Fire stations of the world: New Ramsgate Fire Station in Newington Road opened by Kent Fire and Rescue Service, UK
A new purpose-built £10 million fire station and training centre fit for 21st Century fire fighting was officially opened in Ramsgate in Kent, UK, on 5 February 2019. A brand new £10 million fire station and training centre officially opened in Ramsgate. The base supports 22 fire fighters from full-time Kent Fire and Rescue Service crews and 14 on-call fire fighters allowing them to be ready for emergencies any day of the year. Nick Chard, Chairman of the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, said the site was selected for its good location in terms of accessibility to key road networks and has been built to provide a reliable and efficient modern day service for local people. “As of 7 January 2019, it became home to whole-time crews and 14 on-call fire fighters, together providing an emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Chard.
It is also a base for the British Red Cross, which has a vehicle in the bays alongside the fire engines ready to respond to incidents, which require the charity’s support. In addition, the station provides space that other agencies, such as police and the ambulance service, can use.
The training facility includes a smoke house and marine rig, where realistic scenarios can be created and fire fighters can practice and develop their skills. There are also classroom spaces and a conference style room.
Nick Chard said, “I am delighted to be officially opening the new Ramsgate Fire Station that will provide effective emergency cover for the area for generations to come. It’s in a good location for road networks that will help us provide an excellent emergency service for local people.”
“As well as being an operational fire station and training facility for fire fighters across the county, it’s a hub for partnership working with agencies such as Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service, as well as the British Red Cross who we are happy to share our new premises with,” said Chard.
Richard Collins, Red Cross emergency response officer for Kent, said, “A team of British Red Cross volunteers based at the station can be called out by the fire service at any time of the day or night to help support people affected by fires and other emergencies. Our vehicle is specially equipped with supplies like food and drink, spare clothes, hygiene packs, children’s toys, first aid supplies and useful information that can help people with insurance claims, emergency accommodation and so on.
“We offer people a quiet space to talk or start to come to terms with the situation and work out what happens next. We work very closely in partnership with the fire service, and we’re very happy to join our colleagues at the excellent new station in Ramsgate.”
The old Effingham Street fire station building, which was occupied by the fire service for more than 100 years and designed to for horse drawn manual fire engines, will soon be the property of Ramsgate Town Council and will be retained for community use.
A little piece of the old station's history has made its way to the Newington Road site, in the form of a mould of the original Effingham Street station plaque which now sits in the new station's entrance.
The earliest record we have of a fire station in Ramsgate is dated 1878 in York Street, before relocating to Effingham Street in 1905 and 113 years later moving to its new home, Newington Road.
Sources: Kent Fire and Rescue Service