Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Northern Ireland Fire Service opens new £4.8m training facility

A new £4.8m tactical firefighting facility will be officially opened in Cookstown today.

The facility will enable Northern Ireland firefighters to train in 'real fire' situations and is the first facility of its kind in the province.

The six-storey structure has more than 30 compartments providing realistic operational scenarios using real fires, as well as welfare and classroom facilities.

Michael Graham, chief fire & rescue officer for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), 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”.

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Firefighters train at the brand new NIFRS Tactical Firefighting Facility 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.

Richard Pengelly, permanent secretary at the Department of Health, 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.

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