Posted: Friday 17 May 2019, 15:51
OFFICIAL OPENING OF SWADLINCOTE FIRE AND AMBULANCE STATION TO COINCIDE WITH THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ANNUAL CHARITY PLANT SALE
A new community fire and ambulance station for Swadlincote has been officially opened today by the Chair of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Kevin Buttery. The official opening comes as Firefighters open the station doors to the public for the 25th annual plant sale.
Firefighters and Paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) moved into the first purpose built combined Fire and Ambulance Station for Derbyshire in March 2019. The move followed a £3 million project to deliver a modern building on the site of the old station at Civic Way, Swadlincote, a project from year 1-2 of the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 207-2021. Architects James Totty Partnership LLP created a building that has a strong visual impact, projecting the image of a modern, progressive fire and rescue service to the community.
The station boasts a double bay appliance/vehicle garage, accommodation for both fire service and EMAS personnel, training facilities, a smoke training facility built to replicate a typical 3 bedroom house combined with a commercial stairwell, basement, loft and confined space. The station also includes a community room and associated facilities.
Renewable energy features include photovoltaic (solar) panels, sensor LED lighting and water saving features, all designed to reduce the running costs and carbon emission of the new building.
Speaking at the opening, Councillor Buttery said: “It is an honour to open the new community fire and ambulance station for Swadlincote, a shining example of the Fire and Rescue Authorities commitment to collaboration with our blue light colleagues.
“The station is the first purpose built fire and ambulance station in Derbyshire and offers exemplary facilities to all the personnel who will be working in and responding to emergencies from the station, as well providing the Swadlincote community access to modern rooms for community events.”
Chief Operating Officer for East Midlands Ambulance Service, Dave Whiting said: “This is an exciting venture for the emergency services in Derbyshire. We already share premises with fire colleagues in other areas across the East Midlands, and we are keen to continue to collaborate with our blue light colleagues to maintain excellent emergency service delivery to residents, businesses and visitors in Derbyshire.”
Local baker Joanna Evans Cake Design made a replica of the new station to commemorate the official station opening which was also attended by Swadlincote’s Town Crier, Karen Bailey.
The official opening of Swadlincote Fire and Ambulance Station has been timed to coincide with the 25th Annual Swadlincote Fire Station Plant Sale which runs until Friday 24 May 2019, 9-5pm daily.
The first ever plant sale was held in 1993, and with the exception of 2018, it has been held annually ever since, raising over £145,000 through the sale of bedding plants and hanging baskets, all for the Fire Fighters Charity and supporting people from the local area.
Financial awards are considered by a committee of Swadlincote Firefighters on a case-by-case basis in line with four values:
1) Financial awards are not given to registered charities
2) Recipients must live within the Swadlincote Station boundary
3) The award must bring about life improvement
4) Recipients must have exhausted all other means of procuring the money they need
Chair of the committee, Crew Manager Paula Fearn said: “The annual plant sale is well supported and allows us to raise vital funds for the local community and also the Fire Fighters Charity.
“The money raised is considered for financial payments to individuals that meet our awarding criteria, with one notable beneficiary being a young boy who received money to buy a radio hearing aid for his cochlear implants.”
Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Terry McDermott praised the Firefighters at Swadlincote for their charity work, saying: “The money raised through the annual plant sale is a phenomenal amount that is testament to the hard work and dedication of past and present Firefighters. Not only does this money benefit the community, but the sale itself provides an excellent opportunity for the crews to engage with their community, speaking to the many visitors about fire and road safety, as well as potential employment.
“As Swadlincote Station has both full time and On-Call Firefighters, the sale provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the role of On-Call and encourage applications from the local community.”
In addition to the plant sale, the station doors will once again open to the public on Saturday 22 June 2019 11.00 hours – 15.00 hours when the station will host a community open day when everyone is welcome.