Penketh Fire Station was officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs MBE on Thursday 2nd February in front of an audience of local councillors, Cheshire Fire Authority members, invited guests and children from St Vincent's Primary School.
During his speech the Lord Lieutenant asked for help to unveil the plaque, inviting 9-year old Ellie Smythe and 8-year old Thomas Davies from St Vincent's to assist him, an unexpected honour they were delighted to accept.
Guests, which included the Chief Fire and Rescue Advisor for UK Government, Peter Holland CBE, were then treated to a practical demonstration by Penketh’s new wholetime and on-call firefighters and St Vincent's pupils were given an in-depth tour of the fire engine with just a small taste of what being a firefighter is like when the crews showed them how to use a hose reel jet.
Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock said: “It is exciting to see our ambitious programme become reality with Penketh being the second of our four new stations to officially open. This fire station, along with Alsager which was the first of the four to open, Powey Lane and Lymm, will ensure we can continue to protect communities across Cheshire.
“The investment the Authority has made in the new fire stations, together with changing how some fire engines are staffed, means we will be able to make more efficient and effective use of our emergency response services in the future.”
Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority Cllr Bob Rudd added: "I would like to wish the very best for our first cohort of Penketh firefighters including our new on-call crew. We take great pride in the quality of our personnel and in their commitment to serving the public and the communities of Cheshire.
"For me as Chair of the Fire Authority, I take great pride in seeing local people compelled to give something back, to keep their friends and neighbours safe.
"Firefighters are key local advocates; they are part of a wider network of front-line public service workers, whose job it is to ensure that our communities are safe, secure, sustainable and prosperous."
Penketh Fire Station will help to fulfil the Service’s mission of becoming a safer Cheshire and continuing to reduce rates of death and injury from fire and other emergencies. The building is also unique in that it is Cheshire’s first station to have a sedum rooftop which complements the existing greenery of the location and enhance the building’s sustainable credentials.
After the official proceedings the station was open to anyone who wanted a tour of the community's new facility, with over 50 people meeting the firefighters and being shown around the engine bay, watch room, cadet and community rooms.