Barton-under-Needwood’s new Community Fire Station has been officially opened during a special ceremony.
"This is the 15th new Community Fire Station we have opened and follows the signing of a new deal last week for another 11 to open by 2016. We are getting support from the Government which represents the best part of a £100 million investment in our Service. That suggests that what we are doing is right."
Peter Dartford, Chief Fire Officer.
Lady Hilda Clarke, the wife of the late Sir Stanley Clarke, unveiled the plaque alongside Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford and Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority Len Bloomer.
The fire station, which was originally built in 1965, has benefited from a £925,000 revamp to make it fit for the 21st Century.
It now has a community room and a partnership room as well as a new locker room plus toilet and showering facilities for males and females.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said: "This is the 15th new Community Fire Station we have opened and follows the signing of a new deal last week for another 11 to open by 2016. We are getting support from the Government which represents the best part of a £100 million investment in our Service.
“That suggests that what we are doing is right. But it is not just about new buildings, it is about the people who work in them and who are working to develop a completely different approach as to how we engage with local communities to improve the lives and wellbeing of people in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Staffordshire is the envy of fire and rescue services across the UK."
Toby Wilson, Station Manager, said: “The fire station is very much part of village life at Barton-under-Needwood. The refurbishment is fantastic; it looks as if it is a brand new building and is a real asset to the local community as well as providing up-to-date amenities for fire crews such as the latest technology, improved facilities for training and dedicated facilities for female firefighters.
“Other organisations are also benefiting from our community rooms. The local British Red Cross now meets regularly at the station and later this year local PCSOs will have a base with us.
“I am hoping that the improved facilities will help encourage recruitment of four new retained firefighters for Barton-under-Needwood. Anyone wanting more information about these posts should contact me on 01785 898692.”
The fire station’s 39-week refurbishment was completed in December last year. It was the first station in East Staffordshire to undergo an upgrade.
The station, on Short Lane, was modified in phases to allow firefighters to continue working onsite with minimal disruption to their daily work and the surrounding community.
Uttoxeter Community Fire Station was the first brand new station in East Staffordshire, built under the private finance initiative (PFI) initiative and Burton Fire Station will undergo a complete rebuild under a second £50 million PFI project.