New state-of-the-art fire station for Thornbury residents
Today marks the official opening of Thornbury’s new volunteer fire station, which was opened by the Minister for Internal Affairs, Hon Tracey Martin at a ceremony held on site.
The new station, which houses the district’s only 24-hour emergency service, provides the local brigade with modern facilities including a new appliance bay, an operational area with decontamination facilities, new showers and toilets, as well as a meeting room that is available for community use.
"It’s a privilege to be here today to help the Thornbury Fire Brigade celebrate the opening of their modern, fit-for-purpose station and to acknowledge the hugely important role they play in their community," says Minister Martin.
The new station design is a prototype which will tested and rolled out for future builds. It is located on higher ground than the previous station, which tended to be flood prone. It is also built to AF8 standard, meaning it should withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake along the Alpine Fault.
"Since our establishment, Fire and Emergency has been committed to ensuring that that all our people have the right facilities, tools, technology and support to keep doing what they do best - to protect life and property," says Fire and Emergency Chair, Paul Swain. "This new station is a great example of that commitment and will ensure we have a station capable of serving the people of Thornbury for the next 50 years and beyond."
For Thornbury Brigade’s Chief Fire Officer, Andrew Hall the new station represents an important community hub, particularly in times of need.
"For me and the local brigade, we now have state-of-the-art facilities that can provide a reliable and stable base for the community. The station has its own generator, capable of powering the whole station, it has been built to withstand a significant earthquake, and is completely self-sufficient if needed."
"This means that if we do have a major weather event or natural disaster, people can use the station as a hub and we can continue to respond incidents and support our community."
The new station, situation 200 meters down the road from the old station on Foster Road in Thornbury, is home to 20 volunteer firefighters and 2 new recruits. It is the first station that has been built in 50 years, with the old station being built in the early 1960’s.
Today’s station opening was attended by local iwi representative Teoti Jardine, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon Tracey Martin, Fire and Emergency Board Chair Paul Swain, Southland District Council Mayor Gary Tong, along with members of the local brigade, neighbouring brigades and members’ of the community.