Fire ‘drama’ at college’s Falkirk campus

Firefighters went through a training exercise at the Falkirk Campus of Forth Valley College
Firefighters went through a training exercise at the Falkirk Campus of Forth Valley College
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Over the years many students have probably wished events at part of the Falkirk Campus of Forth Valley College had actually happened.

But in reality firefighters who ‘raced’ to the Middlefield Building on Grangemouth Road last week were only taking part in a training exercise and it was not in any danger of being burned to the ground.

The former classroom and workshop block is due to be demolished. And crews from Scottish Fire and Rescue took full advantage to practice some firefighting and rescue drills before the bulldozers move in

A dozen firefighters tackled the ‘emergency’ and used breathing equipment to force their way into the smoke-filled building to find the source of the outbreak and rescue anyone trapped inside.

Station manager Martin Riach said he was delighted at the chance to put his crews through their paces.

He added: “This was a very successful exercise, testing both local fire crews in a realistic working environment. There is a need for us as a Fire and Rescue Service to test our procedures in a safe and controlled manner within our local community. Thanks must go to Forth Valley College staff for making it possible.”

Pauline Donaldson, Forth Valley College’s facilities management co-ordinator, who helped organise the link-up with the emergency service, said: “The Middlefield Building has served the college very well over the years and it is great that it can be put to one last very worthwhile use in helping the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to hone their life-saving skills. We were delighted to be able to work closely with them in this way and hope to continue to do so in the future on other projects.”

College principal Dr Ken Thomson said: “The Middlefield Building played an important part in the history of the college and local community. However it is no longer sustainable nor fit for purpose. It is now our priority to deliver the very best environments for our staff and students and we hope to be able to improve the current facilities available on the college’s Falkirk Campus. We have continued to maximise the use of the building even while it is vacant and were delighted to offer it as a training environment for the Fire and Rescue personnel.”

The building is due to be demolished next month.