All change as £2m base opens

In the new kitchen at Fleetwood Fire Station are Crew Manager Nick Robinson and Firefighter Paula Richards
In the new kitchen at Fleetwood Fire Station are Crew Manager Nick Robinson and Firefighter Paula Richards

FLEETWOOD’s new fire station has opened and it’s all change for the fire crew.

As well as enjoying state-of-the-art facilities, those ensuring the safety of the public are now working 24-hour shifts.

And with the choice of running shifts together they can often spend days at a time living at the new £2m station on Radcliffe Road.

Crew manager Nick Robinson said: “It’s good and only those who wanted to work the new shifts are here. The others have gone to other stations.

“It means you get more quality time at home – you get a longer stretch at home.

“The fire service is a second family, we are very close because you are working with the same people.

“But you might not see some people for a long time because of the shift patterns.

“It keeps things fresh and it’s really good.”

Working the shift system are 14 staff who have to work 15 days per month and the new arrangement means there has been a saving of £400,000 per year in Fleetwood.

The result is the new station has an accommodation block and a new recreation room and state-of-the-art gym and, for the first time in Fleetwood, the traditional fireman’s pole.

A gleaming new canteen and kitchen are also in the new building which has replaced a 1960s property which was past it sell-by date.

A key part of the development is a meeting room which will be open to outside groups as the brigade bids to reach out into the community.

Crew manager Robinson said: “Moving in while staying operational has been a problem but we have made it and were are looking forward to using the building.”

An official opening of the building is being planned and there will also be a community open day, probably in September after schools have returned from the summer holidays.