Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) are undergoing an extensive modernisation programme, with Hinckley Fire and Rescue Station being the latest station to receive an upgrade.
The introduction of a new, whole time duty system; Crewing Day Plus, means LFRS had to bring their stations up to date to accommodate the altered shifts.
The Day Crewing Plus scheme alters shift patterns seeing 14 fire-fighters working 24 hour shifts at a time instead of the usual 12 hour shifts. The new programme of work will mean staff work 12 ‘positive’ hours and 12 standby hours each shift. During these standby hours fire-fighters are required to rest on site and so needed fit for purpose accommodation.
Premier Construction caught up with Guy Goodman, Head of Corporate Services at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, to find out more about the Hinckley project. Guy said:
“At Hinckley we have provided lodge style accommodation in a separate accommodation block on site. Previously the site housed a training house and a gym, so we demolished that and replaced it with the new rectangular block.
“The block spans two storeys and contains four bedrooms, with en suites on the first floor and an accessible en suite bedroom, a kitchen and a lounge on the ground level. That comprised the first phase of the project and was completed in September 2013 having only taken seven months.”
The second phase of the development began straight after the first section of works and is set to complete in April 2014. This part of the works involves the refurbishment of the operational fire station.
So far the team have replaced the old appliance bay roof and created a new facade on the front of the station, as well as building a brand new office space. A new PPE locker room has been installed where the old offices used to be, and a new gym has been built inside the station replacing the old cold, wet, unsuitable provision. A new smoke house has also been erected for fire-fighters to undertake ongoing training.
Pick Everard are the architects on the project and main contractors are Kier Construction, which Guy Goodman of LFRS has said have done a great job so far. He said:
“There has been good cooperation between the station personnel and the main contractor, especially in terms of being able to get maintain our operational capability. We have worked very well together.”
In order to remain operational at Hinckley Fire Station during the refurbishment of the main station temporary accommodation has been erected. Central Sites Accommodation in Coventry have provided bespoke temporary space for the on site team which includes showers, toilets, an administrative area, restroom, tea point and locker room. The temporary accommodation has been situated in the yard at the back of the station and fire-fighters are managing to operate out of there.
Hinckley Fire Station fire-fighters are now operating to the Day Crewing Plus schedule and as a result of the reduced staff numbers LFRS will be saving up to £400,000 a year. Guy added:
“The upgrade programme will provide a much more pleasant working environment for staff at Hinckley Station. The upgrade scheme is not just about improving our service to local residents, as I think we already provide a good service; it is about ensuring that we modernise our estate as and when it is appropriate.
“It has been fantastic to see the Hinckley development progress. In the last 18 months LFRS have built a new headquarters, constructed a new fire station at Birstall, as well as knocking down the old Melton Fire Station and rebuilding it.
“Oakham Station has also been extended and refurbished in line with the Day Crewing Plus programme. Two new fire stations are still to be built in the Leicestershire area as well so the project is not yet complete. The alterations have centred on the introduction of the Day Crewing Plus programme. The overall project has been terrific; extremely rewarding.”