Author Topic: Fire Training in Hospitals  (Read 42153 times)

Offline Shaun Doyle

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Fire Training in Hospitals
« on: November 16, 2003, 11:13:11 PM »
Just something for openers (for a small debate). Do readers think that  fire training carried out by only CD rom / computer is suitable for the only fire training in a hospital?

If so, what extra training do staff involved in progressive horizontal evacuation procedures need to undertake?

I have put this up as a general question to stimulate debate, which may be of interest to people. Welcome any views.
Ivorfire

Offline Colin Newman

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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2003, 03:29:16 PM »
Shaun,

What a debate to start on! :lol:

The age old question of how much training, at what frequency and by what method will always invoke debate.

As you know the current guidance given in Firecode is for every member of staff to be trained in fire safety for 1 hour each year.  At best this isn't the best use of time for some, whilst for others it may not be sufficient.

The guidance being drafted that will detail requirements for staff training will seek to amend the requirements for training on the basis of an assessment of the training needs in order to perform specific duties in respect of preventing fire and/or responding to fire.

The issue of evacuation training is a particularly thorny one since some organisations do not consider the risks involved in manual handling 'evacuation subjects' acceptable when there isn't an emergency.

That should liven up the debate!!! ;)

Offline Peter Wilkinson

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Fire Training in Hospitals
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2003, 03:39:21 PM »
There are pros and cons to consider with all methods of training delivery.  If a ‘self-learning’ package on CD or video is more convenient and therefore reaches a greater audience than lecture based training, then this innovative approach should be considered.  However, there needs to be necessary checks in place to ensure that the training takes place and that it is effective.  With the increasing levels of turnover of personnel in large hospitals (including secondments/agency nurses, etc) the battle to ensure that everyone receives their annual fire training is getting more difficult for hospital Fire Safety Advisers.  One of the most important times to train personnel is when they first start work in a healthcare environment, so, I would suggest induction training is paramount.  But, I don’t see why annual refresher training cannot be delivered by CD or video.  In fact, I have seen a very good video produced by a leading Trust for this very purpose, and it has even managed to reach those people who usually use any excuse to miss fire lectures (I think you know who I mean).

Let the debate continue.
(all the stuff I said above is purely my own personal view and in no way represents any official view of my employer)

Guest

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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2003, 09:17:54 AM »
CBT certainly has it's place in staff fire safety training, but, it cannot replace hands on, face to face training sessions.  CD training by nature of it's delivery is general, fire risks aren't.  Staff in cardiology will need a more indepth training session than those involved in out patients for example.  What about the ugly sisters of the NHS (the service not the staff), staff involved in healthcare of the elderly, LD and mental health, these guys have major problems which maternity units have never even thought of.  I use CBT to reach staff who cannot attend an organised training session, but it is understood that they must attend next year. CBT is an aid to training, not unlike a video or indeed the instructor, it is not a substitute.  Incidentaly, if we continue to insist on calling fire safety training sessions "lectures" how on earth are we supposed to generate interest in staff who see lectures as something they must attend rather than a learning experience?

Offline banjo 2

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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2004, 04:53:50 PM »
The trust runs a two day induction in a large lecture theatre and we have an hour allocated, for this we use a lap top presentation. however, we then carry out our annual training in the area in which people work.  A three month period is given to all departments and they have as many sessions as they consider they need to cover all staff. we then do a practical demonstration, one day on each site  giving six sessions in a day using a gas simulator; this is advertised and people come at a time to suit the department.  This is in addition to the mandatory session. Walk through evacuation drills using ski sheets are done every other year.  We do use videos occasionally, but only as part of the session.  We have not used a CD due to the restrictions on how many people could be involved.  There is no easy answer to training, but if it's interesting, they will not try so hard to get out of it next time.

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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2004, 11:46:46 AM »
Colin Newman mentions above the firecode requirement for one hour fire training per year.

I cannot see how a quality training session can be delivered, covering all areas of healthcare fire awareness, in one hour.

Can anyone shed any light on how this arbitory figure arrived at? Is there a national curriculum and does this include extinguisher training?


Messyshaw

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2004, 02:58:50 PM »
Messy,
HTM 83 defines the understanding staff should have regarding fire safety in hospitals.  Don't go under the misaprehension that nursing staff are trained to become fire fighters in the obligatory 1 hour training session because as you say quality training, covering all areas of fire safety awareness, cannot be achieved in a single annual training session.
Like any other major organisation, the NHS has grunts and leaders, the grunts do what they can under the leadership of others.  Fire fighting is not that difficult in modern hospitals, fire engineering solutions have seen to that (?), fire prevention, fire safety awareness and risk assessment are the keys to creating safe environments, despite the best efforts of the general public.  NHS staff as an industrial group are far more fire safety aware than any other comparable group, the fire safety figures for the NHS will back that up.  
Fire safety training changes as the role and responsibility of the individual changes, that knowledge and experience is cascaded to the staff as and when necessary, not unlike the fire service, otherwise there would be no need for a rank structure.  
The role of the fire safety trainer in the NHS (as I see it), is not to produce hoards of fire extinguisher wielding nurses, but to educate staff at all levels with regard to their roles and responsibilities.  Most observers and particularly operational fire fighters do not see beyond staff using fire extinguishers, putting fires out and evacuating the place before the brigade show up, in reality staff have much more to think about, moving their patients to a place of safety for example, progressive horizontal evacuation is the technical term, the eighty odd seconds it takes to totally discharge a 9 litre water extinguisher is best spent moving people away from the source of danger.  Who was it said get out and get the fire brigade out?  The chance of surviving a fire in hospital (in the UK), is better than average and certainly better than the same situation at home.  
So, the training requirement is a minimum of 1 hour annually, believe me they all get much more and topics discussed are relevant to the situation at hand, mental health and learning difficulty units have vastly different problems to general hospitals, who in turn have greater problems than community hospitals who have loads of problems too, it's not cut and dried believe me.  
In answer to your question, it isn't, it takes much longer and relies on experience, knowledge and the odd fire resisting compartment or two.

Offline Colin Newman

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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2004, 09:50:48 PM »
Thanks Colin, I couldn't have put it much better myself!.

Messy, the reality is that like most things in the world of fire safety 'arbitrary' and 'nominal' measurements abound.  I'm not sure where the 1 hour period of training came from, I only know it's not intended to last for much longer.

I've always thought it quite perverse to give 1 hour training every year to an admin clerk working in a hospital whose expected response to an alarm is to get out and stand at the assembly point, and give the same period of training each year to nursing staff that are required to evacuate patients whilst continuing their care.

In my opinion there is a need for some members of staff to receive less than 1 hour training each year and for many other members of staff to receive considerably more than 1 hour of training each year.

Offline Brian Catton

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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2004, 01:21:54 AM »
you are quite correct Colin. Fire Safety Advisors have been saying that for years. So the question is not what training but when will it change.
Some Trusts are under an unecessary burdon at present. As CM says it shouled be related to the risk. IE Mental health against nhs beds in the community or as you say an office premises.
It is not rocket science.

Offline Roy Grogan

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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2005, 12:39:09 PM »
This Trust runs two day Fire Team Members course (0.5 day spent with F&RS at their training facility.  Results over the past six years have been brilliant.  Subject to continual review/improvement.  Willing to share all lecture plans, drawings, exercises etc.  issued on CD powerpoint and word formats.  3D ward plans available.  Want to stop reinventing the wheel.  Interested in exchange of info?  Contact at Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust.  Roy Grogan

Steve Brown

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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2005, 03:28:02 PM »
I have recently spent quite a bit of time considering the merits of CBT for hospital staff which has included attending an E-learning facilitators course and looking at some of the packages on offer including the NHSU's effort. They all varied in content, ease of use and quality of graphics the ones that had been put together for a specific organisation being the better ones from an instructional and informative point of view, although what stuck out in all of them was that they seemed to be obsessed in going into great detail about the different classes of fire and the use of extinguishers rather than the emphasis being on causes of fire, simple precautionary measures and emergency procedures.
Having said that I do think that there is a place for these packages as part of a tailored training programme based on the outcome of an assessment mentioned by Colin Newman, although I do remain sceptical about the generic packages for the reasons given above, site or organisation specific are much better
Also when attending the facilitators course I became concerned that one trust was looking to meet its fire safety training obligation by using these packages which were going to be facilitated by staff in the training department without any fire safety experience. A very dangerous road to go down where there is a need to convert knowledge gained in to good practice on the ground.

Offline Brian Catton

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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2005, 12:08:17 AM »
BS 5588 Part 12 Managing Fire Safety appears to rule out CBT alone as there is the old base requirement for the Training to be given by a competent person.

Marc Brookhouse

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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2005, 03:34:40 AM »
Quote from: Roy Grogan
This Trust runs two day Fire Team Members course (0.5 day spent with F&RS at their training facility.  Results over the past six years have been brilliant.  Subject to continual review/improvement.  Willing to share all lecture plans, drawings, exercises etc.  issued on CD powerpoint and word formats.  3D ward plans available.  Want to stop reinventing the wheel.  Interested in exchange of info?  Contact at Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust.  Roy Grogan


Roy

I am very interested in how you do things over your way.  I now work with Chubb Training after 26 years with the Australian Capital Territory Fire Brigade.

I spent much in Fire Safety and finished as Manager for training in the Emergency Services Bureau.

Hope to see more and exchange our appraoch.

Regards

Marc

Offline Brian Catton

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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2005, 08:18:22 PM »
Interesting debate but when is someone in the Department of Health going to bite the bullet and write to Trusts rescinding the absurd and onerous requirements of Firecode Policy and Principles. We have been told for almost a year now that there is change in the pipeline. It might be in the pipeline but there is nothing coming out of the end. All it takes is a letter to Chief Execs. There are plenty of documents on which to base this advice.
How can a Fire Advisor write new Policy when there is no clear directive from the Centre?
Please Colin Newman answer this one.

Offline Colin Newman

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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2005, 02:26:38 PM »
O.K I'll answer.

The guidance was written over 12 months ago.  A limited consultation took place.  A reveiw of the guidance and the implications of BS 5588 Part 12 was undertaken, and the document now sits with NHS Estates Policy team.  

I'm as frustrated as the rest that this damned document has been over 3 years in preparation.  

It appears to have been held up at every turn, partly because some of the management structures are deemed too contrioversial (i.e. Fire Safety Coordinators), and partly because of the worderful Gateway process.

Thankfully I haven't had direct dealings with Gateway, but some of my colleagues regularly run the gauntlet of trying to get information and guidance out to the NHS.

For those that don't know, Gateway is the process by which those nasty people in the centre are prevented from dictating to the NHS and thereby drowning the Chief Execs in paperwork.  Now whenever the centre wants to just send a letter to the Chief Execs they have to persuade those kind people at Gateway that the letter is necesary, desired, places no undue burden upon the organisation its being sent to, is a valid use of resources, cannot be communicated in any other way, is written by someone wearing pink underpants etc. etc.  ok maybe not the pink underapnts, but you get the picture.

My advice would be to produce a rationale for the provision of appropriate training showing increases and decreases in traning activity as appropriate.  Get the Chief Exec to approve the approach and then append it to your annual fire safety certificate.

If your Chief Exec. is not prepared to readily approve the rationale, seek the buy in of your local fire authority, Strategic Health Authorty and even NHS Estates (but be quick 'cos they won't exist much longer!).