Fire Training Severn Park

Delivering purpose-built facilities for safe fire training

Fire Training Severn Park

Delivering purpose-built facilities for safe fire training

Babcock designed, built and now runs the Severn Park Fire and Rescue Training Centre for three major Fire and Rescue services, providing a safe training environment for a hazardous operation.

Meeting the needs of three fire authorities

In 1997, Avon, Devon, and Somerset and Gloucestershire Fire authorities needed a new training centre, to provide firefighters with the right facilities for realistic training scenarios.

The centre had to work for existing firefighters and new recruits, to develop current and further skills.

An enhanced training experience

Under a £70 million private finance initiative (PFI) between Babcock and the three fire authorities, we developed the purpose-built Severn Park Fire and Rescue Training Centre. The PFI provided the financial support needed and meant the associated risks are shared.

On a site of more than four acres, the centre now offers an enhanced training experience for both the fire service and the commercial sector.

Fire and Rescue training is delivered by a highly-skilled team from the three fire authorities, supplemented by a dedicated Babcock team which provides training for the commercial sector and other specialist areas.

The facilities at Severn Park include:

  • carbonaceous training units
  • LP gas training house and multi- purpose industrial building, where simulated smoke can add to the realism of training
  • road system for imitating road traffic collisions, including a ditch which can be filled with water
  • driver training area with LGV and skid car training courses.

Trainees also benefit from 34 en-suite single bedrooms, a restaurant and a gym.

And with a wide range of air-conditioned lecture rooms featuring modern projection and sound systems, the centre can hold meetings for up to 250 people.

Sharing success

Working with the three fire authorities has allowed us to provide high-quality services alongside cost savings, through innovative asset management.

As well as managing and maintaining the facilities, Babcock provides support services for the training programme, including asset management, and training scenario set-up and clean-down.

It’s meant that since 2003 we’ve been able to supply 15,000 training days each year at Severn Park.

By sharing the risks associated with a large capital project, the fire authorities have cut the cost of owning the assets and facilities, while maintaining the availability levels its personnel demand. And with representatives from the Fire Service and Babcock working together on a joint management board, Severn Park is paving the way for training now and in the future.

Key facts:

  • Delivering 15,000 days of training per year
  • £70 million PFI funding
  • Reduced costs and improved facilities for the fire authorities
  • Ongoing shared management to meet future needs

‘Babcock continue to work in partnership with us to develop innovative solutions for our training programme and facilities, ensuring that our fire fighters are receiving the best possible standard of training.’

Geoff Sallis, Gloucestershire FRS