Quasar Centre a surefire success

Brothers Brandon (8) and Ethan Wood (6) are all fired up to use the fun quasar centre with Shropshire firefighter Russell Goodwin

The Quasar centre in Shrewsbury where sharpshooters go on a fun target shoot has been declared a "perfect" training ground in BA and Guideline exercises for Shropshire firefighters.

They are using the popular leisure attraction at AMF Bowling in Shrewsbury as a training venue for new Retained Duty System (RDS) recruits.

Firefighters have discovered that the 25m x 15m building on three levels with its blackened interior is the best place to train firefighters in search and rescue skills.

The Quasar centre is filled with synthetic smoke to simulate a burning Shropshire factory or office where firefighters wearing breathing apparatus learn to secure Guidelines and carry out searches for dummy bodies.

Training instructor Jon Temple, who used to work at the bowling alley, asked the centre organisers – where his brother is deputy manager – if the brigade could use the venue.

"AMF Bowling has been very helpful in offering us the use of their Quasar centre for our BA training sessions. We will now be able to put all our new RDS recruits through this unfamiliar yet very realistic BA training at this new venue.

"AMF Bowling is a near perfect place to train, with ideal facilities. If other brigades nationally have not already done so, many could consider approaching other Quasar centres and receive the same benefits we have," said Sub Officer Temple, who works at the brigade's training school at Telford fire station.

Adam Hirons, a retained firefighter from Bridgnorth who works during the daytime as a quality inspector at Shropshire castings manufacturer, is one of the first new recruits to be put through his paces.

"It is a very realistic building to practice our skills. It replicates a real life situation where perhaps a factory is on fire and there can be racking inside and we have to find people trapped inside."

He and his colleague Nick Evans, a sawmill foreman at Bishops Castle, along with firefighting colleague Russell Goodwin, of Minsterley, attended a training session with instructors Scott Hurford and Darren Smith.

Around 40 RDS recruits will receive training at the Quasar centre each year with possibly many more already trained firefighters using the centre for continuation training.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond praised AMF Bowling for contributing to fire safety in Shropshire.

He presented the company with a plaque and certificate to thank them for their support.

"This is an invaluable training facility offered to us by AMF Bowling. A building like this is hard to come by and it offers a safe environment in which we can train our firefighters."

Deputy Manager Mark Temple said: "We are more than pleased to help by offering our attraction to help train Shropshire firefighters."

Firefighter Russell Goodwin undergoes training at the quasar centre with instructor Scott Hurford

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Paul Raymond presents AMF Bowling deputy manager Mark Temple with a plaque in recognition of the company's support for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service training

27th June, 2008