Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
146 Bolton Road
Tel: 0161 736 5866
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GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has submitted plans for a state-of-the-art training centre and community hub in Bury.
The centre in Wellington Street will breathe new life into a 10-acre area of land that has been empty for some time.
GMFRS has been working with Kier Northern and Paragon to design the centre and, if approved, it is hoped the new site will be open in 2015.
Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk said: "We're investing in the area now to make long-term savings and we're confident that this investment will not only provide the very best in realistic, scenario-based training and development for our staff but also a fantastic community facility that local people can use to learn more about the dangers of fire and other incidents we attend.
"Having reduced fires by more than 40 per cent in the past eight years, it's more important than ever for GMFRS to provide the very best facilities for firefighters to train for incidents to protect the public and themselves.
"Alongside this, the site will allow us to develop our prevention work by engaging with the community and businesses and encouraging people to learn how to protect themselves in a really new and exciting way."
GMFRS intends to make use of existing features on the land - including a large warehouse, tunnels and culverts, cellars, bridges, cuttings and embankments, rubble piles and old mill walls, a lodge and a section of river.
New elements will also be added to the site to prepare crews for the types of incidents they are likely to face more of in the future - such as a collapsed building to train in search and rescue and a train, tram and ship to train for transport-related incidents.
A 'Fire Street' will also be created to include a variety of simulated detached and terraced homes and commercial buildings where firefighters can recreate incidents.
The community hub 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 incidents.
Groups will arrive into a simulated fire control room where they'll see the different types of incidents GMFRS attends and have the chance to listen to a real 999 call.
There will be a simulated road traffic collision scene and a 'fire house' where visitors can spot hazards and carry out a Home Safety Check.
Visitors will have the chance to enter a post-fire bedroom where they'll see first-hand the damage that can be caused by a fire.
There will also be an outdoor element to the 'fire house' where GMFRS can share seasonal safety advice such as bonfires and barbecues.
During their visit, groups will be given their own fire kit to wear and they'll experience all the elements of a real fire - the smell of smoke, the heat of a fire and the sound of the sirens.
Viewing areas will be created during the construction so the public can watch the development taking shape - and it's proposed that permanent public viewing areas will be created within the site so people can watch some of the training taking place and get a real insight into the work of GMFRS.
Images show how the site looks now