Old Kent Road’s brand new fire station opened yesterday, Tuesday, 24 March.
Firefighters began operating from the new station built on the existing site, yesterday morning. The crews and their engines had been operating from Deptford and Dockhead fire stations while the rebuild took place.
Built by Blue3 (a Kier led consortium), the new state-of-the-art building provides crews with brand new facilities fit for the 21st century. Building work on the new fire station began in October 2013 and was completed earlier this month.
Yesterday, firefighters at Dockhead fire station temporarily relocated to Deptford fire station, which is hosting them while upgrade work takes place at their station. Building work is planned to last for approximately one year, with the station’s pump ladder and its crew expected to move into the new station in early 2016.
The construction project is part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project which will see nine London fire stations coming to the end of their life, replaced by brand new buildings.
Southwark Borough Commander Simon Tuhill said: "This brand new fire station is good news for the local community. The previous Old Kent Road station no longer met the demands of a modern fire and rescue service.
"The new station will provide us with facilities fit for the 21st century and reinforces our commitment to providing the best possible service to Londoners."
The new station features a larger appliance bay, a four storey training tower, drill yard and an area for road traffic collision training. It also houses a station office, lecture and quiet study rooms and a kitchen and dining area for firefighters. There are also separate shower, changing and resting areas that can be modified to accommodate the different male to female ratio on each watch.
There are now also areas within the station that the public can visit to access important fire safety information, as well as a community room available for bookings. The building meets the highest environmental standards and uses sun pipes and roof lights to draw in natural light. Solar panels also help to reduce energy and running costs.