1984? to 30/3/2012             Cheapside House, Maitland Street, Glasgow.

2/4/2012 to                          Uaill, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Training Centre, Westburn Drive, Cambuslang. G72 7NA.                Photos


Officer in Charge

1979                                                                          Divisional Officer Richard Carroll

1985 to 1988                                                            Senior Divisional Officer Dundas




Cowcaddens Workshops & Breathing Apparatus Training School


Opened by

Councillor Agnes L Ballantyne JP

On Friday 7 April 1978

At 11.00 a.m.


Order of proceedings


Guests Assemble

Platform Party Assembles

Introductory Remarks
Councillor James Jennings, J.P.

 Unveiling of
Commemorative Plaque
Councillor Mrs. A. L. Ballantyne
Chairman Fire and Police Committee

Rev. Matthew Liddell, B.D.
Strathclyde Fire Brigade Chaplain

Vote of Thanks
Richard J. Knowlton, Q.F.S.M.


Tour of Building

Bus to City Halls


Bus to Cowcaddens



<PHOTO> Councillor Mrs. A. L. Ballantyne J.P.
<PHOTO> Councillor James Jennings
<PHOTO> Firemaster Richard J. Knowlton Q.F.S.M. F.I.FireE.


Workshops & Training School

 The Vehicle Repair Workshops and Breathing Apparatus training block represent the initial phase of the new Fire Brigade Headquarters in Glasgow. This particular phase will replace the small units scattered throughout the city and the adjoining localities and provide facilities for major repair and servicing of vehicles.
The design of the Breathing Apparatus Training Unit has been based upon the knowledge and experience gained from the training Establishment at Gullane and Moreton-in-Marsh, together with the detailed discussions held between the Fire Department and the Architects. This project was originally started in 1964 to replace the Central and St. George’s Road Fire Stations, provide storage accommodation, Breathing Apparatus training facilities, Vehicle Repair Workshops, Central Unit and Administration Headquarters for the Glasgow Fire Service. Although with the advent of reorganisation changes were made necessary by the new situation, the basic design has remained. Also included in Phase IA is the Heating Chamber for the entire complex. This will simplify the building of Phase IB, at present under construction, and Phases II and III
The buildings have been evolved with a very close liaison between the Fire Service and the Architects. The functional aspect has been the paramount consideration.
Construction comprises of a Structural Steel frame with a lower span of facing brick and upper areas clad with insulated metal decking. Heating is by gas and a system of gas diffusion has eliminated the need for a chimney.

The Building

 Phase 1A Cowcaddens Workshops and Breathing Apparatus Training School

 This project, the first phase in the Cowcaddens complex, was started on 9th December, 1975.
The workshop building affords the most up-to-date equipment and conditions for all types of repairs and servicing for fire brigade appliances.
The turntable ladder bay has a large roof void specially heightened to enable servicing and repair to be carried out on turntable ladders and hydraulic platforms while they are extended.
The equipment includes the normal servicing pits, hydraulic hoists, electronics bay and rolling road for engine performance and braking tests.
The breathing apparatus training block is among the most advanced and sophisticated in the country. There are two custom built smoke chambers in which a variety of fire and rescue situations can be simulated. The smoke chambers have an inbuilt smoke generator and extractor system.
The smoke chambers are controlled from a central control room, which monitors the position of Breathing Apparatus wearers through positional locating sensors mounted on the floor of the chamber.
A two-way audio system allows realistic sound tracks and background noises to be played during fire exercises.
The training school has both theory and practical lecture rooms equipped with modern teaching aids and facilities.
The project was completed in September, 1977.


Strathclyde Regional Council
Architectural and Related Services

Main Contractor
Melville, Dundas and Whitson.


<PHOTO> Looking down on complex from High Flat?        See Photo
<PHOTOS> 2 views inside the workshops.


Brigade Training Centre 

In January 1979 the brigade had 150 recruits in training and they increased the number of Training Schools to five, opening new ones at Renfrew and West fire stations. The large number of recruits was needed to crew the new 42 hour week and they were being trained at SFSTC Gullane and the five Brigade Training Centres at Bellshill, Renfrew, West, Pollok and Irvine North. Over a period of 20 months they held 14 courses and trained 244 recruits. Bellshill closed in August 1979 and the last training school closed in October 1979.
In February1982 there was a BA Training Centre at Cowcaddens and in February 1983 it was referred to as a Training Centre.

New training school on the way 

The former Salvage Corps HQ in Maitland Street, Glasgow, is set to become the brigade’s new training centre.
This was agreed at the January meeting of the region’s Police and Fire Committee after consideration of a report by Firemaster Clive Halliday.
His report said: “It is proposed that certain training activities will be centred in the building from January and that the programme will be gradually escalated until April. From that time all in-house training organised through brigade HQ will take place there and the building will be designated as the brigade’s official Training School.”
The building was taken over by the regional council last year following the disbandment of the Glasgow Salvage Corps.
(Strathclyde Fireman, No.28, February 1985. Page 1.)


Training Centre for the 21st Century

Councillors give go ahead for £30 million state of the art project 

A new state-of-the-art training centre for firefighters and support staff has been given the go-ahead by the Board of Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.
Councillors have agreed unanimously to spend £30 million on a centre which Chief Officer Brian Sweeney says will be the most advanced of any fire and rescue service in the United Kingdom.
Firefighters will no longer have to learn their skills in the cramped confines of the current training centre at Cowcaddens. Instead, training will take place on a new, 30 acre, site large enough to accommodate a “hazard village”, industrial zone and stretch of motorway where rescue techniques can be taught as realistically as possible.
The artist’s impressions show the scale of the new training centre and the wide range of realistic scenarios to test firefighters.
The task of determining SFR’s training need, designing the facilities to meet that need and finding a site for the training centre was given to the Training & Operational Review Directorate. The Director, Assistant Chief Officer David Hutchison, said: “The current training centre no longer meets modern requirements. The Cowcaddens site is too small and it is really not satisfactory to carry out realistic training such as hot fire training in a city centre location.
The need for a new training centre was also underlined by the enactment of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, which gave fire and rescue services a much wider rescue role within the communities they serve.”
Under the Act, personnel are now legally required to attend a much wider range of incidents including intervention in road traffic collisions, water rescue, rescue from heights, major non-road traffic transport incidents such as rail and air accidents, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear spillages, serious flooding and search and rescue in collapsed structures.
Staff must also undertake new statutory duties in respect of fire investigation, education and prevention.
(SFR news No. 1/2008 Spring Issue. Page 1)


Our New Training Centre

Only the best will do for Strathclyde 

The Training Centre project team, led by Area Commander Robert Scott, was set up in March 2007.
The team found that there was a need to provide classroom and practical based training facilities that required a 30 acre site easily accessible by the motorway network and public transport.
After looking at several possible sites for the centre, the team presented the Board with two sites for further consideration – Clydesmill in Cambuslang,
South Lanarkshire, and at Greenlaw, Patterton, in East Renfrewshire.
At the time of writing, the final site had not been chosen. The Clydesmill site is on the south bank of the River Clyde and will be close to the M74 Extension and easily accessible from three local railway stations. The Patterton site is close to the M77 motorway and Patterton Railway Station on the Glasgow-Neilston line.
Construction of Phase 1 of the centre will replicate and greatly enhance what currently operates at Cowcaddens (Academic Zone, drill yard and service area, multipurpose building for realistic fire training and the Flagship training unit) will start early next year. Work on Phase 1 will start early next year and it is expected it will be completed in early 2011 to allow relocation from the Cowcaddens site.
Construction works for Phase 2 (Residential Zone) and Phase 3 (Industrial and Transport zones) are scheduled to be undertaken during the period 2011 to 2013.
A further project will commence following the completion of phases 1, 2 and 3 to consider the relocation of the Technical Rescue Training Centre from SFR Headquarters, and the establishment of the Water Rescue Zone and health and fitness facilities.
Commenting on the Board’s agreement to go ahead with Phases 1-3, the Convener, Councillor Brian Wallace, said: ‘The Board is committed to giving the people of Strathclyde the best fire and rescue service possible. The new training centre that we have approved today will ensure that our training meets 21st Century standards. Strathclyde Fire & Rescue’s Chief Officer, Brian Sweeney, welcomed the Board’s backing for the training centre, saying: “I am delighted that the Board has agreed to make this major investment in the future of our service and the safety of the communities we serve. The new training centre will be the best available to any fire and rescue service in the United Kingdom. The sheer range of major incidents — from house fires to rail crashes — that will be ‘staged’ at the centre will help to ensure that the training needs of our firefighters are fully met and their safety and welfare is enhanced.”
The centre will include an Academic Zone which will provide a classroom-based training and learning environment for all support staff and firefighters.
This zone will include lecture and conference facilities, an incident command training suite (Hydra/Minerva), health and fitness facilities and kitchen and catering facilities.
Firefighters’ realistic training will take place in the Practical Zone. This zone will comprise:
• A Residential Zone with a tenement building, high rise block, two semi­detached houses and a row of garage workshops. This area will be used primarily to teach firefighting techniques, but the village streets will also be the scene of staged road traffic collisions where firefighters will learn how to deal with such incidents.
• An Industrial Zone with an electric substation, chemical plant with butane gas burn-off pipe and railway tankers.
• A Transport Zone comprising a stretch of motorway with an on and off ramp, a railway with a train and a level crossing, and an underground tunnel and platform.
• A Water Rescue Zone and a Technical Rescue Zone.
• A Drill Yard and Service Area.
(SFR news No. 1/2008 Spring Issue. Page 3)


21st century training for firefighters 

A £30million training centre for Strathclyde's fire fighters is to be created outside Glasgow.
Fire chiefs say it will be the most advanced of its kind in the UK and will offer specialised training for every modern emergency, including rail and road crashes, building explosions, and blazes in high-rise buildings.
For the first time, crews will have access to a mocked up residential village with tenement buildings and a tower block.
The centre will span 30 acres and include an industrial zone with an electrical sub-station, oil refinery, a chemical plant, railway level crossing and tunnel.
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue bosses say the facilities are necessary so crews can prepare properly for recently introduced legislation that gives fire and rescue services a much wider role.
Mocked up village streets and a fake stretch of motorway will be used to stage realistic road crashes.
The centre will replace the current training facilities at Cowcaddens, which the board says no longer meets modern training requirements.
Plans were approved by the Board of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and bosses are looking at two possible sites on the outskirts of the city - Clydesmill in Cambuslang and Greenlaw in Patterton, East Renfrewshire.
The £30m to pay for the new training centre has come from the board's capital fund.
Area commander Robert Scott said: "We are no longer just a fire and rescue service.
Firefighters are expected to provide a much wider role within the community.
"Although staff were always expected to tackle rail and car crashes, this is now a statutory responsibility.
"Often, when firefighters are sent to a job, it will be the first time they have tackled that specific incident. We need to ensure today's crews are trained to the highest possible standards.
"The Cowcaddens centre was given to us in 1986 and the building was never designed to be a training centre. The city centre location is not ideal.
"These new training facilities are only going to improve working conditions for firefighters and also provide the best possible service for the public."
The centre, which is expected to be completed in 2013, will also include an Academic Zone to provide classroom learning with lecture and conference facilities.
Once operational, a water rescue zone and facilities offering training in collapsed buildings will also be set up on the site.
Brian Sweeney, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue's Chief Officer, welcomed the board's backing for the centre.
He said: "I am delighted the board has agreed to make this major investment in the future of our service and the safety of the communities we serve.
"This new training centre will be the best available to any fire and rescue service in the United Kingdom.
"The sheer range of major incidents - from house fires to rail crashes - that will be staged at the centre will help ensure the training needs of our firefighters are fully met and their safety and welfare is enhanced."
There will also be a community education block at the centre to offer fire safety advice to school youngsters.
The project will be completed in three phases. The academic teaching centre, which will replace the existing Cowcaddens facilities, is expected to be completed by 2011, with the rescue zones finished by 2012.
Brian Wallace, board convener for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: "The board is committed to giving the people of Strathclyde the best fire and rescue service possible.
"The new centre will ensure our training meets 21st century standards."
As well as the current training centre, the Cowcaddens site also houses a fire station.
A spokesman said the area would continue to have a fire station and insisted there would be no reduction in cover for the city centre. No decision has been taken about whether the station will remain at the existing site.
(Evening Times 11/04/08)

By August 2011 the BTC at Cowcaddens had changed its name to the Service Training Centre (STC).


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