Fire stations of the world: A new fire station for Plymstock, Plymouth in Devon, UK
The brand-new £2,3 million fire station at Plymstock situated in Plymouth, Devon, UK, has been formally opened on Saturday, 15 October 2022. The new fire station was built on the same Dean Hill site as the former station with the crews responding from a different location during the construction works. The new two-bay fire station will enhance, reflect and complement existing architecture, be better placed when considering the functional requirements of a modern fire station, incorporate enhanced building design and layout, including consideration of sustainability, which will minimise energy use and reduce the carbon footprint.
The modern building will be energy efficient, with a solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof, enhanced heating and is almost entirely naturally ventilated. The design also complements the local architecture.
The new station has a glazed front that opens up the building to the street, allowing passers-by to see inside.
Group manager Simon Carey said, “We are delighted that our crew are now responding from a much improved, modern fire station. We’re really pleased with the facilities now available at Plymstock and I believe we now have one of the best fire stations in the Service.”
Chief fire officer for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, Lee Howell, said it was a "wonderful day". Chief Howell said the new building was fit for purpose and was a "beacon" for the community. He said compared to the old fire station in Plymstock, which was spread across three separate buildings, this new, modern building was "much safer and much more appropriate" for what fire fighters were asked to do. "By having the building designed in this way, it makes it safer for staff to turn out on to the road but it also is a much better use of space, and this building is great. It's a community building, there are opportunities for us to have members of the public come and see what we do. We are a part of the fabric of the community, and we want to continue to not only be visible in the community but also we've got this building now that is a beacon in Plymstock."
Plymstock station commander Neil Willmott said, “The old one-bay station had become very worn out and had always been a challenge being spread out over three different buildings. The new two appliance bay structure will future-proof the station with the continued expansion of the local community. The improvement in facilities for our on-call crew will enable us to complete more training at the site without having to train at other locations.”
The Plymstock crew have operated the Service’s fireboat Vigiles and its predecessors from the river Plym since the 1960s.
The new fire station will help to protect the growing community at Sherford and Saltram Meadow as new homes, schools, leisure facilities and workplaces continue to be built in the local area.
Sources: Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, BBC