Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (RBFRS) Firehouse is set to be completely re-configured to provide a contemporary facility for firefighters’ training.
On Monday, 9 July, work began to refurbish the Firehouse and it is anticipated to be complete by September 2018. Before the work started, the team leading this development met for the groundbreaking.
Alex Brown, Head of Capital Projects, said: “This project is part of our wider Capital Projects Programme that will modernise all of our buildings across the Service. This training facility is just one of the ways that the Fire Authority is investing in our staff and in turn, enabling them to be the best public servant they can be for the people of Berkshire.”
Dom Manton, Group Manager for Learning and Development, said: “It is important that our staff are prepared and equipped to provide a swift and effective response when called to emergencies. The Firehouse is a critical piece of infrastructure, which provides us with the ability to train and assess firefighters in realistic conditions, so I am delighted that this project is now underway to update this important facility.”
Councillor Angus Ross, Strategic Asset Lead Member for Royal Berkshire Fire Authority who has been involved in this project, said: “The Firehouse was originally constructed in the early 90s. It has had various upgrades and improvements in the last 24 years, but this investment will ensure that the firefighters have a robust, resilient and flexible training facility. The project will ensure that the crews maintain their specialist skills and continue to serve the communities that they live and work in.”
The work will replace the control systems and reconfigure the internal layout of the Firehouse, which had become familiar to firefighters, as it had not changed in approximately 15 years. The new specification also includes additional firefighting areas, an improved Liquid Petroleum Gas kitchen, a bedroom layout and access to the third-floor loft space to increase usability.