New fire station to open next month
Norwich's new �3m fire station is all set to be open and fully occupied next month as work nears completion.
Work has been underway to complete the new Carrow station, at Trowse on the edge of the city, which fire bosses hope will be one of the greenest facilities of its kind.
The new facility on the former Pineapple pub site, close to County Hall is being built to provide more extensive cover across the city and cope with the increasing numbers of people living in Norwich.
The building of the new fire station is part of a major multi-million pound investment by Norfolk County Council and is the second new fire station for the city in the last couple of years after the opening of North Earlham Fire Station in 2006
By being close to the A47 the service hopes that it will ensure speedy response times to 999 calls in the suburban areas to the south of the city.
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The new station will also include enhanced water rescue facilities and a new drill tower.
But its opening will see the closure of the current Bethel Street station in the centre of the city.
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And the number of fire engines covering the city will actually be reduced from five to four with 24 jobs lost as part of a �1.5m cuts package linked to a new safety plan for the service.
However, a report to be considered by members of Norfolk County Council's fire and rescue overview and scrutiny panel shows a fall in the number of fires.
The report, which will be considered by councillors on May 4, said that there was a 14pc drop in arson incidents and a 7pc fall in main primary fires in the period between April and December. There was also a 33pc drop in the numbers of people suffering non-fatal injuries.
The report also noted that of the 317 accidental fires in homes last year, around half were linked to cooking – and a scheme to install smoke detectors in homes was focusing on older people.
'The service is targeting its Home Fire Risk Check (HFRC) and smoke detector fitting programme at older and more vulnerable people across the county,' the report said. 'Between April and December 1,874 checks were carried out and 2,542 smoke detectors were fitted.
'The fire and rescue service continues to make progress against the county council's objectives. In particular the county council plan set out three key actions being undertaken by the fire and rescue service to contribute towards making Norfolk a safer place to live and work.
'First, a new fire station is being built at Carrow in Norwich. Construction work is progressing well and full occupancy will be undertaken in the second quarter of 2011.'
The report also notes that there was a �4.7m slippage in the �6.7m allocated for capital budget. This was largely linked to the delays in the Carrow station scheme as well as hold ups in plans to refurbish other existing stations. The meeting will be held at 10am in the Edwards Room at Norfolk County Hall.
What should happen to Bethel Street fire station when it closes? Write to Evening News Letters at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email firstname.lastname@example.org