The first of four new community fire stations for Gloucestershire has opened its doors and is ready for business.
Cheltenham West Community Fire Station is on Tewkesbury Road, Uckington and is now a fully operational fire station.
The station has three bays for vehicles (one fire engine will be based here to start with) and a purpose built training building that will provide a range of practical scenarios such as ladder work, breathing apparatus search and rescue, and a basement for both fire fighting and flooding to test and develop fire fighters operational skills.
Cheltenham West Community Fire Station is one of four community fire stations which will help firefighters meet their eight minute response deadline and boost Gloucestershire's ability to respond to emergencies not only locally but when necessary across the region.
As a result, GFRS is now better placed to deal with the existing and potential risks to the county and therefore, save more lives.
Chief Fire Officer, Jon Hall said: "I am absolutely delighted that the first of the four new fire stations is now fully operational."
"The station is located to provide better protection for the communities in the western part of Cheltenham and gives our fire crews improved access to the M5 motorway."
"It will also better serve the more rural areas between Gloucester and Tewkesbury."
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for communities, said: "The new fire station looks great - it has a lot of facilities and a training building, which will be vital to test our fire fighters skills."
"All of the new stations will improve how our fire service serves and protects the people of Gloucestershire, which is our priority."
"This is a very exciting time for the fire service, I am sure that the other stations will look just as good, and I'm looking forward to seeing the end results when they are all eventually open."
Notes to news editors:
Issued by: Hayley Vining, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425226, firstname.lastname@example.org
13th April 2012