Lynn’s new second fire station is officially operational – and firefighters have noticed an improvement in response times already.
Crews have been able to attend emergencies more quickly since moving into the new £2 million South Lynn Fire Station last week.
Station manager Bob Ayres said its location on the outskirts of town in Horsley’s Fields, off Hardwick Road, means firefighters don’t get held up in town centre traffic.
He said: “From the incidents we have attended since becoming operational, we have noticed a difference in the attendance times already.
“Not having to negotiate Lynn town centre, and being able to get straight out on to the A47 and A17 has made a big difference. There’s a massive improvement.”
Crews are now getting ready for the station’s official opening by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on Monday.
The royal couple will be greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Mr Richard Jewson, before meeting Nigel Williams, chief fire officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, some of the Lynn firefighters, as well as a number of Fire Service Cadets.
During their visit, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will unveil a plaque to commemorate the official opening and be invited to sign a portrait for display in the station.
Mr Ayres said: “It will be a real coup to welcome them here, and a big honour for many of the firefighters. It’s a once in a career moment.”
The station, which became operational on January 21, features a layout and facilities the firefighters themselves had input in when the plans were being drawn up.
It is currently home to one fire engine and the water rescue unit, although the station can accommodate up to three fire appliances, as well as vehicles from other blue light partners such as the East of England Ambulance Service.
There are also training facilities, a sleep room for crews on night shifts and a gym to maintain fitness.
“We’re still settling in at the moment, but it’s already making a difference and providing better cover for the town and surrounding areas,” said Mr Ayres.
Now the station is complete, work will begin imminently on refurbishing the town’s other fire station in Kilham’s Way, North Lynn.
Norfolk County Council is providing funding to improve facilities for training for crews, as well as for the service’s Princes Trust partnership. Workshop facilities will also be refurbished to improve vehicle maintenance across the county council’s fleet.