Carlow County Fire & Rescue Service are providing and delivering a range of learning opportunities for firefighters from across Ireland at its Training Centre in Hacketstown, County Carlow. The Training Centre infrastructure has been publicly funded with capital provision from Carlow County Council, the Dept of Housing, Planning & Local Government as well as the National Directorate for Fire & Emergency Management.
Over the past number of years, Carlow County Fire and Rescue Service has constantly developed and improved its ability to deliver the highest standard of training available. In 2017 new firefighter changing facilities and 2 new classrooms were constructed to provide more comfortable learning environment for firefighters who use the facility. The next phase of development for the Training Centre will be to construct a paved yard and rescue from heights training rig to broaden the range of training courses available to recruit firefighters from across Ireland.
Hacketstown Training Centre provides leading training facilities for firefighters in the use of Breathing Apparatus, Compartment Fire Behaviour, Tactical Ventilation, Road Traffic Collision extrication techniques as well as rescues from collisions involving Heavy Goods Vehicles. In 2020, Hacketstown Training Centre was scheduled to host training courses over 150 days, however all training had to be suspended in March in the context of COVID 19. Reservations and interest from Fire Authorities from across Ireland in 2021 is very strong with almost 160 days training reserved already. Prior to the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Training Centre was capable of hosting 2 operational firefighting courses simultaneously with often firefighters from Wexford Fire Service attending training in the use of Breathing Apparatus whilst Carlow Firefighters attended training in Heavy Vehicle Rescue.
Hacketstown Training Centre welcomes learners to the facility from across Ireland and is used regularly by operational firefighters from the following Fire Authorities:
- Carlow Fire Service
- Kilkenny Fire Service
- Kerry Fire Service
- Cork County Fire Service
- Limerick Fire Service
- Tipperary Fire Service
- Waterford Fire Service
- Wicklow Fire Service
- Laois Fire Service
- Offaly Fire Service
- Meath Fire Service
- Louth Fire Service
- Wexford Fire Service
In addition, the Irish Defence Forces and Irish Air Corps utilise the Training Facility as part of their firefighting training prior to deployment on foreign UN missions as well as operational fire cover for Baldonnel aerodrome.
The Training Centre provides many benefits for the local economy with visiting firefighters and instructors staying in local hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and guesthouses as well as local business providing meals and logistical support for training courses in the form of materials, repairs and equipment to support the operation of the facility. The Centre also provides additional employment for Hacketstown firefighters who work diligently supporting visiting Fire Authorities who use the facility for the variety of Training Courses detailed above.
Liam Carroll | A/Chief Fire Officer
Carlow County Fire Service, Fire Station HQ, Green Lane, Carlow
T: 059 9131144