From humble beginnings as a program on a CD-ROM in 2006, manually labelled and mailed out to clients, to a full-scale online fire evacuation training tool, Locatrix’s fire and evacuation training program has developed significantly.

Initially the program was based solely on general and first response training, and it was the first initiative for development of Training and Emergency Management’s (TEM) face to face training into a dynamic online experience.

The incentive behind the idea was to create an online training tool for people to be able to complete their required fire safety training without being removed from their office environment and their daily work. While a practical component was and is still relevant, the majority of training can now be done online, which is what appeals to businesses.

Head of production at Locatrix, Carolyn Josey affirms that “Being able to keep your office or work environment running smoothly while ensuring your staff and contractors all have the required fire evacuation training is very important, which is why it’s crucial that our product continues to evolve, as it has done since it first launched.”

“The QFES team had an external consultant put together a program in Adobe Flash, where we were given extensive training in the use of the software. It wasn’t long before we started delivering the general and first response training online to clients.” Ms Josey said.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) originally commissioned an external supplier to develop an Adobe Flash program. Before long, online general and first response training was being delivered to clients. The commercialisation of the training program began when Locatrix came onboard in 2008, and thus was the beginning of an 11-year relationship between the two organisations.

Joel Lancaster, Manager for Business Development at TEM says that since both entities entered in an agreement in 2008, they’ve enjoyed a close working relationship to improve, expand and proliferate the product and its respective offshoots. “The direct result of this is being able to provide a quality service that utilises the strengths of both parties.” Mr Lancaster said.

TEM are eager to provide further strategic linkages between QFES and the private sector, further emphasising the importance of the relationship with Locatrix.

Locatrix’s proposals like the Emergency Services Portal (ESP) have the potential to provide unprecedented and invaluable data to first responders, enabling better incident preparedness, response, and recovery functions. These are core elements of the QFES strategic plan, which Training and Emergency Management (TEM) strives to serve by promoting community resilience and providing capacity for QFES operations.

A/Superintendent Andrew Sbrizzi, Executive Manager of TEM emphasises the safety outcomes directly connected to the role of Fire Safety Advisers (FSA): “The practical learnings of response and evacuation drills are paramount to people’s safety; something that a newly appointed Fire Safety Adviser would be responsible for.”

TEM prides itself on uncompromising commitment to its learners’ safety, being especially crucial for the huge regulatory responsibility entrusted an FSA. The TEM face to face FSA training requires an intensive 3 day delivery model, to maximise the confidence and competence of learners. However TEM also wish to explore a blended learning approach to this course. While the idea of delivering the FSA course solely online would be ineffective, opportunities may exist to achieve comparable outcomes for clients, with reduced staff downtime.

In terms of what the future holds for the relationship between QFES and Locatrix, TEM express they are always looking for ways to develop and innovate.

TEM highlight the importance of a continued endeavour to capitalise on our respective strengths and achieve mutual benefit. There can be many barriers in the public sector, but through effective partnership we may be able to facilitate new delivery methods for our products and cooperatively promote them to our stakeholders.