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LESS than a year after the first brick was laid in Robin Park Road, firefighters have moved into a brand new station and are turning out to incidents from there.
The announcement follows a steel signing event at the site in October 2016, when local schoolchildren joined staff members from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for the celebration.
Yesterday (June 21) firefighters from Blue Watch at GMFRS were first to work from the station, who are pleased to move into the new building which they will share with NWAS colleagues later in the year.
Crew Manager Jon Roscoe said: “After around 15 months working from the temporary location it is great that we are now moving into the brand new station. I am looking forward to using the new facilities, including the gym, which will soon be available to members of the community. Fitness is paramount and it is nice that this has been factored into the project.
“It will be great to work closely with NWAS on a daily basis when they move into the station later on in the year, especially as we now work together on incidents so often.”
GMFRS Assistant County Fire Officer Geoff Harris said: “This joint venture is fantastic news for GMFRS, NWAS and the people of Wigan, who will benefit from several features, including a brand new community room which will open later in the year, and a gym.
“The project means we can further improve our relationship with the ambulance service as well as make financial savings over the years, similarly to the projects in Irlam and at our Philips Park and Whitefield sites, which already sees fire and ambulance work together.”
The next stage of the project will see NWAS staff members move into the station, when the community room will become available for bookings.
Deputy Director of Operations for North West Ambulance Service, Steve Hynes, commented: “After months of planning, it’s great to see this fabulous venture come to fruition and our fire service colleagues start to settle in. Ambulance service staff are preparing for their move later in the summer and are very much looking forward to joining them.
“This site represents a new era for both of our organisations, and will play a huge part in enhancing our working relations which can only benefit the local community and beyond.”
An official opening event will take place later on this year.
Images can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterfire/sets/72157683033919771
Updates on the project can be found on GMFRS’ website here: http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/my_area/wigan/new-wigan-community-fire-and-ambulance-station/