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The Project Brief

In 2010, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service underwent a dramatic update of the training facilities in their headquarters in Winsford. The Piranha team were contacted and tasked with creating a training environment which would simulate the world in as realistic a way as possible, using technology which would ensure the suite could operate all year-round and therefore that the training would no longer be weather dependant. This new suite needed to provide full sensory immersion and therefore required the ability to control temperature, light levels, auditory stimulation, and visual information.


Key requirements for the new suite included:

- The ability to manage high level software without compromising on ease-of-use
- Maximum Longevity
- High quality in order that it be fit for the operational incident commanders and crew managers who would be using it
- Control over all sensory stimulation

- Cost-effectivity

The Piranha Solution

 The suite itself is made up of a lecture theatre/briefing room, four sensory ‘pods’ in which the software simulation takes place, two control rooms, and a command vehicle with the ability to double-up as a fifth sensory ‘pod’. The virtual incident takes place in the centre-point of the four spaces, therefore giving each pod a different perspective angle.


Piranha installed the following in each pod:
- Wall-to-wall projection to display the user’s view of the incident
- Wall-mounted speakers for sound effects
- Ceiling-mounted speakers for communication from the control room
- A link to the control room with two-way sound and a live CCTV feed
- A small display screen with a countdown/up timer
- Large plasma screens to play video footage e.g. mock news broadcasts (The two larger pods)


In the control rooms we installed:
- Eight computers
- Two large plasma screens
- Headset communication system
- Multiple DVD players


The lecture theatre/briefing room has also been fully equipped and runs off a Crestron Control system to ensure ease-of-use.


Due to the high standard of the completed training suite, and Cheshire Fire Service’s expert use of the facilities, the organisation recently received the ‘Driving Efficiency Through Technology’ award. The judges of this award commented that "This project has the potential for use across the country.  It has shown significant savings and [we] were particularly impressed with the tangible benefits and the fantastic, passionate team”. The suite itself has been “hailed as one of the best training facilities of its kind in the UK.” Piranha AV want to extend their congratulations to Cheshire Fire and are extremely proud to have been a part of this award-winning project.


This state-of-the-art, award-winning Audio Visual solution was delivered within the specified time period and met all of the client’s specific requirements.

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