Cornwall's fire chief was joined by a cabinet member as building work started on two new fire stations.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Des Tidbury and Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown cut the turf at to mark the start of construction works for two state of the art community fire station, one in Hayle and one in Tolvaddonand a new service headquarters facility also at Tolvaddon.
The Camborne, Pool and Redruth site will be shared with headquarters which will provide critical services including fire control, training and vehicle and equipment maintenance, as well as being the service’s administrative centre.
The new Hayle Community Fire Station will be a tri-service facility, shared with Devon and Cornwall Police and South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust.
Des and Geoff were joined at the turf cutting ceremony on Monday, April 14, by local members, representatives from South West Ambulance Service, Devon and Cornwall Police, the construction company Kier and Lance Kennedy who was the cabinet member involved in the early stages of the project.
Des said: “This is a fantastic day for Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and I am delighted to officially start the work on the construction of our new facilities. This project gives us the opportunity to provide modern facilities in the right location to replace our existing community fire stations that are over 50 years old. More importantly, we will be able to significantly improve the fire, rescue and community safety service that we deliver 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year to the people of Cornwall. From these new facilities we can reach 13,900 more residents of Cornwall within our 10 minute response time.”
Geoff said: “To get to this stage has required vision, commitment and meticulous planning over a number of years and so I am pleased that my predecessor Lance Kennedy, who played an important role, is here today to share in this historic moment. The new facilities will be environmentally friendly and energy efficient with the Hayle blue light scheme seeing real co-location of emergency services in a modern purpose built facility.
"The Camborne, Pool and Redruth Community Fire Station will provide a 24 hour response to communities across the area through a crew of wholetime and on call staff.
"Not only will this scheme save money and help to protect frontline teams, more importantly it will give the general public a much improved level of service.”
Steve Small, South West Ambulance Service operational locality manager for West Cornwall, said: "South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust is pleased to work with Cornwall Fire & Rescue and Devon and Cornwall Police in building a joint station within the town of Hayle to serve the community and surrounding areas. The new station will provide a 24 hour station delivering an ambulance and Rapid Response Car to the community. It will also provide a dispatch point for other ambulance resources during peak demand times".
John Pollard, Cornwall Councillor for Hayle North, said: “The turf cutting for Hayle 's Community Fire Station marks an important end and a new beginning. Many people have campaigned for years to seek better fire cover for Hayle. I count myself as one of them and at last Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has found a means, sufficient funding and political support to achieve the dream. I thank everyone involved and the ceremony today is the beginning of a new facility with Fire, Police and Ambulance services acting together to provide the level of protection Hayle requires. Well done everyone.”
John Coombe, Cornwall Councillor for Hayle South, added: “I would like to thank all concerned in fulfilling, which was only a dream for over 25 years for Hayle, to come to fruition. This puts Hayle in a far better position for fire cover together with police and ambulance in a fast growing town. I would like to thank all concerned for their unstinting support for this project. Congratulations for a job well done.”
Malcolm Moyle, the Cornwall Councillor for Pool and Tehidy, said: “ I am delighted that work is finally beginning on this important project”.
Brian Rice, Devon and Cornwall area manager for Kier Construction, said “The new fire stations will provide the latest facilities and we are very pleased to be carrying out the building work. We will be working very hard, in partnership with Cornwall Council, to deliver this project which will contribute towards efficiency savings and improve the level of service for the people of Cornwall.”
It is anticipated that the new community fire stations will be completed in late 2014, with Service Headquarters completed in early 2015. This will be subject to the weather which may cause delays to the construction process.