CLAN – Continuous Learning for Adults with Needs 134649-LLL-1-2007-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP THE FIRE BRIGADE September 19, 2008 Kaunas, Lithuania 2nd Meeting This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
PROFILE AND TASKS OF A FIREMAN • The tasks are basically the same worldwide • Put out hazardous fires • Safeguard public safety and the integrity of the property and the environment • Carry out ordinary rescue operations and also mountain rescue; rescue in difficult terrain; rescue with special equipment. Rescue operations of human beings and animals, of people with psychiatric problems • Carry out immediate action and stabilise calamitous situations • Work accidents • Gas leaks • Road accidents caused by floods • Drying up operations, water supplies • Detection of radioactivity • Fire prevention, building and work place projects • Promotion, study, setting up and experimentation of regulations, measures, norms and actions aimed at preventing the risk of fire and damage control operations • In Italy they also take care of the implementation of work safety regulations. • Other specialisations: Helicopter Unit, Diver and Water Rescue Unit, Speleological, Mountain and River Rescue Unit, Harbour Unit, Airport Unit, Radiometrists, Radio Repair • Their tasks include also Civil Protection operations within the framework of the Civil Protection National Service and thanks to their technical skills they take charge of rescue technical operations
PROFILE AND TASKS OF A FIREMAN This was once considered a typical male job and today the great majority in the Fire Brigade are men. Now it is also open to female workers. Exams are carried out on an equal opportunity basis, but as of today the number of female workers is still at a minimum. There are still too few women in permanent service Womenjoined operations in 1989 in technical positions (civil engineers and architects). At present there are 56 female officers employed in technical roles and operations (18 full time). To those numbers must be added the women employed in admin and computer work. Since 1996 female personnel can be recruited also for volunteer work. Many are the female volunteers and their number is increasing. Volunteer personnelis a key resource to supply a more thorough cover over the territory. They often work alongside the professionals (in some areas it is easier to find only volunteer fireman units in operation). Evident cost effectiveness in employing volunteer work in small centres and far away from towns. They can get into action when it is difficult to intervene rapidly owing to the distance of the site. The time within which an intervention should be carried out is around 20 minutes after which the success curve begins to diminish (One limit: a probably excessive expansion of the volunteer groups above all in the Northern regions beyond real needs)
THE WORKING CONTEXT • With regard to the main characteristics of the job • The work of a Fireman may be considered an a-typical activity particularly stressing which may be a risk for the worker’s safety. • If on the one hand the bulk of the work is carried out during the fire rescue operations we must also consider the training side based on training during the working day. • With regard to the work timetable …. • This timetable includes 95% of the personnel at national level. Logistics personnel (vehicles, stores) work on 12 h shifts from 8:00am-8:00pm and 36 hours, rest Sundays not included, practically working every other day. 1% work from 8:00am-5:00pm Taking into consideration the timetable and the shifts that are organised in 8:00am-8:00pm / 8:00pm – 8:00am an example of the organization of a typical week for a Fire Brigade is Monday 8:00am-8:00pm Tuesday free until 8:00 pm and then works from 8:00 pm till 8:00 am Wednesday free and back in service Thursday at 8:00am 48 hour rest. ….
THE WORKING CONTEXT … With regard to the work timetable In general, a fireman has time to take part in extra activities or pursue his/her interests but there could be a problem in time management as 1 or 2 Sundays a month are working days with 7/8 night shifts. A further limitation due to contract is that Firemen can also be on duty in their free time (for e.g. surveillance where shows are taking place, fire prevention, woodland fire…) This because of: shortage of personnel and the increase of risks that require more interventions. Effects Noticeable effects in social and family life, e.g. the frequent changes of mood with repercussions on family relationships and on the relationship with the others. A normal family and social life is compromised by a work carried out in regular shifts, by an excessive timetable rigidity, and by extra time work. A good family life is a key aspect to face up with long term shift work, and the participation in activities of social interest is important in terms of a higher level of stress management.
THE WORKING CONTEXT Moreover • In the Italian scenario, in which the police forces are a national organisation, particular relevance is given to the complex problem of the work place which may be far away from one’s family. • A stressing factor seems to be also organisation variables such as working condition, relationship with the superiors and with the outside world. Often the highest levels of stress come from organisation factors such as: lack of personnel inadequate resources time pressure or lack of time to work out of one’s system traumas activity overload and lack of communication …. more than shift work in itself. • A Solution: • Shift work is not considered a problem if the activities are organised in such a way that there is enough time to practice sportsand have a satisfactory social life; by the same token it is important at personal level to try to cultivate one’s spiritual side and use part of the time for interests and reading outside work
THE FIRE BRIGADE AND THE LATEST REFORMS IN ITALY • The structure of the Italian Fire Brigade differs from its sister organisations in other countries: • Positive aspect: It is organised on a national level. Therefore, a significant potential in terms of ability to intervene is always available. Recently, the Law N.452 carried out an important reform of the employment conditions from the private system to an autonomous public law structure, the same as for the other State Corps, not only to increase efficiency but also to make clearer and more perceptible the function of civil protection the Corps is called upon to carry out. • Difficulty: Like many big organisations it finds difficult to quickly adapt itself to new situations. • the Law also outlines a new professional itinerary for both operational and admin personnel through a number of career steps guaranteeing to all of them advancement and salary increases linked to attendance to training courses and to reaching a pre-determined seniority position.
THE TRAINING INSIDE THE PROFESSION From “Report on training procedures of the National Fire Brigade Personnel (2006)” and “Educational planning for the year 2007”: Personnel are required a continuous adjustment to the new situations through retraining and updating Purposes increased basic professional level avoid that technological innovation introduced by the reforms could trigger exclusion and demotivation in those human resources who cannot keep up with the times. The structure of professional training in the Corps has: Scuole Centrali Antincendiand theISA Istituto Superiore Antincendi for training and updating personnel especially during career advancement, training courses for Officers and future Executives, from theoretical exam tests to high qualification courses. It has a Centre for multimedia educational tools and works together with University and Industrial Research Institutions. It organises also information courses for subjects who do not belong to the Corps personnel and organises international exchanges
THE TRAINING INSIDE THE PROFESSION Personnel training is divided in basic training updating and retraining courses specialisation: for the use of special rescue equipment, for the use of operation techniques and special equipment, for the rescue in situations and in places particularly difficult physical and professional training seminars, meetings and university master courses: 1 to 3 day, addressed in particular to executives and officers.
TRAINING FOR FIREMEN • Methodologies and educational programmes have been revised as follows • Development of a management and updating training programme for the personnel and executives • Planning and experimentation of new basic training programmes, both for the new employees and for career advancement. • Re-planning of existing specialisation courses and most important operational qualifications (divers, helicopter pilots, nautical specialists, nautical rescuers, airport rescuers and special vehicle drivers). • Planning and experimentation of retraining courses for admin personnel. • Re-planning of traditional training and professional updating, setting a system for result control. • Retraining of the instructors, revision of the trainers and teachers, introduction of an expert.
TRAINING FOR FIREMEN Required vocations Motivation in learning, advanced study of EU languages (particularly executives, technical officers who work in an EU environment and, in general, the more exposed subjects (in operation rooms, helicopter pilots and nautical experts, border garrisons). Implementation of a new personal training log linked to the innovations brought by the CCNL (National Work Contract) for training monitoring and a homogeneous professional development of every sector of the National Fire Brigade for life-long learning and gradual improvement of professional skills (empowerment). Experimentation of Distance Learning Spread of public communication and psycho-sanitary training.
SOME KEY OBJECTIVES OF THE TRAINING FOR FIREMEN a) Awareness of the duties b)Improve knowledge of operational scenario and abilities to satisfy the demands (increase and improve the technical know-how leveland computer competences) c)Increase contacts and cultural changes with sister organisations in other countriesin order to become familiar with their organisation and training system and include their good practices in the Italian system (need to improve the knowledge of foreign languages) d) Communication with public opinion. There’s a close connection between emergency and communication. It is therefore necessary to create an integrated, synergic and systemic relationship between the activity of technical and crisis management personnel, and that of the institutional communication and information media professionals (experimental courses on “communication in state of crisis and emergency” are now planned in order to supply a first hand answer to these problems).
SOME KEY OBJECTIVES OF THE TRAINING FOR FIREMEN On-the-job-training (OJT), tests, lab, intervention simulations and training, that are practical, have been improved both in method and procedures. The “Training-by-doing”, real experiences, organised and monitored, and the “Outdoor Training”, in order to make the group act in situations and “games” of high emotional impact and to bring about a change of attitude, especially in the relationship with others. Communication – not only between teachers and learners but also communication through media (audio/visual and learning tools) interactivity: from one way communication to a two-way one. Employed methods in the training Rotation of face-to-face lessons, computer platform and e-learning (the latter spread throughout 7/8 years and designed also for career advancement). The courses aim at the objectives set by the needs of the profession, therefore, the material handed out by the teachers has been written and organised for the purpose. All training courses are organised in a “condensed” way in order to achieve the maximum results in the shortest time possible (also for economic reasons)
EMPLOYMENT OF ICT IN THE WORK AND TRAINING • Compared with the public administration sectors it can be said that the Corps is one step forward in technological equipment. The technologies used are state of the art. (The work equipment is: Aerial ladders, Crane trucks, State of the art computer technology, Heat detection cameras, Radio channels, NBCR) • And some other examples of employment of technologies in the profession: • Digital geo-representation to determine where the fire prevention activities are taking place on the territory, thus guaranteeing immediate use of the information received. • In the field of Civil Protection, information technology is important for emergencies planning and damage control. The inclusion of satellite data in the Web has been very important for the safety of the population. • The “Servir” technology allows to download the Servir Viz program based on a NASA software that allows users to keep track on a map (Google earth) of phenomena and data that are regarding the centre regions of the US. • ICT are employed in career advancement courses organised by the Fire Brigade Centre in Rome. Multimedia equipment is also available in each precinct to be used for updating without having to leave the work place. The Ministry of Interior is connected with the precincts and HQ by Intranet • Furthermore, firemen have their workplaces equipped with PCs internet connected which can also be of personal use in their pauses during the 12 hour shift. Considering also the significant generation turnover which started in the 1990s, the Corps is today formed by 43/45 year old people strongly open to technology, also computer technology, and its use. Therefore, also the Internet (both for information and as a social network)
SOME TRAINING PROJECTS “Approach and Inter-relationship” (funded by the FSE) Objective: to prompt a cultural process of transformation which during a medium-long term period tune in the provinces under Objective 1 interventions with the problems of the territory. Increase the operators’ cultural level through the development of communication in order to foster the growth of a culture of safety both real and perceived. “URIEL” (e-learning)(by the ISA) Development of the FAD, educational strategy experimented in the National Fire Brigade since the 1930s with the production of video tools for updating courses on fire prevention, nuclear activities and airport fire services The current educational system in the Fire Brigade has outlined some obstacles lack of personnel makes the organisation and attendance to courses difficult lessons too concentrated in few days limiting the effectiveness of teaching This is why the FAD method is considered better suited, so is e-learning seen as the best way to overcome these difficulties and to allow a more flexible management of the teaching process result: introduction of training activities inside the working hours.
PROJECT URIEL • Furthermore: • Support by high-tech digital tools • Blended learning (standard contents are offered through the e-learning method, more complex ones are carried out in class) the learner can choose from several communication channels in order to better understand the topics. • Personalised training. The learner is responsible for his/her study itinerary. • Open source LCMS platform • The good results achieved through the e-learning method have made it usable also for Officer training. • More that half of the interviewed believes that expanding the training timetable is paramount for learning, and distance learning should be better organised, as well as the request for virtual teaching assistance through forums managed by the tutor. • Considerations on this project • Distance learning through computer technology has increased the use of PCs, especially among those who knew little about it. • Allows the use of a teaching method more centred on the learner; • It is a guarantee of a minimum training level meeting this objective requires a cultural adjustment, and a new way of seeing training both by the teacher and the learner main obstacle to overcome: the cultural gap.
Thank you for your kind attention! September 19, 2008 Kaunas, Lithuania 2nd Meeting