Wiltshire soldiers to receive fire training in Devizes

Forty soldiers based in Wiltshire are to receive firefighter training at Wiltshire Fire and Rescue's training and development centre in Devizes.

The soldiers from Tidworth Barracks' 1 Royal Horse Artillery will participate in a number of emergency scenarios.

These include using simulated breathing apparatus in a smoke-filled environment and a rescue from a crashed vehicle.

Lt Alex Davies said he wanted to test his team of 40 men and women outside of their comfort zone.

He said: "My father was a firefighter, ultimately retiring as a principal officer, so I was very aware of the similarities between the fire service and the Army.

"The training we are doing will test these 40 men and women to their limits, as they will be in situations they haven't experienced before, using equipment that they don't know.

"I am very grateful to Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for working with us on this, as I know it will be of great benefit to everyone involved."

This is the first time this type of training has been held in Wiltshire for the military and it is hoped that similar events can be held in future.

Fire service station manager, Dan Cooke said: "These are operational soldiers, they have served in Afghanistan, and they are in development to be leaders in the future.

"The exercises that they will take part in are very similar to those that potential firefighters have to go through during the recruitment process - the challenge for this group is to demonstrate, recognise and respond to leadership, not just with their peers but with our instructors."

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