Temporary fire station installed in Chester as rebuild takes shape
Swift but steady progress is being made to replace the ageing fire station in Chester.
Approval for a new fire station was granted by Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee back in May this year, and Cheshire Fire Authority members confirmed at a meeting in June that they wished to press ahead with the proposals.
Demolition of the old station has commenced with the clearance of the rear garages and training rooms which began in August to make way for the temporary fire station being built in its place. Utilising the existing site ensures the continued provision of emergency cover in Chester and the surrounding areas.
The temporary structure is a two storey building complete with modern kitchen, washing facilities and office space, coupled with a two bay appliance room housing Chester’s existing fire engine and the high reach Aerial Ladder Platform. It will accommodate a separate gym and breathing apparatus facilities, and will become operational in December.
Over the coming months, the new, permanent station will be built alongside it, giving firefighters in the city a more comfortable working environment that is better suited to the practical needs of a modern fire service.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gus O’Rourke said: “I’m excited to see the progress that’s being made on the new station at Chester. As someone who used to work in the old station, I must admit that part of me was sad to see the demolition of a great old building. However, it really was in a poor state and badly in need of replacing, and I’m glad that we’re able to do that.”
The new station will have modern training facilities such as a new training tower, breathing apparatus building and road traffic collision training area, a better working environment for all staff based there, and more space and improved facilities for community engagement.
It will be more cost-effective to run and maintain, environmentally friendly, and have improved accessibility.
Station manager David Rutter added: “Although the old building has gone, we have a temporary fire station in its place, and I can assure residents that there will be no reduction in the service they’re used to receiving.
“It’s really important for us to be able to give our crews a working environment that they deserve. Once built, I think it’s something the city will be really proud of.”
It’s anticipated that construction will take around 15 months to complete, with the new station will be fully operational in early 2021.