London Fire Brigade

Firefighters get awarded for living The Good Life

17 May 2011

A fire station that would rival Tom and Barbara in the TV show The Good Life has won greenest fire station of the year following a London wide competition to find the most energy efficient.

The fire station, in Surbiton where The Good Life was set, has succeeded in converting a roof terrace into an area where they can grow their own vegetables and fruit. Strawberries, potatoes and figs have been grown and used to feed the hungry crews. This has allowed the station in a small way to become self sufficient.  

The third annual competition focuses on the firefighter’s efforts to reduce energy consumption, rather than factoring in green technology like solar panels or heating controls.

Data was taken over an eight day period from the 2 April to 9 April and compared with the previous eight days. Surbiton reduced its electricity and gas consumption by 11 per cent and its carbon emissions by 9 per cent.

Firefighter Simon JakemanFirefighter Simon Jakeman said: “I hope what we’re doing here inspires other people to be greener. In my spare time I am involved in a community project with neighbours, friends and family to grow our own food. It’s all come from the idea that everything is interconnected and that we all need to reconnect just a little bit and bring the good life back to our communities, by growing together.”

Firefighters at Surbiton have also made sure that lights are switched off when not needed and set up bins where uniforms and coat hangers can be recycled. This has all been encouraged by Station Manger Mark Ripley who has provided a notice board where crews can find out information on how to be green.

The station received a £250 cheque from TEAM Energy Auditing Agency which was donated to the FireFighters Charity.

Borough Commander John Elwell said: “I am really proud of the effort the firefighters have shown to saving energy especially firefighters Simon Jakeman and Joe Martin. As green champions they are always coming up with new ideas and have worked tirelessly at making the station energy efficient.”


Notes to Editors

London Fire Brigade’s green projects led to savings of £260,000 in 2009/10 and over the last five years the Brigade has saved over £1 million. Despite the organisation growing overall, carbon emissions from its buildings are down by over 20 per cent on 1990 levels.

To learn more about Simon Jakeman’s community project go to His son Finlay (6) helped with the garden and on his own selected the flowers which are coloured red, blue, white and green to represent the colours of the watches at the station.

The Good Life ran on BBC1 from 1975-1978.

TEAM (Energy Auditing Agency Ltd) was founded in 1985 and provides the most widely used Monitoring & Targeting software in the UK, along with specialised utility bill validation and consultancy services.