The pioneering students of a foundation degree developed for fire station managers at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) will graduate later this year.
The two-year course in leadership and management was launched in conjunction with the University of Bradford’s School of Lifelong Education and Development (SLED).
Its aim is to equip managers, specifically in the fire and rescue service, with a dual academic and vocational qualification, and the skills needed to carry out their role.
The course has been adopted by a number of brigades across the country, and is seen as an alternative to the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire.
Phil Toase, chief fire officer at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The foundation degree in leadership and management is a good example of how partnership working can improve the service we provide to our community.
“This successful collaboration between West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the University of Bradford will provide our officers with the skills and knowledge they will require to manage an innovative public service in the 21st century.”
Station manager Rob Hamilton, who is currently on the course, said: “I have found that the foundation degree, with its emphasis on management as opposed to command skills, has made me much more effective in my role.
“There has been an additional benefit with the participation of other organisations such as the Learning and Skills Council and the National Health Service, allowing me to gain an insight into the activities and problems of other services,” he added.