HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the Firefighters Memorial Trust, marked the 40th anniversary of the Fire Service College by officially opening its new accommodation at a ceremony in Moreton-in-Marsh on Friday 6 June. The new block, named Braidwood House, is in honour of James Braidwood, the founder of the world’s first municipal fire service in 1824.
Over 400,000 students have graduated from the Fire Service College since its doors opened 1974. In the past year, the College has invested around £12m to enhance facilities and deliver e-learning courses allowing anytime, anywhere training for firefighters. It has also recently launched its new immersive training simulator, designed by G2G3, for delegates, which delivers a realistic, immersive experience which most ‘gamers’ would recognise.
Paul Fuller, Chief Fire Officer of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and President of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association who has attended the Fire Service College since the early 1980s, said, “It’s a great honour to be involved in the celebrations. The college has undoubtedly changed a great deal since I first attended but the training and development it has offered for 40 years has always been consistently outstanding, contributing to firefighter and community safety across the UK and around the world. By investing in the latest technology and training, it will continue to be the very best place for firefighters to develop their careers, for the next 40 years and beyond.”
Jez Smith, Managing Director of the Fire Service College, said, “For many firefighters, the Fire Service College is the spiritual home of the UK fire and rescue service – it is where they have built their career. We want that tradition to continue well into the future, and we are committed to building a true centre of excellence so that future generations follow the same path. That’s why we are investing in the latest facilities, learning techniques and technology for use when training here at the college, or back in their own services.”
HRH The Princess Royal was joined by Colin Livett, Chairman of the Firefighters Memorial Trust, local councillors, MP for the Cotswold Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, students and senior executives from the Fire Service College for a tour.