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Firefighters use former pencil factory for vital training

23 November 2018

Simon Overend at fire presentation

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service has thanked Keswick Ministries for allowing on-call firefighters to carry out vital fire and rescue training at the charity’s pencil factory site in Keswick.

The charitable organisation has been commended by Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service at a recent celebration event at Keswick Fire Station.
Since purchasing the site, Keswick Ministries has made the space available to a number of organisations. It has been used as a backdrop for filming, offered free parking to residents during Keswick’s local shopping weekend and served as a training venue for police and fire services training.


“The use of the old Keswick pencil factory as a training venue for Cumbria Fire & Rescue has been invaluable for the development and on-going maintenance of fire crews' skills across both Allerdale & Copeland. There are very few sites in the county which are secure, out of sight from the general public and large enough to accommodate several fire appliances. We have organised multiple vehicle collision scenarios and simulated industrial fires which not only test our crews in a realistic environment, it also provides great opportunities to expose our operational commanders to managing incidents with large numbers of Fire Service resources.” Phil Stannett, Station Manager, West Command.


“The pencil factory is a fantastic site and we have always wanted to ensure that it serves those around us. It is great that we were also able to support the local fire station. We are now looking forward to the next phase of the building’s life that will see it transformed into a venue both for the convention, our bible training courses as well as a space that other organisations in our community can use.” David Sawday, COO, Keswick Ministries.


At the appreciation evening, Keswick Ministries received a certificate, signed by Chief Fire officer Steve Healey, and handed over by Will Richardson, Group Manager, Allerdale and Copeland, in recognition of the ongoing contribution made in supporting on-call firefighting duties for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service.


Simon Overend, Head of Operations at Keswick Ministries, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to attend the Keswick Fire Service Appreciation Evening, honouring those who serve our community as ”on-call firefighters“, and the employers and families that make this possible. ”.