Sandyford Community Fire Station in Stoke-on-Trent will be officially opened by HRH Earl of Wessex on Tuesday 3rd May.
"This official opening is set to be a momentous occasion for the fire and rescue service, not just in Staffordshire, but across the UK."
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Peter Dartford
HRH will be given a tour of the new facilities and will have the opportunity to meet firefighters and members of the community. Junior firefighters will demonstrate their newly acquired firefighting skills, whilst local group, the Workers Education Association, will show how they’re using the station’s gym facilities to improve their health and well-being. At the end of the tour HRH will unveil a plaque marking the official opening of the station.
Guests at the event will include; Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Denver Tolley, Councillors, firefighters and their families, representatives from local schools and community groups.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Peter Dartford said: "This official opening is set to be a momentous occasion for the fire and rescue service, not just in Staffordshire, but across the UK. This building represents a completely new way for our services to be delivered and provides a model for others to follow in the future. We are extremely proud of the new station and more importantly what it means to the communities we serve. The new facilities have enabled us to take community safety to a whole new level; which we look forward to demonstrating to HRH during his visit.
"We feel sure this will be the most impressive, community embracing fire station HRH will have ever visited and we look forward to him giving the station his royal approval."
Firefighters moved into the new community fire station, which comes complete with state of the art training and professional development facilities, in October 2010. The station is crewed around the clock by 28 firefighters working over four shifts.
The station has been designed to provide a range of facilities for the local community and partners to use, including a community meeting room, a dedicated area for student firefighters, a gym for supervised groups and a partnership area. Over 20 groups and organisations including Age UK, Arch, North Staffordshire Cancer Support, Scouts and Foster Carers Support Group are now using the facilities on a regular basis. Over 1000 members of the public visited the station within its first week of opening.