Firefighters, public figures and residents celebrated the official opening of the new Rugeley Community Fire Station last night (Monday).
“This station has already proved to be a fantastic hub for the community as well as our firefighters. It has also meant we have been able to further strengthen our links to the residents and organisations within Rugeley and give community groups a place to meet."
Station Manager Paul Cullen
he event was attended by Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority Cllr Stephen Sweeney and Chief Fire Officer Rebecca Bryant but the honour of opening the station was given to local resident and CESS charity worker Christine Leech.
Christine first came into the contact with firefighters at the station 14 years ago when she was a local Street Warden. The relationship has developed over the years and Christine has worked alongside the watch at the station on a number of projects and activities. The watch at the station asked for Christine to have the honour of opening the station as a thank you for her commitment and dedication to the local community.
Unveiling the plaque, Christine said: “At first I thought I was being invited to the opening as a guest, which I was pleased about, I was gobsmacked though when the firefighters explained I was actually going to be officially opening the station.
“The watch at the station are so family orientated and the community means everything to them so I was extremely proud to have the honour of opening this wonderful facility.”
Station Manager Paul Cullen said: “This station has already proved to be a fantastic hub for the community as well as our firefighters. It has also meant we have been able to further strengthen our links to the residents and organisations within Rugeley and give community groups a place to meet.
“This greater level of engagement means that we can work with residents in order to prevent incidents happening in the first place, which, in turn, will save lives. The new community fire station also has far superior training facilities and amenities which allow crews to continue providing a first-class emergency response.”
Firefighters moved into the new community fire station in 26th January 2015. The building 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 cadets, a gym for supervised groups and a partnership area. The station is crewed by 20 firefighters who are retained, meaning they respond to incidents via a pager.
Community and partner groups interested in booking the free community room facilities at Rugeley, which seat up to 20 people, should contact Harry Cameron on 01785 898540. Slots are available weekdays from 9am – 10pm and at weekends from 9am – 5pm.