27/07/2011

Community Fire Station Planned For Omagh

The public's views are being sought on a proposal to build a new integrated Community Fire Station and District Headquarters for the people of Omagh.

Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) wants to get the views on the building that would be constructed on the current site of its District Headquarters on the Killybrack Road.

A period of public consultation commenced on Monday 25 July, closing on Monday 19 September.

Omagh Fire Station was built in 1957 to suit the operational needs of the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade at that time.

DSome 54 years later there is now a strong need for investment to address a number of current limitations in terms of operational resilience and Firefighter training facilities, the condition of the existing building and its location on a busy road junction, as well as the need for community safety facilities.

Community Fire Stations are a relatively new concept combining the operational Fire Station with a community facility that puts prevention, education and engagement at its heart and where the whole community can be involved and feel part of. It can be used to roll out school and youth engagement programmes, as well as partnership initiatives with other agencies etc.

Chris Kerr, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: "Building a new Community Fire Station for Omagh is a capital priority project for us and will represent an investment of approximately £5.6m.

"We want to put the local community in Omagh at the heart of developing their Community Fire Station, which will improve the safety and wellbeing of the whole community and our Firefighters.

"The new Community Fire Station will provide enhanced training facilities for our Firefighters and specialist operational capabilities. It will be a best in class facility for the promotion of safety and protection of the community with much better accessibility for local people to be involved and help shape this facility as an important community resource," he said.

"Omagh Community Fire Station also represents a new generation of environmentally friendly Fire Stations, reflecting our commitment to cut carbon emissions in the fight against climate change.

"We want the public’s views and we want the public to be involved in shaping this Community Fire Station for Omagh," he continued, noting that, as part of the ongoing public consultation, NIFRS is holding a Public Meeting on Thursday 18th August from 7pm-8pm at the NIFRS District Offices, Killybrack Road, Omagh and everyone is welcome to attend.

(GK/BMcC)

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