New fire station
Building work on a new community fire station for Cradley Heath and Halesowen is set to start later this month (July).
The state-of-the art, split-level building will stand on a 1.1-acre site next to Haden Hill leisure centre in Cradley Heath, facing the junction of Halesowen Road and Barrs Road.
The project, made possible after a successful bid for new-build funding from the Government, will cost in the region of £4m.
It is expected that the building will take around 40 weeks to complete, and be fully operational by April 2014. It has been designed by architects and consultants Savills, who will also manage its delivery. The building contractors are Walsall-based Bullock Construction Ltd, who will employ some young people from local construction colleges on the project as part of the deal.
The station will be a base for 44 firefighters and a fire engine. It will have three vehicles bays, with a new Brigade Response Vehicle (BRV) expected to be housed there from 2015. A West Midlands Ambulance Service vehicle and crew will also start and end their duties from the site.
Fire crews who will be based there have designed a range of integral training facilities. These will include configurable doors, windows and walls which will provide suitable spaces for training in breathing apparatus, ladder drills and working at height.
Behind the station there will also be purpose-designed area where the firefighters can practise the skills they need to respond to road traffic collisions, complete with removable street ‘furniture’ such as bollards and lampposts.
The main building will also include:
• facilities for use by the local community
• built-in educational features to help teach visitors about fire and electrical safety
• an eco-friendly ‘green’ roof, complete with power-generating photovoltaic cells
• a kitchen, mess room and gym for firefighters to maintain their strength and fitness levels.
Councillor John Edwards, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We are keeping our promise to people in Halesowen and Cradley Heath to provide a brand new fire station, ideally located to serve local communities and to meet our five-minute target response time for life-threatening incidents.
“We are also delivering on our pledge to direct our rapidly reducing budget towards our front line. Fire Authority priorities are all about stations, crews, equipment and prevention. This is how we will meet our aim of making West Midlands safer.”
Phil Hales, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide this state-of-the art facility for our firefighters. The building clearly demonstrates our commitment to the local area, and we hope that people will make full use of its community facilities. I’m sure it will be a place we can all be proud of.”
Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Press Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. On Twitter we’re @WestMidsFire