A CELEBRATION event which included a celebrity chef
cook-off and opening ceremony performed by local schoolchildren
officially marked the opening of Rochdale's new Community Fire
Station today (Thursday, March 20, 2014).
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the building in
Halifax Road is their greenest building yet and replaces the old
station in Maclure Road, which closed earlier this year.
Fire crew from Rochdale's White Watch were joined on duty by
local celebrity chef Andrew Nutter and pupils from nearby Heybrook
Winners of an art competition from the school unveiled an
opening banner, applauded by around 100 people including GMFRS'
County Fire Officer and Chief Executive Steve McGuirk, Chair of
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRA), Councillor
David Acton, Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Peter Rush, and Chief
Fire and Rescue Adviser, Peter Holland.
Councillor David Acton, Chair of GMFRA, said: "We are really
pleased to officially open up our newest community fire station and
want to thank everyone involved in the project.
"The station allows firefighters to continue to respond to
incidents effectively and build upon their community work, with new
facilities including an internet cafÃ©, a community room and
"The station was designed to be environmentally friendly and is
carbon neutral, which means that it is actually good for the
A range of activities were on offer with Andrew Nutter, of
Nutters Restaurant in Norden, and Nasima Khan from Castlemere
Community Centre sharing their cooking tips while helping to keep
people safe in the kitchen.
Nasima said: "To stay safe while cooking in the kitchen Asian
clothes, such as scarves, should be removed or clipped back, as
should long hair.
"Also cooking and pans of oil should never be left unattended as
they can easily catch fire."
Judged by celebrity chef Andrew a pancake challenge took place
between Nasima and Rochdale Firefighter Paul Rourke - with Nasima
being crowned the Pancake Queen after the pair made a chocolate
Above photo of Firefighter Paul Rourke, Andrew Nutter
and Nasima Khan
Tours of the station were on offer and a demonstration showed
people how quickly a sari could catch fire while cooking, bringing
to life the risk posed by wearing loose clothing in the kitchen.
Fire safety officers talked through what you should do if cooking
or clothing catches fire, teaching schoolchildren the Stop Drop and
Deputy Lieutenant Mrs Vivien Carter, Mayoress Monica Rush,
Rochdale's White Watch, Station Manager Andy Bracken and Borough
Manager Paul Starling attended the event, along with GMFRA Members
Deputy Chairman Cllr John Bell, Cllr Shaun O'Neill, Cllr Amna Mir
and Cllr John O'Brien.
Many retired GMFRS members also made an appearance, including
ex-Deputy Chief Fire Officer 83-year-old Don Liddle, who retired in
1982 and is grandfather to Firefighter Paul Rourke who took part in
the pancake challenge.
Project Manager for the build of the new fire station, Matt
Taylor, said: "GMFRS' Rochdale Borough Headquarters is also based
at the site, which has solar panels and uses recycled water.
"It is carbon neutral with an A+ Energy Performance Certificate
and the site is now better for the environment than it was before
the station was built there.
"The project has been very successful and we are now looking
forward to beginning new Wigan Community Fire Station project."
Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Peter Holland, presented Tahmina
Suma (age 9) and Jasmina Khatun (age 11) with a certificate and
Kindle Paperwhite after they were picked as winners of the
competition, that focused on keeping the community safe.
All of the children had a fantastic day and Jasmina and Tahmina
were excited to unveil the opening banner.
Jasmina said: "I had a really nice day and enjoyed pressing the
button to bring down the banner. I learnt a lot too, like what you
should do if there is a fire."