During a period of significant change for the UK's Fire and Rescue Service, there was a significant shift in operational focus as the Service began to focus on preventative firefighting techniques as well as reacting to emergencies and traditional firefighting.
Community engagement, fire safety awareness and fire safety inspections became a major part of part of the role of a firefighter, a change which required a very different set of leadership skills from the 'command and control' approach that had served traditional firefighting methods for generations.
Consequently, the Service decided to commission a leadership development programme that would develop the skills required of their future leaders and create a more progressive, diverse and agile approach to leadership and management.
Chief Fire Officers and HR Directors of the Fire and Rescue Service College approached DeltaV to design a bespoke programme to address this change in requirement. It had to be cost-effective, compliment the existing training curriculum and deliverable to Brigades across the UK.
Programme duration: 5 years
Participants: 500 leaders of all levels
The DeltaV programme was far-reaching and delivered to leaders of all levels throughout the UK, from North Yorkshire to Devon. Leaders attended 3-day workshops and took part in 1:1 coaching and professional development activities that the DeltaV team carefully designed in conjunction with the Service's HR and Talent Development teams.
The 3-day workshops focused on being educational, engaging, mentally and physically challenging and above all, great fun. They combined short periods of theory and classroom-based sessions with outdoor leadership, problem-solving and team building activities that allowed leaders to explore and practice the techniques and theory that they'd been taught.
The outdoor activities were also representative of the environment that the leaders would return to and face every day. This greatly helped them to situate their learning and motivate them to master the techniques that were being delivered.
The programme was delivered to the following Fire Brigades:
Durham & Darlington
The programme created a more effective, progressive style of leadership that was adopted across the UK and gave leaders the knowledge, skills and confidence to address and overcome the new set of challenges that they were faced with.
It also stripped away the 'command and control' leadership style that had been dominant in the Service for many years, allowing leaders to adopt a more inclusive, collaborative and engaging style of leadership and management that was more attractive to the diverse and progressive talent pool which the Service was recruiting, a significant strategic outcome.
The programme was seen to have benefits to how leaders were approaching emergency situations, preventative activities, people management, how they were developing their people and the efficiency of their stations and teams.