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Pioneering course to manage passenger transport emergency incidents
Published:  26 September, 2011

A unique new course to equip passenger transport and emergency professionals with the skills to deal with major incidents is being launched by the University of Wolverhampton in the UK.

The Postgraduate Certificate in the Management of Passenger Transport Emergency Incidents will be the first of its kind in the country.

It has been designed for people working in the transport sector, emergency services and local authorities, or those seeking careers in these areas, and will be delivered by the University’s School of Health and Wellbeing.

Willie Baker, a recently retired British Transport Police Superintendent, has been instrumental in establishing the course and will lead on teaching. Students will have access to a wide variety of learning resource to support their learning.

Mr Baker has unrivalled experience in this field. He was directly involved in all the major rail incidents in the UK since the Paddington disaster in 1995, where he was the first ‘silver’ commander; he spent three years at the Police Leadership College, Bramshill and since then he led on all emergency services activity in relation to the successful opening of the two newest passenger rail systems in the world: Dubai and Makkah.

He said: “While large-scale emergencies are relatively uncommon, even small incidents can be serious and challenging, and have far-reaching consequences. It is therefore vital that incidents are managed safely and brought to a swift conclusion by people who are both academically-qualified and operationally-skilled.

“Such individuals need to possess a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities, as well as those of others. Completion of the course will strengthen the talents and career prospects of individuals and it will add considerable value to the business they work for.”

Mr Baker has been working closely with nationally respected organisations such as the Institution of Railway Operators and Confederation of Passenger Transport to assess industry requirements and the feedback has been resoundingly positive.

“Everyone is telling me there is a need for a specialised course like this,” he added.

Students will take 12 months (part-time) to complete the three modules, which will cover all aspects of passenger emergency incidents, including planning, risk, communication and investigations, and these can be accessed remotely via the University virtual learning environment. It will also examine case studies of incidents which are often such a rich source of learning. The course is subject to validation but the first students are due to start early next year.