A group of Officers of HM Customs Gibraltar and the City Fire Brigade have attended a three week course which has seen them qualify as Blue Light Driver Standard Response Instructors. The course has been delivered locally by Driving Instructors from HM Customs Gibraltar, EO Geraldine Celecia and EO Charles Jaques and assisted on the third week by Mr Robert Brittain, a UK National Standard Response Driver Instructor with the Cheshire Constabulary.

Left to Right: AO Patrick Ivan Cornelio, L/FF Karl Sciortino, L/FF Kevagn Estella, EO John Payas, The Collector of Customs John Rodriguez, Chief Fire officer Guillermo Mauro, AO Jonathan Duarte, Robert Brittain from Cheshire Driver Training,HM Customs Instructors EO's Charles Jaques and Geraldine Celecia.

Left to Right: AO Patrick Ivan Cornelio, L/FF Karl Sciortino, L/FF Kevagn Estella, EO John Payas, The Collector of Customs John Rodriguez, Chief Fire officer Guillermo Mauro, AO Jonathan Duarte, Robert Brittain from Cheshire Driver Training,HM Customs Instructors EO’s Charles Jaques and Geraldine Celecia.

The Collector of Revenue John Rodriguez and Chief Fire Officer Guillermo Mauro jointly presented the delegates with their certificates at a ceremony held on Friday afternoon. Three members from Gibraltar HM Customs; AO’s Patrick Ivan Cornelio, Jonathan Duarte and EO John Payas together with Leading Firefighters Kevagn Estella and Karl Sciortino from the City Fire Brigade undertook the course which was divided into three parts;

Left to Right: Instructors Robert Brittain, EO's Charles Jaques and Geraldine Celecia with the delegates L/FF's Kevagn Estella and Karl Sciortinw, AO's Patrick Cornelio, Jonathan Duarte and EO John Payas.

Left to Right: Instructors Robert Brittain, EO’s Charles Jaques and Geraldine Celecia with the delegates L/FF’s Kevagn Estella and Karl Sciortinw, AO’s Patrick Cornelio, Jonathan Duarte and EO John Payas.

During the first part officers where trained to be able to undertake Emergency Responses safely and correctly. They had to demonstrate a safe approach to driving and hence develop an increased awareness to recognising real and potential hazards and the adoption of a system of driving that leaves nothing to chance. It also involved learning whether an “emergency response” is justifiable and should be maintained, correctly anticipate and respond to the actions of other road users when emergency warning equipment is used, make safe and appropriate progress when using warning equipment and retain duty of care while using legal exemptions. For the second part, the students undertook a Driver Trainer course which covered areas such as classroom management, teaching strategies, lesson planning, coaching, etc. This involved preparing and delivering a series of classroom and ‘on the road’ practical lessons. Throughout the third week the local instructors where assisted by Mr Brittain who assessed the drivers on all the areas covered throughout the first two weeks, finding them competent to successfully qualify as Driving Instructors in the use of blue light beacons and sirens known in the emergency services as “blues and twos”.