Fire stations of the world: Prescot Community Fire and Police Station, UK
Fire fighters and neighbourhood police officers moved into a new shared Community Fire and Police Station in Prescot, in northern England, in 2018. The purpose-built station, constructed on a former industrial site at the junction of Manchester Road and Cables Way, will accommodate fire fighters and the area’s local policing team. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Merseyside Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) worked together to bring the joint station to fruition. The project helps the organisations involved continue to deliver a high-quality community service while meeting cuts in Government funding. This is the first time since 1946 that Prescot has had a fire station. With three fire engine bays, the 1 377m2 station has modern training facilities, including a drill tower, which can be used to simulate and practise different types of roof rescue and two rooms available free of charge for use by community groups. The station utilises appliances that are suitable and relevant to the response required, this can be a fire appliance that carries five fire fighters, USAR vehicles, rescue boats, hovercrafts and quad bikes. At present, their emergency response resources include; 28 fire engines, five rescue boats, four aerial appliances and numerous specialist response and support vehicles which are based at 27 fire and rescue stations across Merseyside. Their senior officers respond to incidents in emergency response road vehicles.
Prescot is a city with a population of just over 14 000, with a history of cable making until the late Victorian era. Its current claim to fame is Knowsley Safari Park, which attracts thousands of visitors annually. The two-acre site was chosen for the merger of Huyton and Whiston fire stations as it enables an equitable emergency response cover to both areas, with fire crew providing a 24-hour response. Hundreds of bushes and small trees were planted and a number of bird boxes put up to safeguard on-site wildlife.
As well as fire fighters, the station houses arson prevention teams from Huyton and St Helens and the Prince’s Trust is running courses from the station. Facilities including the kitchen, dining area and gym will be shared by the emergency services, helping to support collaboration.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said, “Prescot Community Fire and Police Station is now operational. We have fire crew working from the station, with more staff set to move in. The station is equipped with modern facilities and located to provide the best possible response to incidents in South Knowsley. The new community fire station allows ourselves and Merseyside Police, to continue to serve the public as effectively as possible, given ongoing budget cuts.”
Cllr Dave Hanratty, Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, said, “This is one of many schemes of joint working with our emergency service colleagues, exploring more effective and efficient ways of working in light of continuous cuts to our budget. This will become a fantastic facility not only for our fire fighters, police and other partners but also for the local community to use on a regular basis."
Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said, “I am pleased that the neighbourhood team and the local fire fighting team are now in a position to start work from the new shared station for Prescot. “This joint community station is a great example of our shared commitment to working together to provide the best possible service to people on Merseyside. Not only will this centre reduce costs and increase efficiency, it will also enable officers and fire fighters to work in closer partnership in facilities which are modern and fit for purpose. This is another step towards fulfilling my 10-year pledge to provide the officers and staff of Merseyside Police the buildings they need to best serve the public, now and for years to come.”
Community police stations are designed to be accessible, visible centres which are co-located with partners in busy neighbourhood hubs which are already well-used by the communities they serve. Once a week, the station will open to enable the local policing team to meet with members of the community and address their concerns.
Cllr Andy Moorhead, Leader of Knowsley Council, said, “The council has worked closely with MFRA to facilitate the development of this new facility. I’m delighted that the building is now operational and will provide modern fire and rescue services for the local community.”
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority secured the site from Knowsley MBC and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government assisted with costs with a £1,7million grant. The building was constructed by Wates Construction.
Wates Construction was appointed to build the station via the North West Construction Hub, a procurement body designed to save time and money in the delivery of public sector building work in the region. Site preparation works began in November 2016 and the building work started early in 2017.
List of apparatus
Cummins/Scania 6 cylinder diesel engine
Gearbox: Allison automatic.
Steering: Hydraulically power assisted.
Brakes: Full air pressure system.
Electrical: 24 volts negative earth system. Two 12 volt 125 ampere hour batteries, 60 amp alternator fitted.
Tyre Pressures: Dennis Sabre Front 105PSI, Rear 80 PSI Scania Front 130 Rear 95PSI
Capacities: Fuel tank (diesel) 125 litres
Engine oil 30 litres
Cooling system 57 litres
Power Steering 4 litres
Gearbox 27,2 litres
1 800lt water /60lt CAFs concentrate
Fire Pump: Godiva World series/CAFs rear mounted 4 200 litres per minute 140mm suction inlet.
3 Low pressure water deliveries
1 Low pressure CAFs delivery
2 high pressure hose reels with 2 or 3 lengths of 21mm diameter hose per drum [60 or 80 metres]
Most fire appliances carry:
Source: Prescot Community Fire and Police Station