The brand new community fire station at Sandyford is this week another step closer as construction work starts.
The £4.5 million state of the art facility, to be located on Reginald Mitchell Way, will open in just one years time.
"Sandyford will not look or feel like a traditional fire station, it has been specifically designed to be inviting to the public and allows for the integration of the community within the fire station."
Peter Dartford, Chief Executive/Chief Fire Officer at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
The station will be crewed 24/7 by 28 firefighters working over four shifts and will house one standard engine alongside two specialist appliances.
The two storey building will include facilities for use by operational staff as well as a community room and a gym which can be used by both firefighters and supervised community groups.
The site will cover an area of 18,000 square metres which will include a training yard and car park. It was a risk profile of the area, based on several years worth of data, that identified Sandyford as an area that would benefit from a fire station.
The location on Reginald Mitchell Way was chosen due to its good access to the road networks in the area.
The new station will complement nearby fire stations in Kidsgrove to the north and Burslem to the south.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford commented: "This is the first newly built fire station in North Staffordshire since Ipstones was built back in 1996.
"The station will really set the standard for the future of fire stations both in Staffordshire and across the UK."
Chairman of the Integrated Asset Programme Board of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Rex Robert OBE said: "It’s taken years of hard work to get to this stage, so to now see actual construction work in progress it’s very rewarding."
"It’s a very exciting time for both the Service and the communities who will benefit from these new facilities."
The station will be the second of ten new stations being built under the £46 million private finance initiative (PFI) project.
The first new station is being built at Rising Brook, Stafford and that will open in July 2010.
The consortium delivering the project is called Fire Support and construction company, Thomas Vale have been contracted to carry out the build.
Steve Ball, Contracts Manager, Thomas Vale said: "We are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious project and look forward to working closely with the Fire and Rescue Authority and the local community.
"Thomas Vale Construction are committed in delivering a quality build which will be a bench mark for future projects within the PFI scheme."