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18 May 2010, 11:05
Heart has been given pictures of firefighters in Kent training how to tackle house fires in new facilities in the county.
The recently upgraded Breathing Apparatus training complexes at Folkestone, Thames-side and Tonbridge fire stations consist of a single storey house with rooms that vary in size, simulating a modern day home and what it's like inside.
The rooms have also been fitted with systems that fill them with smoke so firefighters can experience exactly what it would be like during a fire.
Firefighters can get into the building via several different routes so they are able to be tested on different scenarios by trainers.
Training and Development Officer Steve Burwell, who oversees breathing apparatus training for firefighters said: “Thanks to the BA complexes we can train our firefighters to be the very best they can be through scenarios, in a safe working environment.
“Firefighters are then able to take this invaluable experience to genuine incidents, bringing with them a great deal of expertise and confidence to deal whatever they may face, swiftly and correctly.
“The drive behind it is to replicate situations that can and do occur in a firefighters career and expose fire crews to something that would be appropriate to their real life tasks.”
Andy McPherson, Workplace Training Manager, who oversaw the project said: “As a forward thinking organisation, we are constantly striving to improve our service and provide value for money. As part of this, we have invested in vital training facilities that will help us provide the best service to the public and proves our commitment to the health and safety of our staff.
“The significant investment made in these three BA complexes will provide our firefighters with realistic local training facilities, enabling them to practice their BA skills as a watch or as part of the BA refresher training programme. I think that this is a big step forwards in our bid to provide realistic, scenario-based practical training.”