Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Scott Norman, and Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, at Hingham fire station's new drill tower.

Pictured are DeputDeputy Chief Fire Officer, Scott Norman, and Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, at Hingham fire station’s new drill tower, part of a £1.75 million investment by Norfolk County Council in 21 new training towers which was completed earlier this month.

It means that fire fighters can recreate real-life scenarios involving incidents at height, while still being available on local stations to respond to emergency calls.Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: “It is vital that fire fighters in our county get the best quality training facilities, so that we can ensure the public will continue to be safe. The new training towers are a good step towards achieving this goal and I am sure the fire fighters will find them highly beneficial during regular training sessions. The towers have many safety features in place which means the fire fighters can train with peace of mind.”

After receiving funding and planning approvals in 2020, construction began on new training towers at the following stations: Cromer, Holt, Mundesley, Acle, Martham, Stalham, Wroxham, Heacham, Massingham, Sandringham, Harleston, Hingham, Loddon, Long Stratton, Aylsham, Reepham, Wells, Methwold, Swaffham and East Harling fire stations.

Scott Norman, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “Our old training towers needed replacing and modernising. We pride ourselves on excellent facility standards and staff safety. These new four-storey towers will ensure our workforce will be best protected from harm while training to work at height.”

The new towers are mainly replacing older ones which had come to the end of their useful life. This includes a new tower at West Walton fire station which previously did not have this facility- this will be built in the near future.

Working at height training is vital in ensuring that fire crews are competent and safe while practising for dangerous rescues at height. By having access to state-of-the-art training towers, crews across Norfolk can better prepare for working at height to ensure they can save residents in the safest manner possible.

After delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, work was recently completed on these towers.