The Central and West Brabant Safety Region will soon be the proud owner of one of the most appealing training centres in the country, the Safety Village, with work on the facility continuing at full steam on Pater Geurtjensweg in Tilburg. After an eventful launch phase, the centre will become a location where firefighters can learn and maintain their skills in an inspirational environment, as well as one where hospitality always comes first.
A consortium of companies and organisations are hard at work making this dream come true, and FireWare's contribution has been the experiential design and the integration of the learning and teaching goals. A training centre can become so much more when the all-in experience is given a suitable role in it, especially when catering to the synergy between experience and achieving the learning and teaching goals. When that happens, issues are faced that make all the difference in a thorough course – a focus on dilemmas, leadership, realism and expertise!
The design process, a combination of the latest and the tried and tested methods
The ideas generated by the centre users were collected and inventoried through a range of preparatory and co-creation sessions, and FireWare's designers used that information as a launchpad. Using the proposed framework, a design was created that reflected the experience, learning and teaching goals, the budget, and Tilburg itself. A number of techniques were employed during this process, ranging from Lego Serious Play to virtual reality and 360-degree panorama photos. But we also employed traditional methods in the form of a cardboard model that did duty as a talking point for all the parties throughout the process. The end result was a great combination of the latest innovative technology and tried and tested concepts!
Among other things, the training centre contains two high-tech furnaces and many other training objects created by Saphire. Once again, this process involved a creative partnership, and by using a good conceptual design Saphire was able to produce excellent technical designs, resulting in a better training centre for the users!
A strategic layout
The Safety Village contains three locations where technical first responders can practice, and the mobile canopies mean that exercises can continue irrespective of the weather. A plate for hazardous substances incident response exercises means that both standard exercises as well as deployment exercises can be performed at the training centre.
All the objects have been installed and designed relative to each other so as to create a logical entity. Some locations are isolated so that multiple groups can easily use the centre, while other spots are deliberately devoted to creating an integrated whole, resulting in additional dilemmas that team leaders must face.
Much value gained from the exercises
Special attention was paid to the facilities for assessing exercises, given that proper assessments contribute greatly to the lessons learned from training. But we also took into account object fatigue, a phenomenon that sees participants becoming too familiar with the centre after a given period.
Daily operations are wholly integrated into the design. This not only includes matters such as working cleanly, but also all the logistics that are part of a training centre. How do participants move around? How does one top up the gas tank and what are the logistics involved in delivering and removing car wrecks? All these issues are combined in the experiential design.
The FireWare designers have worked on the most attractive and innovative training centres around the world, thanks to our theatrical background, which means that we adopt a perspective that is just a little different when it comes to these projects. And that perspective works. Just take a look at our portfolio.
At FireWare we are well-aware of what we can and cannot do, which is why we love to collaborate with others, whether parties that are part of the training centre network or part of our own network. That allows us to add true value to the development and construction process.
If you are also interested in creating or modifying a training centre, then please don't hesitate to contact us and together we can look at all the available options!
View our experiential design in 360 degrees
Click on the QR codes below or scan them using your phone to see a 360-degree impression of our experiential design for the Tilburg Safety Village.