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Emergency Response Driving Qualifications Launched

Emergency Response Driver Training Ltd (ERDT), has launched an industry-first Level 3 Award driving qualification, and a suite of driving and instructors’ Certificate of Achievements, to address planned changes in the legislation covering the driving of emergency vehicles. The qualification is awarded by SfJ Awards.

John Clark, Head of Awards and Assurance Services at SFJ Awards, explains how these courses have been designed to not only provide assurance to both learners and employers alike, of their competency to perform their high-risk roles safely, but to demonstrate to the UK public that our national emergency services professionals are trained to the highest standard to protect and save lives.

When the introduction of Section 19 of the Road Safety Act (2006) comes into force in the near future, replacing section 87 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984), which makes exemptions from speed limits for emergency service vehicles and authorised agencies, drivers will be required to undertake, or be in the process of taking a suitable high-speed training course before they are permitted to exceed speed limits.

Whether in the police, fire and rescue, or ambulance services, emergency response time targets are set to either a national or local standard and upholding these forms a key part of any service’s delivery strategy to achieve both effective outcomes and preserve life. It is of little surprise then, that emergency response driving is promoted as a thoroughly professional skill, underpinned by only the highest quality, advanced training and assessment.

ERDT has delivered training to over 85 emergency services and allied organisations in the UK and worldwide, and SFJ Awards has accredited their recently launched L3 Award in Emergency Response Driving High-Speed (ERD) and L3 Award in Emergency Response Driving High-Speed (Re-Assessment), to provide learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to drive a vehicle under emergency response conditions at high speed.

Stephen Milton, Managing Director of ERDT said he chose to work with SFJ Awards because of its industry-leading reputation: “SFJ Awards are a nationally recognised and regulated awarding organisation and custom certification services provider who work with a wide range of organisations that deliver public benefit. They are also trusted and approved as England’s leading fire and rescue End-Point assessment organisation. This is why we choose to work with them.”

An industry-first by design, the training is based on the police ‘Roadcraft’ system of car control and is designed to meet the requirements of both the pending legislation, as well as the National Fire Chiefs Council emergency response driver framework.

ERDT’s unique qualification structure provides eligible drivers with the opportunity to complete ERD unit 1: Demonstrate Advanced Driving Skills, a vehicle class pathway unit that best meets the vehicle type to be driven, and ERD-unit 2 covering driving vehicles at high-speed under emergency response conditions.

For drivers that do not have a legal exemption from the speed limit or do not have an operational requirement to drive above the speed limit, but who are required to drive under emergency response conditions at road-speed while claiming a range of exemptions, can now complete ERDT’s new SFJ Awards Certificate of Achievement in Emergency Response Driving Road-Speed.

Their new SFJ Awards Certificate of Achievement in Blue Light Driving provides drivers required to drive a vehicle using blue lights and sirens within the posted speed limit, with the skills, knowledge and understanding to do so.

For statutory emergency services only, ERDT’s new Emergency Response Driving Instructor (ERDI) course provides instructors with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to deliver initial or re-certification training and assessments and is also accredited as an SFJ Awards Certificate of Achievement. This training is based both on the police system of car control and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) instructional skills. It is designed to meet the legal requirements of the pending Section 19 of the Road Safety Act 2006 and the NFCC emergency response driver framework.

Emergency service organisations across the UK go to great lengths to ensure that their emergency response drivers understand that regardless of the incident at hand, their first duty is to protect the safety and wellbeing of themselves, other staff, patients, passengers, and road users at all times. They also strongly advocate that the manner in which their staff are seen to do so has a direct bearing on the public’s perception of their services as a professional organisation. Ensuring all staff have the highest quality driving training and education is the key to not only preparing them for the challenges that emergency driving holds, but ensure the public receive rapid life-changing outcomes.

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