Investing in our People
Learning & Development Centre, Cookstown
Our new Learning & Development Centre is revolutionising how we train our Firefighters.
The facility, based just outside Cookstown, is a Northern Ireland Executive Flagship Project.
Phase 1, which includes a real life Tactical Firefighting Facility, opened in September 2019 and a planning application for Phase 2 was submitted in December 2020.
The new Learning & Development Centre allows Firefighters to train in “real life” scenarios, imitating the hazards they face while protecting our community. This transforms the learning experience of our people, therefore improving public safety.
£42.2m has been committed to invest in the latest phase of the facility. This is the largest capital investment in NIFRS’ history.
“This is a fantastic investment not only for our employees but for the safety of everyone in Northern Ireland. This centre will be the future of NIFRS training. These facilities will provide our Firefighters with the best training and scenario-based programmes so that they are ready to face every challenge that comes their way.”
Chief Fire & Rescue Officer
“Firefighters run toward danger when others run away, and it is vitally important that when they face those challenges they receive the best possible training. This flagship project will represent the largest capital investment ever undertaken by NIFRS and further enhance the Service’s ability to protect the lives of all the people of Northern Ireland.”
Minister of Health
£4.8million was invested in Phase 1 of the new Learning & Development Centre – the Tactical Firefighting Facility.
The Tactical Firefighting Facility opened in September 2019.
The unique 6-storey structure has more than 30 compartments, providing realistic operational scenarios using real fires, as well as welfare and classroom facilities.
It is the first facility of its kind in Northern Ireland.
A planning application of £42.2m was submitted in December 2020 for Phase 2 of the facility.
Phase 2 will allow our Firefighters to complete realistic training in a simulated environment where hazards and scenarios can be safely recreated. The simulated environment will contain-
- 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
- a ‘call out village’ which will include a bungalow, a semi-detached house and a detached house.
Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2022 and to be completed in April 2024.
Members of the construction marketplace can find more information about the facility at
“I was impressed by the standard and size of the Tactical Firefighting Facility. This has the potential to equip us with true to life scenarios, and allows us to practice for all incident types. The emphasis of the training was on honing our existing skills, which included hose management in larger buildings which I particularly found very beneficial. Other scenarios included active fire-fighting and searching techniques. This was a really enjoyable day which met all my expectations.”
Feedback from an On-Call Watch Commander