Fire and Emergency Training Solutions
After fighting fires for 38 years, training other people to keep themselves safe at work, comply with health and safety regulations and prepare for emergencies comes naturally to Trevor Moss. So much so that he co-founded Fire and Emergency Training Solutions (FETS).
In 1998, Trevor and his business partner Dave McPake ran their first training course. The company’s original office was based at Trevor’s home in Paraparaumu but now with a team of 18 is headquartered in Trentham, Upper Hutt.
Business Manager Sandy McPake explains the many benefits of its large-scale site. “The size and type of building have allowed us to reconfigure certain spaces to suit our needs. Vacant land onsite means we have options for an outdoor training facility in future.”
Finding the perfect premises (with sufficient storage and space for administration and training) was initially a challenge for FETS but generous support (incentives and grants) from the Upper Hutt City Council made the company’s relocation both feasible and easy.
Trevor confirms that Upper Hutt is a positive and attractive place to be based. “We’ve enjoyed working with a raft of local tradespeople and experts to transform our premises. We’re close to the train station and our staff appreciate not having to sit in traffic every day.”
FETS offers an extensive range of training courses tailor-made for different workplaces. Business owners and their staff are trained to prepare for many emergencies including: gas leaks; chemical spills; storms; floods; fires; floods; earthquakes; evacuations and bomb threats. Emergency situations can occur when conducting specialist tasks under conditions that need permits such as: working at heights and in confined spaces, and work involving heat. The Maritime Industry requires specialist training including survival at sea and managing crowds as they board and disembark ferries.
The majority of FETS’ courses comply with NZQA standards and some are internationally recognised – for example the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers). Its focus is on water safety and rescue skills for crew on ships and super yachts.
Trevor explains, “It’s all very well for businesses to have safety equipment available to their staff, but regulations (and common sense) demand that they know how to use it! Helping small teams of students learn in a fun way, being a part of their lightbulb moments and knowing that their new skills will contribute to saving lives in future are the most rewarding parts of the job.”
The company’s custom-built facility is configured to combine theory and practice. Conventional workshop spaces are located alongside rooms that replicate an office and ferry. “Our courses are very hands-on,” Trevor says proudly. “Students can experience what it’s like to use a fire extinguisher and breathing apparatus. They can practice working in a confined space, moving around in the heat of a fire or exiting from a darkened room.”
FETS’s commitment to teamwork helps build its students’ confidence, regardless of their knowledge or skills on day one.
“Our trainers in Upper Hutt, Invercargill, New Plymouth and Hamilton are not talking from a book. They all have backgrounds in emergency services. Their real life experience is an invaluable asset to our business and our clients.”