Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann cut the first sod on the £42.6 million final phase of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Learning and Development Centre near Cookstown.
The Minister was joined by Assistant Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Aidan Jennings, Cllr Robert Irvine from the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service Board as well as Liam Murphy, Site Manager of Newry contractors Felix O'Hare and Co Ltd.
Work on the latest phase of the Northern Ireland Executive flagship project is expected to be completed in 2024. It represents the largest capital build in NIFRS history. The facilities will revolutionise how NIFRS trains and develops its people to protect everyone in Northern Ireland.
The ambitious plans for Phase 2 include the building of a specialist driving and road traffic collision training area, a training environment for collapsed buildings and below ground rescue, a flood water rescue training facility, an academic building, mock fire station, ship and a "call out village" which will include a bungalow, semi-detached dwelling and a detached dwelling.
This site will provide NIFRS Firefighters with scenario-based realistic and repeatable training experiences to ensure they are as best prepared to deal with real life incidents that they attend.
The completion of the final phase of the project is expected in 2 years and will complement the existing Tactical Firefighting Facility on the site which has been in operation since September 2019.
More information on the NIFRS Learning and Development Centre page