Fire stations of the world: Leytonstone Fire Station in London, UK
London Fire Brigade’s Leytonstone Fire Station officially opened in February 2016 as part of a major £51,5m rebuilding programme across the capital. Located on the same 466 High Road site, the new building replaces the old station, which served the community for 100 years or since 1911 and was demolished in 2014. It includes three larger vehicles bays, which are better able to accommodate the service’s latest fire engines, a four storey drill tower for training at the rear of the building, offices and meeting rooms, a gym, lecture and quiet study rooms and a kitchen and dining area for fire fighters.
The main building is of two storeys and incorporates the two faces of the clock which adorned the earlier building. There are separate shower, changing and resting areas that can be modified to accommodate the different male to female ratio on each watch.
Leytonstone is a town in east London, England, within the London Borough of Waltham Forest and has a population of 12 879 (ward, 2011).
The rebuilt station also includes areas the public can visit to access fire safety information, as well as a community room, which will be available for bookings.
The building draws energy for power and heating from renewable sources including solar panels.
The construction project is part of the London Fire Brigade’s ongoing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme that will eventually see nine of London’s fire stations coming to the end of their life-span replaced by brand new buildings.
Building work on the new Leytonstone Fire Station began in December 2014 and was carried out by the Brigade’s PFI delivery partner Blue3, a Kier-led consortium. During the construction phase of the project Leytonstone’s fire fighters and appliances operated out of Leyton fire station.
Waltham Forest’s borough commander Jamie Jenkins said at its opening, "This brand new fire station is good news for our fire fighters and good news for the local community. The previous station had served the community well for many years but was coming to the end of its working life and no longer met the demands of a modern fire and rescue service. This fantastic new station provides us with facilities fit for the 21st Century and reinforces our commitment to providing the best possible fire service to the people of Leytonstone and Waltham Forest and to London as a whole.”
The fire engine was replaced in 2017 with the first appliance responding to 999 calls based at Leytonstone Fire Station, with a new vehicle being rolled out to stations across London. The new model specifications include high-pressure hoses delivering twice as much water than the hoses on the previous model of fire appliance, which means that fire fighter can tackle fires more effectively; electronically-controlled water pumps that can be operated with a single touch of a button; a different shaped ‘crew cab’, which will provide improved safety and comfort for fire fighters; extra reflective markings which will improve visibility for other road users in low light; blue ‘repeater’ lights on the foremost front corners of the cab to make driving through heavy city traffic easier and EURO VI engine, which further reduces emission levels compared to the previous model and complies with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone.
Emergency One (UK) Limited was subcontracted to build the new vehicles by Babcock International Group PLC who are responsible, under a 21-year contract, for London Fire Brigade fleet maintenance and repair.
Fire station doors
Jewers Doors completed the installation the Swift fast acting, bi-fold doors at the Leytonstone Fire Station, one of nine new London Fire Brigade (LFB) stations. "LFB have been specifying bi-folding doors to all new and refurbishment projects for over 25 years and Jewers have been supplying a large proportion of those projects, so Swift doors were first choice for Kier on this 28 year PFI project.” commented Mark Jewers, director of Jewers Doors. “The Swift door opens fully in less than seven seconds, making them ideal for fire stations where appliances need to exit rapidly under ‘blue light’ emergency response conditions. That’s less than half the time it takes for typical vertical lifting doors to open.”
Swift doors are designed with safety and security as standard. Leading edges of the door are fitted with full height pressure sensitive edges, so if a door meets any resistance during closing, it immediately stops and reverses. In addition, photocell beams inside and outside, creating a safe area around the door, which greatly reduces the risk of an impact ever occurring. In the event of power failure, each door can be instantly and effortlessly opened by hand in around two seconds.
Sources: The West Sussex Guardian