Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service’s (NIFRS) new £4.8million Tactical Firefighting Facility, will be officially opened today at Desertcreat outside Cookstown.
The facility provides a state of the art training environment for Firefighters, enabling them to train in ‘real fire’ facilities and is the first facility of its kind in Northern Ireland.
The unique 6-storey structure, built by local contractors Henry Brothers Limited, has more than 30 compartments providing realistic operational scenarios using real fires, as well as welfare and classroom facilities.
The completion of the facility marks Phase 1 of the new NIFRS Learning & Development Centre which is a Programme for Government project.
The building will be officially opened by Mr Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health. He said:
“This new, modern, fit for purpose building and facilities will provide a much improved learning environment for the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for many years to come.
“This centre is an indicator of how a joined-up approach from government departments and Arm’s Length Bodies working together can deliver for all of our community.”
NIFRS Chief Fire & Rescue Officer (Interim), Michael Graham said:
“After years of planning and preparation we are delighted to officially open our new Tactical Firefighting Facility. Completing this phase of our new Learning & Development Centre marks the beginning of a new era in how we ensure our Firefighters are trained in the most safety critical elements of their job.
“This is a real game changer for NIFRS in how we train our people as it enables us to develop multiple realistic operational scenarios using real fires simulating’ real life’ fire situations. I’m confident that this new facility will be a first class place to work and train and will support our Firefighters as they help make Northern Ireland a safer place”.
NIFRS Chairperson, Carmel McKinney added:
“I would like to thank the Department of Health for their continued support for this capital project and supporting NIFRS in delivering a safer community.
“This new training facility presents the opportunity to train both current and future generations of Firefighters in an elite training environment. This will ultimately strengthen both Firefighter and public safety. Ongoing training and development for our people is key to the delivery of this.