WIGAN Community Fire and Ambulance Station has officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony taking place at the brand new joint station in Robin Park Road.Â
Yesterday (Monday, December 18, 2017) Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) were joined by local schoolchildren to celebrate the occasion along with special guests, including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes.Â
Firefighters from Wiganâ€™s White Watch and paramedics who also work at the station were joined by Year 6 pupils from nearby St Markâ€™s CE Primary School and their teachers.Â
The ceremony saw the Mayor of Greater Manchester cut a red and a green ribbon representing the two emergency services, with the ribbons being held by 10-year-old Hollie Dickinson and Callum King from St Markâ€™s.Â
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: â€œItâ€™s a privilege to officially open Wigan Community Fire and Ambulance Station, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our emergency services for their work this year.Â
â€œIn the new-year I want to get everyone talking about Greater Manchester, and it is facilities like this new joint station that really catch peopleâ€™s eye. This is a true community building in the heart of Wigan that people can walk into and itâ€™s brilliant to see St Markâ€™s schoolchildren here representing all local schools in the community.â€
Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: â€œThanks to St Markâ€™s pupils for coming along today and for being part of the official opening of Wigan Community Fire and Ambulance Station â€“ this really is what being a community is all about and you are the future.â€
GMFRSâ€™ Assistant County Fire Officer, Geoff Harris, said: â€œIt is great to see the joint station officially open â€“ this is a true celebration of collaborative working. I want to thank all staff members from both services for making this joint venture a reality.â€
NWASâ€™ Chief Executive, Derek Cartwright, said: â€œThis station is a first for us, itâ€™s the first new build, joint site for ambulance and fire services and incorporates our new make ready system which enables us to get ambulances prepared and out on the road as quickly as possible. We hope to replicate this model throughout the whole of the region and Wigan will set the bar for others in the future.â€
Others to join in with the celebration included a number of staff members from GMFRS, NWAS, Wigan Council, and Willmott Dixon â€“ the company awarded the contract to build the station early on in 2016.
The station has replaced the old fire station in Robin Park Road in the centre of Wigan where firefighters and paramedics have been working side-by-side since autumn 2017.
Features at the station include a new community room, a referral based gym, a shared open-plan kitchen, rest facilities and newly covered engine doors featuring both GMFRS and NWAS staff members.
To book the community room, which holds 18 people and is available from 8am to 9pm daily, visit: http://bookings.manchesterfire.gov.uk/
Photos from the event are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/manchesterfire/albums/72157688491523912/with/27357534039/