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New Stone Training Facility Opened by Royalty

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Stone has had a new training complex unveiled by The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO.

Friday September 8, HRH officially opened the Villa Training Centre after being given a tour of the innovative facility, which will provide improved training opportunities and contribute to the safety of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent residents and firefighters.

From the outside the plain structure of metal containers looks very unremarkable, but it contains a labyrinth of rooms and stairways which cleverly provide realistic environments to deliver the safest and highest quality training possible. This ensures firefighters are fully prepared to tackle current and emerging risks.

Firefighters will benefit from using the Villa to train in the following areas:

• breathing apparatus

• incident command training

• positive pressure ventilation (PPV) and tactical ventilation

• hazmat training (hazardous materials)

• confined space training

• search and rescue

• high rise/bridgehead

• working at height exercises

• fire investigation training

The training facility will allow the Service and partners to meet the challenge of new nationally developed concepts in operational procedure and training for staff.

Becci Bryant, Chief Fire Officer, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome The Earl of Wessex to open the Villa and he seemed genuinely impressed by this fantastic addition to our training toolkit.

“Our training provisions must evolve to keep in line with national procedures and the Villa has been designed to support these changes while delivering improved and safer training for modern methods of firefighting. In times of economic challenge it will also be far more cost effective than sourcing external training.”

The Service’s newly recruited firefighters demonstrated hose work and pressure ventilation (PPV) where part of the Villa was filled with smoke for HRH, who then officially unveiled the Villa plaque and was shown a live sprinkler demonstration by the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) before leaving the site.

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