Case Studies

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

CFRS respond to emergency fire and rescue incidents – known as Emergency Response (ER) across the four unitary council areas of Cheshire i.e. Halton, Warrington, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester.

From their 24 fire stations, four community safety centres, three community fire protection offices and a headquarters in Winsford, they also provide  advice, to help reduce risks to and to improve Community/public safety and Business safety/safety at work.

They respond to  emergency calls from the public for assistance. Many emergency calls, however, are not to fires but to incidents where members of the community are trapped in vehicles following road traffic collisions, trapped in machinery, or trapped in less life threatening circumstances as well as being called to chemical spillages and toxic emissions.

The CFRS also deal with many other domestic situations such as flooding, storm damage, people unable to gain access to premises, animals in distress etc.

CFRS‘s mission is to help create safer communities, to rescue people and protect economic, environmental and community interests. They have an informative and interactive website at

The Challenge

Training Needs Analysis Workshop

This approach was new to the organisation and to ensure it was bespoke to them and included their newly updated policy for safeguarding adults a training needs (TNA) analysis was to be undertaken.  The key outcome for the TNA was included:

  • It is clear to the trainers that their role will be to go out and deliver the safeguarding policy awareness to the wider workforce
  • The TNA will support existing policy awareness and application in line with safeguarding good practice

 Safeguarding Adults at Risk 2 Hour Training Course

CFRS Senior management are committed to providing high quality  ‘adult safeguarding’ training to key operational personnel in front line roles i.e. emergency response staff and community safety teams, but wanted to deliver the training using the cascade model .i.e. to train up their own staff to deliver the training to key CRFS personnel.

CRFS did not currently deliver courses for safeguarding ‘adults at risk’ across the service and any training being delivered was limited to awareness of policy and procedures for specific roles and down to dynamic and enthusiastic individuals who wanted to increase awareness of the adult safeguarding agenda within CRFS, also as part of their management role. Staff availability and shift patterns generally limited the duration of  training  to no more than 2 hours duration.CRFS lead project manager for the training roll out  wanted to include recent case studies of safeguarding issues that had caused their staff particular challenges  over the past year.

Athena was asked to design a ‘low tech’ Safeguarding Adults at Risk Training course for delivery by nominated CFRS staff over the next 6 months. The course needed to combine interactive elements such as problem solving, case studies and quizzes with minimum PowerPoint presentation support.

A training handout was also requested to support the training with key messages and signposting both within CFRS and external agencies.

Train the Trainer Pack and Training Course

CFRS agreed the aims and objectives of the ‘Safeguarding Adults at risk’ course at an initial workshop session to identify training needs of:

  • Key personnel to be trained
  • Nominated trainers i.e. those who had previously attended the initial workshop.

Whilst there were a number of excellent experienced trainers identified within the CRFS it was identified during this workshop that these trainers were not as confident in delivering specialist safeguarding training and they would require some additional training in trainer’s skills for this subject area.

Athena was asked to plan and design a two day course to include trainer’s skills around safeguarding and provide the opportunity for the newly identified trainers to practice delivery of the new ‘Adults at Risk’ course.


The Athena Solution

Training Needs Analysis Workshop

A half day session was delivered during which those that attended identified their own training needs and skills gaps. The group significantly influenced the aims and objectives for the two day adult safeguarding course. There was a broader understanding of the importance of good quality training for the wider workforce.

Safeguarding Adults at Risk 2 Hour Training Course

We believe in working in partnership with our customers. By cooperation and collaboration we developed and designed a creative and exciting ‘low tech’ 2 hour safeguarding adults at risk training course. This included a lesson plan, exercises, laminated images, quizzes and supporting handout. The 17 slide Power Point presentation was very low tech and could be delivered easily within the workplace from a lap top or computer rather than with projection.   It included a problem solving exercise covering the issues that have proved challenging  amongst front line staff.

All planning and training was delivered to agreed timescales. We combined the skills and knowledge of our Creative Training Manager and those of CFRS project lead to maximise creativity and fun and deliver a practical and realistic training course.

Train the Trainer Pack and Training Course

Once the Adults at risk course was finalised it was inserted into a more comprehensive Train the Trainer’s Pack. The pack included copies of the course’s lesson plan, Power Point presentation, exercises, quizzes and handouts. It also contained supportive material for trainers to be able to use as they start to deliver the training. i.e. aide memoires on resources, equipment, dealing with problems delegates etc.

Further work was done by CFRS to duplicate and produce the training pack e.g. lesson plans, lesson notes, resources and equipment in time for the train the trainer event. The train the trainer’s event was delivered by Athena over 1 and half days to both experienced CFRS trainers and new inexperienced trainers. The first day was given over to increasing general trainer’s skills and techniques with the inclusion of more specific skills needed in relation to delivering safeguarding training.  The second half day provided the opportunity for the trainers to work in teams and practice delivery of their new course.

The Outcome

Following the roll out of the training CFRS have trained operational staff, emergency response, community safety staff and volunteers.

Prior to this training being delivered to operational staff CFRS launched a new Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy and this new policy was signposted during delivery of the training for staff to access for further support and guidance.

The CFRS Project Manager explains that; across our organisation front-line staff now have greater confidence in their ability to identify  abuse, neglect and harm, report matters accordingly and if necessary work with other agencies to support the adult at risk.