Dignitaries and community members were thoroughly impressed with the new South Kirkby Fire Station after a ‘first glimpse’ during its official opening today.
Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, David Dinmore MBE, revealed a gleaming plaque celebrating the station which he called a “great facility”.
The first spade sank into the soil on a cold morning in December 2013 at the new site located off Avenue Lodeve, South Kirkby Business Park.
Today it was with great pride that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) showcased the station, which has been operational since mid-January.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley and Fire Authority Chair, Councillor Judith Hughes, welcomed the Deputy Lieutenant as well as other dignitaries including Mayor of South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council, Councillor John Taylor, and Deputy Mayor of South Elmsall Town Council, Councillor Joyce Tunstall.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley said: “The new fire station at South Kirkby represents a significant investment by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority. It is the first of eight fire stations being built as part of an extensive modernisation programme across West Yorkshire.
“The fire station cost almost £2 million to build and will save around £500,000 each year so within four years it will have paid for itself.
“We are delighted to have opened this fantastic facility and are incredibly proud of the team effort that has gone in from all those who contributed towards its success – from its inception through to its launch.”
Cllr Judith Hughes added: “The opening of South Kirkby is the latest in a series of improvements The Authority is making to the way fire cover is delivered across the county and we feel confident it is well equipped to serve the local community for many years to come.”
Mr Dinmore added: “I have never had the misfortune to require the services of a fire and rescue service but speak on behalf of the local population in acknowledging the wonderful service that firefighters do on their behalf.”
Mr Dinmore said the words used when a ship is launched were suitable for the occasion.
“God bless this station and all who serve in her,” he added.
Staffed by a total of 13 firefighters, the new station will work across two shifts on a ‘close call’ system, providing fire cover 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
The two-bay fire station is a single storey building which provides all of the necessary operational space for personnel and associated vehicles.
A new provision is the inclusion of a fully accessible multi-purpose room, which will be available for community use and may be shared with our service partners. Modern training facilities include a training tower with dry-riser training facility.
The new station is a replacement for its former whole-time predecessor, South Elmsall Fire Station, which closed when the new fire station opened in January. The retained (part-time) Hemsworth Fire Station has also very recently closed as a result of the relocation of South Elmsall to South Kirkby.
The new site has been chosen for its optimum location providing good access into Hemsworth, South Elmsall, South Kirkby and surrounding areas.