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SCHOOLCHILDREN have marked a milestone in the construction of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) new firefighter training and community centre that’s being delivered by Manchester-based contractors Kier.
Youngsters from St Stephen’s CE Primary School in Bury visited the building site in Wellington Street to take part in a bolt tightening ceremony on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.
The ceremony marked the installation of a steel structure that will become an eight-storey high-rise building for firefighters to train for various incidents including fires.
The schoolchildren, who represented different year groups, were joined by firefighters from White Watch Bury who will be among the crews to benefit from the state-of-the-art training facilities when the centre opens.
As well as providing realistic training conditions, the site will have a community facility that will feature an interactive and immersive learning area where local people and schoolchildren in particular can learn how to protect themselves against fire and other dangers.
Deputy Head of St Stephen’s, Rachel Pars, said: “Coming along to this ceremony is a great opportunity to see first-hand the work that is taking place on our doorstep and it gives the children chance to learn about the fire service and how it works.
“The school is really excited about the centre opening – it will be fantastic for the children to get involved and it will allow us to develop a lasting partnership with the fire service.”
After the ceremony, White Watch gave the children a demonstration of the equipment on the fire engine.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton; Vice-Chair, Councillor Tommy Judge; Assistant County Fire Officer Dave Keelan; Bury Councillor Sharon Briggs; and Leader of Bury Council, Councillor Mike Connolly, were also at Tuesday’s event.
Cllr Acton said: “Construction work on the site is really coming along and it’s great to see the steel structure in place for what will become an eight-storey building where firefighters can train in real fire situations.
“We can also see roads being developed that will form ‘Fire Street’ and the different training areas are becoming more defined such as the transport incidents area.
“It was really important for us to have the local schoolchildren here because this centre is also for them to learn about the work of the fire service and how to keep themselves safe.
“A large warehouse is being transformed into an interactive community facility where youngsters will experience all the elements of a real fire – the smell of smoke, the heat of a fire and the sound of the sirens, while learning vital safety lessons.”
Phil Chadwick, Operations Director of Kier, said: “This ceremony marks a significant milestone in the creation of this flagship development for GMFRS. It is a privilege to be involved in such a unique project, which will deliver so much not only for the fire service, but also for the community.
“Throughout the project Kier is echoing GMFRS’ values of using local resources and suppliers, as well as introducing young people to the idea of a career in the construction industry, both through visits such as today and by engaging new local apprentices.”
The development is due to be complete in autumn this year.
You can keep up-to-date with stories and construction progress on our dedicated blog here: http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/about_us/what_we_do/key-projects/bury-training-and-community-site/bury-training-and-community-centre-blog/