- Friday, 09 September 2016 14:00
Hicks Gate Fire Station welcomed a royal visitor for its official opening today (Friday 9 September).
His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester (above right) was given a tour of the new station where he had the opportunity to see the life-saving equipment based at the site and meet the fire crews who work there.
During his visit The Duke met members of White Watch; he was also presented to the Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham (above left), Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson and members of the AF&RS team involved in developing the station.
Firefighters began responding to emergency calls from the Durley Hill site in April of this year. Since then crews have been called out on more than 400 occasions to a wide range of fires and rescue incidents.
The station is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One fire engine, a foam unit, a salvage unit, the Environmental Response Unit and the Red Cross Emergency Response vehicle are based at the station which took 13 months to build.
Facilities on the site include a training tower, a hot fire training facility and a confined space training facility. Earlier this summer more than 1,800 people attended a family open day at the station.
During his visit The Duke was also shown the environmentally friendly features incorporated into the design, which make it one of the most energy efficient fire stations in the UK.
The station has photovoltaic panels, intelligent heating and lighting systems and advanced insulation which means Avon Fire & Fire & Rescue is hopeful the building will reach the highest DEC ‘A’ energy rating.
Councillor Peter Abraham said: “We are extremely grateful to His Royal Highness for joining us to officially open this fantastic fire station.
“Over the last five months crews have already helped scores of people at a wide range of incidents, and long may this station provide that much valued service.
“We are committed to providing local people with the very best emergency service, and the facilities here reflect that. The innovative ‘green’ features at Hicks Gate not only reduce our impact on the environment, but also saves us money to spend elsewhere on our service delivery.”