Bring your kids, your family and friends to the very first GMFRS Training and Safety Centre Open Day
There will be lots to see and do for all the family.
You can meet Cracker the Fire Dog, make the visit that could save your life and take a tour around the Safety Centre, get a close up look at a fire engine or a ride on the Ariel Platform for great views over the whole site.
Meet the new Training and Safety Centre Business Development Manager
Kelly Richardson was interviewed by Safety Centre Guides: Flora Hardman, Greg Brunt and David Britton
Where are you from / where did you grow up?
I grew up in Teesside in the North East of England in a place called Thornaby, I don’t know if anyone has heard of it before … it’s a small village … not much there but its home, I grew up there and I have lived in Manchester for 10 yrs now.
I moved to Manchester for Uni and went to Salford Uni to study Psychology and Counselling but that for me wasn’t enough so I stayed on at Uni and went to Bolton and did Teacher Training; off the back of that I went into teaching, and then educational management, quality management, operational management, a lot of curriculum design, youth work … and now I have ended up here with you guys!
I taught for two years, coordinated/taught as well. I’ve always had some input in delivery whether delivering myself, doing observations for teaching and learning, whether it was developing the curriculum, whether it was doing quality checks such as themed walks through, I have always had a bit of the delivery still within me, as well as youth work and operational management side as well.
I have worked for the educational and training sector for eight years and I’m passionate, I like delivering, I like to see people learn. I have an appreciation of all ages and people and I think that’s why I took this job because for me the vision is all ages and so I’m looking forward to start on the work that’s going to be coming up.
What are you looking forward to the most?
What I’m looking forward to the most are the new projects and events that we’re going to be doing. I’ve got some irons in my fire (is that the right saying?). So, I’ve got some ideas … I won’t show you my list because it looks like the biro is smudged on my pages but I’ve got a lot of things to plan and the first thing that kind of shouts out to me is getting this curriculum for everybody and all ages and it’s not just one set of learners coming to the Safety Centre
Describe yourself in 3 words
I don’t want to sound too big-headed but I think at the minute (this changes as the time goes on) but at the minute after starting this job I am:
Driven, Passionate and Inspired
Do you have any hobbies or unusual skills?
This is a difficult one because I would like to say that I’m a gym bunny but I’m clearly not. I’d like to say that I have some unusual skills but I don’t really think I have, but I like to travel and that’s the thing with me, I always like to have something to look forward to, so I like to travel to different places within the UK or different countries. I like to see new things… but I don’t really have any unusual skills… you might be able to tell me that in a few weeks! Ha!
Do you have favourite food?
I had never had Indian food until I moved to Manchester and my husband introduced me to the Bilash Balti House in Swinton and since then it’s a kind of tradition that we get one every week unless he’s away. So, when he’s away I can diet and when he’s home I can’t ha! That’s my excuse anyway.
What inspired you to work for GMFRS?
This was one of the questions in my interview and there’s something on the website that states “The visit that could save your life” and the answer is that I want to be part in the development of these programmes to potentially save a life and that’s my ultimate goal and for this place to send the key messages but also other messages for example the social issues that are going on at the moment to incorporate them in one stop shop for everybody.
What are your plans for the fire of the Safety Centre?
Well, I think the centre is great isn’t it. I thought I knew what it was about before I visited but when I visited it exceeded anything I could have ever imagined for how real it looks and the facilities that we have. So, first things first, obviously Key Stage 3 and 4. Key Stage One is in the pipeline at the moment but then we have to develop the secondary input provision, broadening to all communities, incorporating other initiatives such as the Survival Academy, the driving programme. Seasonal events and have a discussion with everybody about Halloween and Christmas in the sense of how we further our message in the sense of making them seasonal and themed. Work in partnership with other public services, for example the Ambulance Service and the Police and broadening that and incorporate Charities and, of course the media and TV. We want more media and TV like the Crime Watch Roadshow and the Operational Training in which we were involved recently.
There’s so much we can do that we could be here all day talking about it. But first things first, getting the curriculum right and being more attractive to the other ages and then the community.
Are there any plans to work with adults and elderly people?
Yes, broadening to the community with Key Stage 3 and 4 as a package but then I want to do engagement programmes and also community programmes inviting charities such as Age UK, maybe ESOL -who already are interested in working with us. Yes, there are so many plans but we need to streamline it and start somewhere, so we’re starting with Key Stage 3 and 4 and broaden our offer as time goes on because there’s only so much you can fit at any one time. We need to do things right one step at a time.
The summer holidays are fast approaching, with the heat comes the temptation to take a dip in open water.
In June 2017 the UK experienced a heatwave as we had five consecutive days in which the temperatures were 30+ degrees in some parts of the country with the Met Office reporting that June 21 was the hottest day in 41 years (since 1976).
Unfortunately, during this heatwave there were three casualties who got into difficulties in open water: Two on June 20, a 16yr old boy who was swimming in a reservoir in Rochdale and an elderly lady swimming in the sea in Sussex. The next day another boy aged 15 got into difficulties whilst swimming in a lake in West Midlands. The sad thing is that these are not isolated events and every year we have roughly 150 drownings in the UK.
At the new GMFRS Training and Safety Centre pupils from Seymour Road Academy have been learning how to stay safe from fire and other dangers including drowning.
To learn more about how to stay Safe4summer and a chance to win an iPad visit:
"Best educational trip I have ever taken children on"
When will you make ‘The Visit That Could Save Your Life?’
Nearly 1,500 children from primary schools across Greater Manchester have already visited the new GMFRS Training and Safety Centre to learn how to stay safe from fires and other dangers. The new facility is already a big hit with schools whose pupils have visited and became ‘new recruits’ for the day to take on the role of a firefighter. The learning programme is being developed to make the experience appropriate for both younger and older children and other groups.
Year 6 teacher, Philippa Durkin from Sunny Bank Primary School, Bury said: “We visited the brand new facility yesterday and I was compelled to write an email upon our return.
The title of the half day course for our Year 6 children was "The visit that could save your life!" and I can honestly say it was the best educational trip I have ever taken children on.
The information and how it was conveyed was age-appropriate, all the children were completely engaged with each activity. The comparison rooms showing the difference pre and post fire definitely had the shock factor. Also the chip pan fire experiment showed the children how dangerous fire can be and how quickly it can spread.
When we got back to school, the children demonstrated a better awareness of the dangers that face our firefighters, reiterated by the tragic events in London earlier this week. The children were amazed at how diverse their duties can be and one of the children described that as inspirational- high praise indeed!
We will definitely be booking again for next year, hopefully for the full day. I cannot recommend it enough- superb!”
During Child Safety week pupils from St Michael's, Great Leaver and St Augustine's, Monsall learned how sharing and caring can help keep them safe from fires and other incidents when they became new recruits for the day.
They joined over 1400 other young people who have already made 'The Visit That Could Save Your Life'. to take the interactive and immersive journey, stepping in to the role of a firefighter, listening to 999 calls and learning how to spot hazards in their home.
Ribbon-cutting event opens Training and Safety Centre
AN IMMERSIVE safety centre and cutting-edge emergency service training facility was officially opened on Friday March 24.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) Training and Safety Centre in Bury.
The centre offers visitors a unique immersive experience, featuring various accidents and emergencies that have been built around a real-size terraced street in the facility.
Visitors can explore a car crash scene where expert guides offer road safety advice as well as a hazard-filled terraced house that has been destroyed by fire.
County Fire Officer and Chief Executive of GMFRS, Peter O’Reilly added: “This is a state-of-the-art community centre and training venue that will prove invaluable to Greater Manchester and to the North West as a region.
“We look forward to welcoming members of the public into this incredible centre to teach them about the safety fundamentals around incidents we respond to. Alongside this, our operational staff will be using the training area to refine their skills and explore a variety of scenarios with our emergency service partners to ensure GMFRS remains one of the most forward-thinking and respected fire services in the world.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by schoolchildren from St. Stephen's School, Bury, and local dignitaries including the Fire Authority, Lord Lieutenant and Mayor of Bury.
Staff at the centre are currently running a series of organised visits with local schools and the facility will be open to the public in the summer of this year.
Bury and Ramsbottom Cubs and Scouts good deed at the new Training and Safety Centre
Scouts from Bury and Ramsbottom gave a helping hand during the school holidays to help test the new GMFRS Training and Safety Centre facilities.
The life-size street and houses, carefully themed scenarios and immersive technology were put through their paces as the 17 ‘new recruits’ experienced life in the Control Room and took up the personas of real firefighters to be ‘mobilised’ to use their new skills to identify potential hazards in the home, investigate the cause of a fire and learn some vital first aid skills.
Scout Charlie Davies, 10, said “I really liked the Control Centre as we got to hear what 999 calls are like’, but Cub Hanna Jones, 9, said her favourite part was ‘watching the films’ which were shown in the immersive theatre which depicts ‘a day in the life of’ giving visitors an insight in to the work of GMFRS.
Scout Assistant district commissioner Leesa Beckwith said “We had a fantastic day and it’s been really educational for the Children’.
Testing at the centre will continue with the help of a number of volunteer primary schools from across Greater Manchester until April when live visits will commence.
Bookings are being taken for Key Stage 2 primary schools. Please help spread the word and encourage your child's school or contacts at primary schools to book and make ‘The Visit That Could Save Your Life’.
BOOK NOW to make 'The Visit That Could Save Your Life.
A house fire and anti-social behaviour rounded off filming for the immersive theatre experience which will be screened at the new GMFRS Training and Safety Centre when it opens in 2017.
The high quality, 6K digital format film, fast-forwards through a ‘day in the life of a firefighter’ and will be shown on an expansive, floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall screen, drawing the viewer into the heart of the action and injecting an incredible level of realism for ‘new recruits’.
Blue Watches from Bury and Whitefield demonstrated their firefighting skills as they tackled a fire at a house in Prestwich.
Attack on firefighters
Young people from Hopwood Hall College, Army Cadets, GMFRS Volunteers and the children of John Bottomley, owner of RTK Grab Hire in Bury where the action was filmed tested ed Bury Blue Watch’s nerves and professionalism as they dealt with anti-social behaviour whilst putting out a fire on wasteland.
Hopwood Hall student, Ibrahima Didp, looks on as the Fire and Film Crews prepare the scene.