Thornbury first community to get prototype fire station
The Thornbury volunteer fire brigade will be the shining example of Fire and Emergency New Zealand when its new prototype fire station is built.
The Southland brigade has been selected as the first to receive the new prototype of fire stations the organisation will use to replace ageing stations throughout the country.
Fire and Emergency NZ region five property co-ordinator Michael Adam said many fire stations needed to be replaced so the organisation developed a prototype model.
Thornbury was selected to be the first because the brigade already had a piece of land designated for a new station and it was close to an airport, Adam said.
A new station could be built without impacting on the brigade and its ability to respond to callouts, he said.
The new station, which can hold one fire engine, would have everything the brigade would need, including decontamination facilities.
The old station could also be kept to compare with the new model, which would be used as an example for future builds, Adam said.
It was hoped that construction would begin in May, with the new station being completed and ready to use in December, he said.
Thornbury chief fire officer Andrew Hall said the brigade was pretty excited to get a new station.
The original station had been built in 1965 with money that had been raised by the community, Hall said.
While the station was adequate for the job, it needed a lot of work and it would be cheaper to build a new station, he said.
The old station was also on land that could be flooded, and did so during the 1984 floods, Hall said.
The new station would be built on land that was not at risk of flooding, he said.
Hall had heard rumblings more than a year ago from the then-fire service about building a new station.
The brigade had been looking for a piece of land to build on and when the old Presbyterian church came up for sale, Fire and Emergency NZ put in an offer, Hall said.
The church was burnt down as part of a training exercise, clearing the way for the new station.
As for the old station, it would be sold as is, and there had been quite a bit of interest in it, Hall said.
Thornbury chief fire officer Andrew Hall with a concept drawing of the new protoype fire station that is to be built in the community.