Fire stations of the world: Wyre Forest Fire Station officially opens in Kidderminster, UK
UK’s Wyre Forest Fire Station was officially opened on 3 September 2021 by Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority officials and fire service commanders. The fire station on Stourport Road has been in use since February 2020 but an official opening ceremony was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. McPhillips delivered this new build fire station complete with state-of-the-art rescue training facilities for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service on a brownfield site off the A451 Stourport Road in Kidderminster. Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has 25 fire stations with 41 fire engines strategically located across the two counties.
The new two storey 1706m2 GIFA main building has five fire appliance bays, residential and leisure facilities for fire service personnel along with administrative office space for the co-located police officers and Severn Area Rescue Association volunteer lifeboat personnel and equipment. There is also an external single storey three-bay garage area of 231m2 and a two storey hot training building of 251m2 with realistic burn rooms.
Externally the 11 715m2 concrete yard and parking has a water pit for training water rescue teams and an area equipped with street furniture and lighting columns for crashed vehicle extraction training.
The £7,5 million project saw the merge of Bewdley, Stourport and Kidderminster fire stations into one centralised hub. All three fire stations closed in February 2020.
The new Wyre Forest Fire Station was officially opened by Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority chairman Councillor Kit Taylor. Several members of the Senior Management Board as well as representatives from West Mercia Police, Severn Area Rescue Association and contractors McPhillips gathered at the new station to watch Councillor Taylor cut the ribbon.
“I am delighted to open this new hub,” said Cllr Taylor. “This demonstrates how we are investing in the Fire Service. This fantastic modern facility places the organisation at the forefront of fire fighting facilities, not only today but also over the next 20 years.”
Cllr Taylor went on to thank all those involved, singling out Station Commander Daryl Justice, Watch Commander Len Rees and retired Watch Commander Mike Jenkins who, he said, were the main drivers of the project.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Pryce thanked contractors McPhillips for the superb job they had done. “This is a wonderful facility that delivers not only for the communities of Bewdley, Stourport and Kidderminster but for the Fire Service as a whole,” he said.
“It’s been great to get all of the partners in the project here today to see the facility formally opened. Our ambition is to make optimum use of the site and to move our training centre here, given the size and the area available we want to carry on the journey of providing first class training facilities”, said CFO Pryce.
Councillor Taylor said, “The new facility brings everyone together. It is a great facility and I am so glad construction work began when it did as the land we have here is amazing. It brings everyone together as we have a neighbourhood policing team and Severn Area Rescue Association operating out of the station. Everyone can see the fire station as the building is great and people know where it is. We have so much equipment here and the quality of people we have here, whether that be the fire fighters or people behind the scenes is superb.”
Daryl Justice, station commander, oversaw the relocation of all three fire stations and the design of the new hub. He said, “It is unique, as all the fire crews played a part in designing the building. It is one of the biggest and best stations in the country and is the first time three fire stations have combined into one. Through his process we have made no redundancies, gained more fire engines and more equipment. The end result is fantastic as is our work force.”
The project was partially funded by the Government Fire Transformation fund which saw a contribution of £2,38 million.
Source: Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, McPhillips