Page 19 - HOT NEWS APRIL 2014
P. 19
The last few years has seen the most dramatic improvement in our building stock since the Service was formed 40 years ago on April 1,1974.
A new City Centre Community Station was provided for us by Grosvenor as part of the Liverpool One development. This was followed by Kensington Community Fire Station, which replaced Low Hill fire station on West Derby Road, as part of a housing and retail development and the new Toxteth station, alongside the Fire Fit Hub. The Workshops at Speke were also replaced by the new facility at Vesty Park, opposite SHQ on Bridle Road.
The most significant of all has been the building of seven new stations under the joint Private Finance Initiative with Lancashire and Cumbria. Southport, Belle Vale, Formby, Birkenhead, Newton-le-Willows, Bootle and Netherton and Kirkdale have all been replaced by state-of-the-art buildings which have transformed working conditions, enabled us to share sites with the ambulance service and other partners and provided us with outstanding facilities in which to work.
The largest individual building project has been the Joint Command and Control Centre at Bridle Road. While it is a joint project with the Police, we have led the project and last month the building was handed over to the Service.
Operational Planning has already moved in and MACC will relocate from Derby Road by the middle of July. The Police will take occupation of the JCC by the end of June.
Everyone who has seen the new building has been impressed by the quality of the facilities and I’m confident when it is completed we will have a facility which will help us and the police continue to deliver an outstanding service.
We are also taking advantage of additional space we have created by providing training facilities on the site, including a training tower, and garaging for specialist vehicles.
Also expanding on the site is the Heritage and Education Centre. Work commences in the next few months on an extension to the existing centre which will enable us to place more of our heritage under cover and on show. This has been made possible by the North West Ambulance Service joining us in the centre and contributing some of their vehicles and memorabilia, along with telent contributing to the costs.
These improvements have been achieved at a particularly challenging time for the Service and I want to congratulate and thank all the staff involved in the different projects and the patience of staff who have been disrupted during the building process.
As a direct consequence of government cuts we have had to reduce the numbers of appliances with stations soon to follow. I remain determined however that we continue to provide excellent working facilities and equipment for all our operational crews and the public of Merseyside in the shape of the assets that do remain.
I also had the opportunity to say thank you to all of our staff past and present over the last 40 years at a service of thanksgiving to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. More than 160 people attended St Nicholas Parish Church in Liverpool and it was particularly pleasing to see how many people from local organisations attended as a mark of respect for the work we do.
Dan Stephens
Chief Fire Officer

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