Coventry’s new community fire station will be officially opened this weekend – and it’s throwing open its doors to the public!
Following an opening ceremony for invited guests, the Radford Road site will be staging a road safety awareness day from 12noon until 4pm on Sunday (2 June), to coincide with the city’s two-day MotoFest.
Visitors will be able to tour the new fire station and watch firefighters giving demonstrations of how they rescue people from car crashes and give first aid. Advice will also be available on the safe fitting of child car seats.
There’ll be a visit from our fire investigation dog and our fire motorbike will also be on display.
Would-be firefighters aged 16 and over can attend a pre-recruitment talk at 1pm.
Entertainment will be provided by our very own wind band and choir.
Chief Fire Officer Phil Loach said: “The evidence from our Integrated Risk Management Plan and Community Safety Strategy reaffirmed that the existing site was optimum for achieving our risk-based, five-minute response time.
“That response standard is at the heart of the new station’s design. We know from our studies of reaction times that seconds do count, so the functional and most-used spaces are nearest to the engine house.
“The previous station was four decades old. Its replacement gives the city’s firefighters a modern base at the heart of the community. From it they carry out extensive community and business fire safety work, focusing on vulnerable people and premises most in need of their skills and expert knowledge.”
Councillor John Edwards, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “We’re proud of the role that all of our stations play in their communities, and I’m sure that Coventry’s new one will be no exception. I’m confident that everyone who visits on Sunday will see it as a valuable community asset.”
The city station’s firefighters relocated while their old base was replaced with West Midlands Fire Service’s (WMFS) newest build. Operational since December, the Radford Road project was designed by Bond Bryan Architects and built by Wilmot Dixon.
Richard Stanton, Group Commander for Coventry and Solihull, said: “We’re very proud of our new station. It’s a fantastic community facility and we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors on Sunday.
“The station includes a large, dedicated space for community use which is complemented by another area currently being used by a partner organisation. The gym facilities will also be available for initiatives with health agencies.
“Our fire cadets used to be limited to a standalone area of the old station, but a great advantage of the new one is that they’re now integrated with our operational crews. Sunday will also be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the cadets’ 30th anniversary.”
And the turnout system incorporated into the design is the first of its kind at WMFS.
“The technology alerts crews to the incident type and location, plus who’s going, all as they’re heading to the vehicles,” added G/Cmdr Stanton. “Reaction times are already showing significant improvements. We’re now looking at displaying their initial route on screens by the engine bay doors, which they’ll see as they mobilise.”
When they return from an incident, firefighters enter a ‘dirty’ kit cleaning and drying area before a ‘clean’ zone where they get fresh kit before reaching the station’s office areas. An innovative kit heating system allows kit to be dried faster and to be ready for operational use much quicker than traditional drying rooms.
Improvements to the station’s pre-existing fire house should be completed by Spring 2020, ensuring it meets the training needs of a 21st Century fire and rescue service.