Fire training facility in Cambuslang officially opens
Jan 30 2013
by Will Henshaw, Rutherglen Reformer
Officials and dignitaries gathered as Cambuslang’s new multi-million pound fire training facility was officially opened.
The Uaill Training Centre located on Westburn Drive is among the world’s best sites for emergency service workers to practice operating in realistic, challenging environments. The £43 million facility includes a mock town where firefighters and their colleagues face scenarios including burning buildings, road traffic collisions and even train crashes.
Councillor Joe Lowe, the Convener of the Strathclyde Fire Board, declared the new centre officially open last Friday (Janaury 25). At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, he said: “Uaill is an unparalleled asset to firefighters and our colleagues in the other emergency services, who can now experience a truly realistic scenario for the most challenging incidents first responders are ever likely to face.
“I’m delighted to launch this terrific new facility, which is a tremendous asset for the Fire Service. Being able to train firefighters in realistic incidents makes a huge difference when they face the real thing.
“Uaill will enhance our firefighters’ already excellent skills and help ensure our communities continue to have the protection of a truly world class Fire Service. It is yet another example of the great firefighting heritage we have here in Strathclyde.”
Chief Officer Brian Sweeney of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue said the facility is already paying off. He added: “Several months ago a crew of retained Strathclyde Firefighters were first on the scene of a serious road accident in Ayrshire where a motorist was trapped beneath an overturned car.
“The crew had dealt with exactly that scenario here at Uaill only a week before and they were immediately able to put into practice a specialist procedure to safely free the man.
“Whether it’s practicing the intricate work of freeing trapped casualties with potentially fatal injuries, or fighting dangerous flashover fires in dense, urban environments, there can be no better training than that which is available here.”
Gordon Anderson, executive general manager in Scotland for Lend Lease, added: “I am extremely proud to be here today to celebrate the official opening of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue’s new training facility.
“Aptly, the construction programme of the training centre also afforded Lend Lease and our subcontractors the opportunity to create 15 apprenticeship positions through the Clydesmill Accord agreement with Strathclyde Fire & Rescue. What is also pleasing is that some of the electrical and engineering apprentices involved in the 77-week project come from communities in Strathclyde.”