University of Salford to work with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk and Professor Martin Hall at the original fireman's pole located in the University's Old Fire Station Building.
The University of Salford has signed a partnership agreement with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service which, it is hoped, will lead to the development of projects such as, ground breaking virtual reality incident training and the provision of health and well being services for firefighters.
At an official signing event on 5 November, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, and Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk pledged to build on already successful projects underway and to work together in the future to develop new initiatives.
Projects currently under discussion include the development of a virtual reality town being created in the University’s facilities based at MediaCityUK.
The University’s virtual reality and new media-based technology can be used to support training and operational deployment across the Fire Service, from firefighter training through to senior officers training for major incident command where multiple crews have to be deployed and co-ordination with other emergency services is required.
The University’s College of Health & Social Care is also speaking to the Fire and Rescue Service about several ideas such as fitness programmes designed specifically for firefighters by sports scientists, and specialised rehabilitation and occupational health services.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is one of the key areas that both parties are exploring. A new business within the University, Salford Professional Development creates bespoke short courses for companies, and in the case of the Fire and Rescue Service, this includes management and leadership training and the use of thermal imaging cameras under the direction of Salford’s Energy Hub team.
The University has applied its proven partnership methodology to support this relationship which has been developed to support our strategic goals, specifically in relation to transforming engagement.
Overall there are more than 20 potential projects currently being assessed, and the hope of this partnership approach is that many more ideas will be generated through closer working.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, said: “There is a great deal of symbolism at this signing taking place on 5 November in our Old Fire Station building which is 100 years old this year. This new partnership is part of a process we have in place of connecting with organisations across the city region.
“There are tremendous possibilities in this partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and we can both learn and contribute a great deal.”
County Fire Officer, Steve McGuirk said: “This is a really exciting partnership with so many areas we can touch upon. It will help us blend disciplines and make simple interventions that could save thousands of lives.”