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Degrees to provide emergency service and transport industry people with more skills when dealing with major incidents have been launched by the University of Wolverhampton. The university was turned into an ‘emergency village’ and an off-duty Air Ambulance landed at Wolverhampton Science Park for an official launch event in February.
The event was held to launch an MSc Emergency Planning, Resilience and Response and a Postgraduate Certificate in the Management of Passenger Transport Emergency Incidents.
Emergency service and passenger transport industry experts toured the emergency village, which featured more than 25 emergency vehicles, including a fire engine, rescue boat and specialist ambulances.
The launch also included presentations from Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Train Chris Gibb, and Head of NHS Preparedness, Phil Storr, from the Department of Health. Professor Linda Lang, Dean of the University’s School of Health and Wellbeing, said: “We were delighted to welcome so many people from the emergency services and passenger transport industry to the University for the launch of these new courses. The emergency village looked fantastic, and we are grateful to our partners for their role in hosting this event.
“What really sets these degrees apart is the way they have been developed with our partners in the emergency services and transport sector to ensure they meet the needs of today’s services, which face different challenges and obstacles when major incidents occur. We are sure that students completing the courses will gain valuable experience of working in partnership with other agencies so they are well prepared for situations requiring emergency planning expertise.”
Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “This exciting new programme draws together the unique partnerships that the University of Wolverhampton has established. Programmes such as this are increasingly important, which we fully recognise, demonstrated by our commitment to supporting and developing the University course. One of the many advantages that differentiates this programme to others is the extent to which we have partnered with other key stakeholders to ensure an appropriate programme is delivered.”
Willie Baker, a retired British Transport Police Superintendent, has been behind the Management of Passenger Transport Emergency Incidents course.
He said: “Completion of the Post Graduate Certificate in the Management of Passenger Transport Emergency Incidents means that for the first time people will be recognised as being academically qualified to fulfil their important role. This is a huge benefit not just in terms of staff development but also in strengthening the business and the wider industry.”
The two qualifications are designed for people working in the emergency services, transport sector and local authorities, or those seeking careers in these areas, and will be delivered by the university’s School of Health and Wellbeing from April 2012. The new courses were developed with input from industry and aim to equip emergency and passenger transport professionals with the skills to deal with major incidents such as accidents or terrorist attacks.
The emergency equipment and vehicle zone at the launch included an Air Ambulance helicopter; a Severn Area Response Association boat; a front-line fire engine from West Midlands Fire Service; a West Midlands Ambulance Service motorcycle and rapid response car as well as several vehicles from the WM Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response team. The launch was also attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, West Midlands Fire Service’s Chief Fire Officer Vij Randeniya, Chris McKeogh, Chief Superintendant of Police as well as representatives and vehicles from the Highways Agency, St John Ambulance, Red Cross and Network Rail.
The university demonstrated one of its Sim Men, which are realistic patient simulators used to train health and wellbeing students.