Government Minister for Fire Officially Opens New Learning Centre


Minister for Fire Brandon Lewis, MP today officially opened Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s new hi-tech learning and development facility.

The Minister, was given a tour of the revamped Learning and Development Centre, which includes six multi-purpose training rooms, during his visit.

The building, at Fire Service headquarters in Pirehill, has been revitalised to meet the needs of a 21st Century emergency service.

The outdated auditorium-style set up has been replaced by suites which allow learning exercises to be presented, recorded and monitored remotely.

The footage is scrutinised to allow the Service to identify its strengths and where improvements can be made to ensure an effective and efficient response should a large scale emergency occur.

It also has a major incident suite, facilities for multi-agency exercises, national resilience training rooms and areas where the local responding agencies can meet.

The re-designed facility was paid for by a National Resilience Fund grant of just over £130,000.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: “I am delighted to have been able to welcome the Minister for the Fire and Rescue Service, Brandon Lewis, MP, to celebrate the official opening of our revitalised learning and development facility.

“As a Service we are constantly striving to further improve safety in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and the updated centre allows us to be as prepared as we possibly can be should a major local or national disaster occur.Our aim is to protect, support and respond to the needs of our communities, to make them stronger and safer. The excellent training facilities that the National Resilience Fund has enabled us to secure are helping us to achieve this goal.”

Mr Lewis heard about the high profile work the Service is doing to promote the use of sprinklers in public buildings, businesses and homes during his visit.

The Minister was also updated on the progress of the project to re-build 11 fire stations across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as part of the Authority’s second Private Finance Initiative.