A close look at one of our front-line clients, Offaly Fire & Rescue Service talks about their transition from on-side manual training to online training with FLEX.
The high standards within the Irish Fire Services are directly correlated to the reliance on structured, continuous and high-quality training delivery. As front-line workers for the COVID-19 Pandemic and proponents of the subsequent social distancing and lockdown measures, the Fire Services realised, no more than anyone, that the ability to hold face to face training would be altered for the foreseeable future. The ability to hold on-site training for new courses and refresher training was a core aspect of maintaining the high standards required in Fire Safety.
In these uncertain and unprecedented times, maintaining the high training standards within the Fire Services necessitated thinking outside of the previous norms. A wide range of Irish Fire Services use our Flex Manager platform for managing their assets, training records, safety audits and compliance and so on. The platform also enables the creation of the customized online training programs including videos, files, slides, questions, the different courses can be sent to specific groups of people and their relevant parties to complete from their own homes. Our training manager module has enabled our clients to produce training for their stakeholders, schedule it in advance and monitor training records and results over time.
Hence, Offaly Fire & Rescue Service began utilising Flex Online Training Solution to deliver training to firefighters during the current COVID-19 Pandemic. The use of online training has revolutionized its training programmes. Senior Assistant Fire Chief Officer with Offaly Fire, Clive Duke, has said the following;
“While online training was always an ambition, the current pandemic has hastened its development. We are now progressing to deliver theory elements of critical courses to our firefighters remotely. Over time the number of online courses will be expanded and will they will augment the traditional training courses that are delivered centrally. This move will allow for centrally delivered courses to become more practical in content.”
Online training for many organizations will become the new normal in the short term and has the potential to alter organizational training structures. Flex Manager also allows the digitization of many work processes from paper-based solutions to become online and mobile solutions and this can aid in streamlining operations, reducing contact but increasing efficiency. Clive agrees with this sentiment in terms of our online training portal;
“Online training will have tremendous benefits for us going forward in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. We can now deliver essential courses to new entrants upon commencing employment in addition to providing refresher training to existing firefighters, both of which can be delivered without the need to ensure class quorums are reached in order to make the delivery feasible.”
As many of us are getting accustomed to distant working, online conferencing and working from home, the Fire Services are required to work on-site, in close contact and to the highest standards ensuring the public’s safety. Using Online Training within the Fire Services, countrywide, is something which could take the pressure off surrounding current measures in the short term and could allow a further increase in standards, increased accessibility to upskilling and a greater platform for knowledge sharing industry-wide. Clive and the Offaly Fire Service agrees that they are seeing the benefits of providing training to their officers on an online platform and this could be the start of an interesting journey throughout the Irish Fire Service countrywide;
“As our Firefighters are retained and have employment outside of the fire service, it is an ideal solution that fits into their lifestyle and which will over time, reduce the burden on their employers. We are delighted that other fire services have expressed interest in utilising online training solutions. Such a transition within the service will facilitate both the efficient creation and intercounty sharing of training packages.”
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