FIREFIGHTERS are 'delighted' to have a new space to train.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service crews were able to train at an empty shop in Wallingford last week thanks to retirement home developer, Beechcroft.

The shop, which was originally the 'Rides on Air' cycle shop, has been acquired by Beechcroft and is due to be demolished and replaced by eight apartments adjoining Silversmith Place, a development designed for the over 55s.

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But while empty, the firefighters were allowed to train there last Wednesday for three hours where they used the building for a search and rescue exercise in 'cosmetic smoke'.

Terry Coupar, Station Support of Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue, said: “We are delighted to be able to use the former ‘Rides on Air’ shop in Wallingford town centre. We are always looking for opportunities to train in realistic environments and are very grateful to Beechcroft for giving us this opportunity.

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"Using these premises will help us prepare for all the events that we could face in buildings that are unfamiliar to the crews."

Crews from fire stations in Goring, Watlington and Henley as well as Wallingford took part in the exercise.

Anyone with premises suitable for Fire Service Training can contact Mr Coupar on 07795 315975.