Sixty years after it designed, fabricated and constructed its first ever fire-training tower in Linton, Cambridgeshire in 1958, Crofton Engineering has replaced the original structure with a new and updated version.
Crofton installed its type FT55 fire-training towers at Linton and several other Cambridgeshire fire stations during the 1960s and has now replaced a total of 11 towers across Cambridgeshire with new type FT66 three-storey towers: Linton, Cottenham, Chatteris, Sawston, Gamlingay, Whittlesey, Littleport, Thorney, Kimbolton, Sawtry and Soham.
The updated FT66 towers that now feature across the county are fully galvanised and feature three drill faces and an extended top frame to improve safety.
Over a period of six months, Crofton demolished and removed the old towers, completed any necessary new groundworks and erected the new steel structures. New foundations were constructed on sites that required them, while at others steel transfer frames were fixed to existing foundations and new towers erected on top. At Thorney, Kimbolton and Sawtry, Crofton demolished old concrete towers. At Littleport, Whittlesey and Soham in the fens, piles were put in to depths of 13m and 16m in order to find secure bedrock beneath the peat subsoil. As part of the civil engineering, Crofton also extended the concrete drill yards at two stations.
Crofton is also located in the Cambridgeshire village of Linton and has worked closely with the community including the fire service, church, college and other local organisations. Over the years, Crofton employees have also served as retained firefighters in Linton, and many of the Crofton team have family who work for the fire service. It designed and built its first fire-training tower five years after the company first formed in 1953 and has since gone one to develop a wide range of standard and customised fire-training towers and fire-training buildings.
‘We have always had an excellent working relationship with Crofton that has enabled us over the years to ensure our staff have training facilities of the highest standards,” said Maurice Moore, property manager, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service. ‘We have found that design, fabrication and installation have always been carried out to the standards appropriate to a quality Fire and Rescue Service. Their contribution to the local community is also worthy of note and has helped us at times to provide fire cover.’
‘Crofton Engineering has had very close links with the Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service from our earliest days,’ said Glen Godfrey director. ‘We developed our first tower design with the help of our local fire service, and their input over the years has helped to us establish its reputation for providing a range of high-quality training buildings for emergency-service use. It is therefore very gratifying to be able to upgrade some of the service’s older towers, in particular our first and closest to home in Linton.’
Research carried out by Crofton Engineering into the requirements for the training of fire officers has produced models designed to conform to current guidance on safety in drill towers, whilst maintaining the basic needs to provide a practical training facility.
Its wide range of towers are employed in over 400 fire stations throughout the UK and internationally, and with constant use over many years, have proved robust and durable. The demands of such diverse site conditions are catered for in the design, and Crofton towers can also provide mounting facilities for telecommunication aerials, abseiling, rope rescue practice or virtually any other adaption that may be required.
Crofton Engineering offer a comprehensive and skilled site installation service. Its own erection crew install its towers, on a ready-prepared base, in just one day, causing minimal disruption to either construction sites or busy operational fire stations. The tough steel construction, with a choice of special anti-corrosion treatments can minimise any need for servicing and gives a virtually indefinite life, or at least 60 years! This is particularly important when severe exposure is likely to be encountered in the farthest reaches of the British Isles.
For more information, go to www.crofton-eng.co.uk