Major renovation for Hampshire fire training site to 'modernise' firefighter training

FACILITIES that teach trainee firefighters to tackle live fires are getting a major upgrade.

By David George
Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 3:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 5:32 pm

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service had planned to move its live fire training facility to Warsash, but has instead opted to renovate the existing site in Eastleigh.

Redevelopment plans were green-lit at a fire service authority meeting yesterday behind closed doors.

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Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service's Arson Task Force gave 'live burn' demonstrations to the media and crime scene investigators. Picture: Malcolm Wells (170922-2843)

Conservative councillor for North West Havant, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, said: ‘It's so important that we train firefighters with real fires in a controlled environment - it's a critical part of their training.

‘We've had the facility in Eastleigh for quite some time now and were considering a replacement, moving to Warsash instead.

‘Instead, we’ve opted to redesign the current site for the firefighters, modernising to better prepare firefighters for live fire scenarios while also improving welfare facilities.

‘The sooner we can get this project off the ground, the better.’

The discussion about the live fire training facilities was heard in secret on financial grounds, the meeting agenda said.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘A proposal to rebuild our live fire facilities in Warsash is no longer viable as the land is now unavailable. As a result, a decision to replace the existing live fire units with new and improved facilities at service headquarters in Eastleigh has been approved by the fire authority.

‘The plans will allow Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to provide modernised facilities and better welfare provision, including an improved decontamination area.

‘We are unable to reveal details of the expected cost at this time as this information remains commercially sensitive while we enter the tendering process.’

It is hoped that work will be completed by next autumn.

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