 230 at its 64 acre site.

Senior fire officer Andy Perry presented the firm with framed images and an employers’ plaque to thank them for their “priceless” support.

“We are limited to where we can train in realistic conditions so it is good when we get an employer such as Bridgnorth Aluminium allowing us to use their site.

“We need to run as many training exercises which are as close to real life as possible to ensure our firefighters are highly skilled and competent to carry out their role whatever the scenario. They have to be ready for all eventualities.”

Simon MacVicker, MD of Bridgnorth Aluminium, said: “Our company is part of the community and we want to work together with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“We all know how devastating fire can be and it is important that they have the right venue to train in.

“We are very pleased to be in a position to help and very honoured to receive the presentation.”
Shropshire firefighters took part in four major training exercises at the Bridgnorth site last year. One involved filling a 20ft by 10ft portakabin with high expansion foam, similar to soap suds, to simulate the experience of working in foam to fight fires.

Firefighters covered in foam

Bridgnorth firefighters Luke Veal (left) and Ian Dudley experience the “foam pod” in a training session at Bridgnorth Aluminium.

“We use foam for major fires involving flammable liquids but often firefighters do not get the chance to experience what it is like until the real thing,” said Retained Support Officer Dave Jennings.

Working in these conditions in a closed environment, disorientates firefighters who cannot see, hear or feel, he said.

“Firefighters need to experience it ready for the real thing.

“If it wasn’t for Bridgnorth Aluminium we would not be able to hold such vital training,” he added.

Fire appliance with firefighters presenting plaque to Simon MacVicker, Bridgnorth Aluminium MD

Fire officers say thanks for the premises to Bridgnorth Aluminium’s MD Simon MacVicker, engineer manager Steve Greenwood and Fire Engineer Bob Lyle.

The brigade is appealing for employers’ with other suitable training venues such as empty buildings, storage areas, tunnels, scrapyards, factories or anywhere with a confined space where they can train.

12th April, 2012