Staffs fire engine 180Crews have moved into the Penkridge’s new £1.8 million community fire station - the latest built as part of Staffordshire Fire's £90 million station improvement project, funded through a Private Finance Initiative.

The state-of-the-art facility on Boscomoor Lane has replaced the outdated building on the same site, which became operational in 1972. It has been designed to enable firefighters to respond more efficiently and effectively to 21st Century emergencies.

Facilities within the building have also been created specifically with the community in mind and for the use of residents. Groups and organisations will be encouraged to hold their meetings in specially designated community rooms, creating a hub which will allow greater contact between local people and firefighters who serve the area.

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Penkridge Station Manager Graham Mills said: “This is a really exciting time for the crews who have been looking forward to moving into their new station which is not only located at the heart of the community, its whole ethos is centred on the community.

“The new-look stations represent a seismic shift in the way the fire and rescue service operates. We have come a long way from just extinguishing fires - we are committed to doing whatever we can to make sure they don’t happen in the first place. We want to get to know the residents that we are here to protect so that we can understand the strengths and issues that the village and surrounding areas have. This will put us in an excellent position to continue driving down the number of incidents taking place in the area. We are also keen to encourage local groups and organisations to use our community facilities to hold their meetings and we will be on hand to offer fire and road safety advice when people pop in.”

Penkridge is the eighth facility to be operational in phase two of a major upgrade of buildings across the county with Bilbrook and Codsall (one station), Stone, Rugeley, Longton, Kinver, Chase Terrace, and Loggerheads already live.

In total, 10 community fire stations will be rebuilt on their current sites plus a brand new station at Loggerheads which replaces the 45-year-old station at Ashley. The first phase saw three additional stations developed and seven stations replaced between October 2009 and September 2011.

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