State-of-the-art Cheshire fire training centre completes
On 21st December, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin met with Dave Booth from ISG to officially receive the keys to the revolutionary training centre, built within the former CFRS headquarters.
Back in July 2019 the first sod was cut from the ground to mark the start of an exciting journey for CFRS. Since then – and in spite of the coronavirus pandemic – work has been continuing at great pace to create the training zones which will provide realistic training opportunities.
The new facilities will ensure Cheshire’s firefighters have the skills and knowledge to keep residents safe for years to come.
The facilities will immerse firefighters in real-life operational situations making them better equipped and skilled to keep the communities of Cheshire and surrounding areas safe.
The centre will provide innovative technology and real-life scenario sets, ranging from serious motorway collisions to dealing with building fires and chemical incidents.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin said: “Our training officers are very excited about the potential this ground-breaking facility has for firefighters now and in the future and are already getting to grips with the new kit and scenarios.
“This is a real boost to the Service and reinforces our commitment to giving our firefighters future-proof training facilities which will give them realistic scenarios and situations to hone their life-saving skills.
“This really will benefit those living, working and visiting Cheshire who rely on our firefighters to keep them safe and be there when they need us the most.
“We think this incredible facility will be the envy of fire services across the country, and I’m certain that it will further enhance Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking organisation that places huge value in both resident safety and the skill and ability of its firefighters.
“The facilities are Covid safe and we are taking every measure to ensure our firefighters can begin taking advantage of this fantastic new facility as soon as possible.”
Cheshire Fire Authority approved the £11 million project after considering the operational benefits that were presented by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service staff.
Cllr Bob Rudd added: “These are exciting times for the Service and it’s been fascinating to see the progress as the training centre gets into full swing and seeing it begin to realise its full potential. I’m incredibly impressed with the new training centre which will be vital for keeping our firefighters highly skilled using the very best facilities, latest technology and training methods.”
Instructors from the Operational Assurance Team have been familiarising themselves with the new training centre kit and scenarios and are currently testing the new scenarios before the service’s training centre goes live early next year.
Dave Booth, project manager at ISG, said: “As a local resident I am incredibly proud to have been able to work on this project. The dedication the service has to ensuring its firefighters have access to the best and latest training is awe inspiring. This new centre is at the forefront of fire and rescue training and showcases CFRS’s drive to be the best in the country, ensuring that residents across Cheshire, like me, live safe in the knowledge that the service is prepared for every emergency.”
The Service expects to fully relocate training back to the Sadler Road site in early 2021.
The project was procured through the North West Construction Hub (NWCH) and was delivered on time and within budget.
You can watch an interview with Andrew Watson of Cheshire Fire and Rescue service on the completion of the state-of-the-art training centre here.