‘Flagship’ fire station will increase response times in North Liverpool
A new ‘flagship’ fire station will increase response times in North Liverpool and prepare Merseyside for ‘all foreseeable hazards’.
Liverpool Council has given the green light to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) proposal to build a new fire station on land formerly occupied by Commercial Hydraulics on Long Lane, Fazakerley. The new station will combine existing sites in Croxteth and Aintree, increasing response times in both areas.
A new two-story building will be constructed, consisting of four apparatus bays, including operational and wellness accommodations, office and training facilities, external exercise and training spaces, and a tower of formation of four stages. A Training and Development Academy (TDA) including classrooms, offices, a dining hall, indoor training facilities and a community meeting hall would also be constructed along a mock highway and path of iron for training exercises.
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A canine training base will be included as part of the proposals. Dawn Coward, on behalf of MFRS, said the project represented “an excellent site redevelopment opportunity” and would be divided into three areas comprising training, operations and community areas.
Ms Coward said the new station would be a “flagship” building for the fire and rescue services. Fire Chief Phil Garrigan said the current Aintree site was only served by one crew during the day, while response times in the area were 49 seconds. Responses to Croxteth will also increase by 20 seconds, Officer Garrigan said.
He said overall response times in North Liverpool would improve by an average of 34 seconds. The fire chief added that the MFRS wants to deal with all foreseeable risks to Merseyside and have a facility that ensures it is able to do so.
The main function of the currently vacant site is to be a center of excellence for fire training, with over 60 Fazakerley-based firefighters all working a 24-hour shift model with 15 on duty during each shift. Approximately 50 administrative/training staff would also work on site during normal office hours.
The aspiration of the MFRS is to grow and improve its training offer and eventually become a center of excellence and national training, which would increase employment opportunities on site in addition to redeploying more than 40 members of staff currently involved in delivering training at the Croxteth site. . Twenty additional firefighter positions would be created at the new station, along with a new support staff role, two part-time Prince’s Trust course leaders, one commercial staff member, one full-time management team member facilities and an additional member of the insurance team for National Resilience.
More than a dozen national resilience staff will also be seconded to the new development from stations across the UK. A public consultation was launched by the MFRS on the proposals from July to October last year.
Recommending approval, committee chairman Cllr Tony Concepcion said he really welcomes the new station and that community access would give people the opportunity to see “the dangerous work our services do. fire”.