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Boris dons firefighter outfit to open world-class training facility in Beckton

11:57 12 June 2014

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the new training centre

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the new training centre

© Steve Hobart Photography

Boris Johnson donned a firefighter outfit to open London Fire Brigade’s new world-class training facility in Beckton.

London Fire Brigade chairman Kevin Thomas with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,London Fire Brigade chairman Kevin Thomas with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,

The 3,200 sqm indoor centre provides a realistic training environment for firefighters to practice rescue skills used in major incidents.

It includes a “firehouse” which allows crews to train in a wide variety of different fire conditions and a training suite which uses floor to ceiling screens and simultation gaming style software to test command skills in different scenarios.

The opening of the centre, which is provided by Babcock, LFB’s training partner, marks the biggest modernisation of firefighter training in the capital for more than a century.

It replaces the Brigade’s Southwark Training Centre which has been used since 1878.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (centre) with London Fire Brigade's chairman (l) and commissioner (r)The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (centre) with London Fire Brigade's chairman (l) and commissioner (r)

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “I believe that London Fire Brigade is the best fire and rescue service in the world and we now have first class training facilities to match.

“The centres of excellence provided by Babcock radically improve the quality of facilities that are available to us, providing our firefighters and support staff with state-of-the-art, realistic, safe learning environments to hone their skills across the wide-range of disciplines that are required by the modern fire and rescue service.”

Boris Johnson said: “This gold standard facility will help London Fire Brigade to deliver a world class service to Londoners.

“It is part of a multi-million pound modernisation programme to ensure the service and its staff are equipped with the very best kit to respond to the challenges of a growing 21st century city.”

Gordon Reynolds, Babcock Director of Training, added: “We have used expertise from across Babcock, the London Fire Brigade and internationally to develop facilities which are in line with the immediate training needs of the Brigade and flexible enough to accommodate future training requirements including multi-agency training.”

Another world-class training centre run by Babcock is due to open in Park Royal later this year.

Read more:Firefighters in Newham will go on 24-hour strike today

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