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February 1, 2011

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Converged Security in 2019: Highlights and Insights from IFSEC International

New training facilities will tackle backdraught and flashover

Scottish firefighters will be able to train in conditions hotter than 750 degrees Celsius, inside new facilities.

The Highland and Islands Fire Board has opened the centre at Invergordon, in partnership with Highlands and Islands Airports.

The facilities are based at Sumburgh Airport, on the Shetland Isles.

Several units have been designed to emulate the conditions a firefighter may face in room fires. Part of the training involves learning techniques on how to apply water so that conditions are controlled without causing so much steam that firefighters within the compartment are scalded.

Backdraught and flashovers, which commonly occur after closed rooms are opened, will also be experienced at the centre.

Assistant chief fire officer Mike Holme from the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service (HIFRS) said the investment represented a great step forward for the fire service.

"Not only will our firefighters be able to deliver a more effective higher quality service to the community, but also improve their own safety at incidents. Prior to this facility, fire behaviour training was either theoretical or on the job.

"Backdraught and flashover situations have contributed to the rise in firefighter deaths and injuries across the UK. This facility and those like it will help us address this unwelcome trend."

The training is to be rolled out to all breathing apparatus-trained personnel, with crews then having receiving refresher training every year, the service said. 

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