BUXTON’S new community fire station has officially opened its doors during a special event.
The state-of-the-art facility, on Staden Lane, was opened by Cllr David Wilson, chair of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority on Wednesday (October 20) as a large crowd of people, including county and borough councillors, High Peak Mayor David Lomax and those involved in the project looked on.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Sean Frayne said: “This is a significant move forward for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and without the support of Derbyshire Fire Authority it wouldn’t have been possible.
“There has been huge financial investment and that will ensure the High Peak will be served by an effective fire and rescue service not only in terms of prevention but also in terms of protection and response.
“We are looking forward to its effective use by the community because it has been paid for by the community for them to use.”
He added that the new facility will be fit for purpose for at least 50 years.
And Deputy chief fire officer Andy Waldie added: “It is a fantastic facility. The joint working with the cave and mountain rescue teams is going to benefit us greatly.
“The training facilities are second to none and can be used not just by firefighters in Buxton but from across the whole area.
“It has cost about £3.5 million and came in under budget. That is testament to all the work done by the property department to enable that. We did have a pay-off from the old site too.
“It’s all about maximising our resilience and using our money wisely for the population of Derbyshire.”
As well as being the new home for the wholetime and retained fire crews in Buxton, the station also offers a special room which can be used free of charge by community groups or organisations.
Buxton Mountain Rescue Team and Derbyshire Cave Rescue also have their own base and separate facilities on site as do the fire cadets.
The building is one of four ‘resilience centres’ across Derbyshire, which means it can take control of all countywide operations should the fire and rescue service’s headquarters in Derby be out of action for any reason.
The new station replaces the former building on Compton Grove and as well as being built in local limestone, it also boasts a number of energy-saving features such as solar panels and underground water tanks.
During Wednesday’s event, four pupils from Harpur Hill Primary School along with firefighter Ross Pickering from Red Watch and fire cadet Liam Bunka buried a time capsule. The capsule contained drawings by the pupils, who had a won a competition with the theme of fire safety, as well as a copy of the Buxton Advertiser and a Buxton Football Club programme to give people an idea of what life was like in Buxton in October 2011. The burial of the capsule will be marked with a plaque indicating that it should be raised in 50 years time in 2061.
Purpose-built training facilities on site at the new station include a tower which can be used by the fire service and the mountain and cave rescue groups.
There is also a four storey house which can be filled with smoke and used for the firefighters to practice their search and rescue operations in, and the house also has a large basement area which can be used for cave and mountain rescue team training.
The new station also features a unit which can be set up in a variety of formats such as bedrooms, kitchens and more and fires can then be lit in the unit to provide a realistic training environment for the fire crews.
The new fire station has an eight bay appliance room, a gym to maintain the firefighter’s fitness levels, a rest room for the crews and is also home to the protection, intervention and response teams as well as the area office.
Community officers are also based at the new station and can provide fire safety advice to anyone in the community who requests it.
The official opening also featured practical demonstrations from Buxton Red Watch and the fire cadets.
Sixth Buxton Methodist Guides attended the new Buxton fire station last month as part of their fire safety badge.
During their visit they had a tour of the new facility which included the firefighter’s living quarters.
They had the opportunity to sit on a vintage fire engine as well as a modern vehicle for comparison and had a talk on how all the machinery and equipment worked as well as being able to try on the firefighter’s full uniform which they all agreed weighed a tonne!
It gave the girls a new respect for what the firefighters have to endure while keeping everyone safe.