The Isle of Man’s first combined fire and ambulance station will be officially opened on Tuesday 3 October.
The ground-breaking facility heralds a new era in partnership working between front-line emergency services in the Island.
Home Affairs Minister Bill Malarkey MHK and Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK will unveil a plaque to celebrate the opening of the £1.45 million development.
Approved by Tynwald in June 2016, the combined station provides a drive-in drive-out capability for ambulances and fire appliances, as well as modern facilities for staff. There is also a training ground and a 10-metre multi-purpose tower to enhance skills across a range of key disciplines.
Kevin Groom, Chief Fire Officer, and Ray Beattie, Acting Chief Ambulance Officer, will highlight the benefits of the joint initiative during a short ceremony in front of invited guests.
The new station is located opposite the Isle of Man Airport, near the Sefton Express Hotel and Strix factory. The site was selected after a feasibility study and emergency services risk assessment of the Ballasalla and Castletown communities.
Minister Malarkey said:
‘The Isle of Man already leads the way in terms of collaborative working through the Emergency Services Joint Control Room. Closer links on the ground between the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance and Paramedic Service will strengthen our ability to respond effectively to emergency incidents.’
‘The combined station is a tremendous asset that will better serve the community, meet our operational demands and provide strategic emergency cover.’
The facility replaces Castletown fire station, which had reached the end of its operational life after more than 53 years of service. It will also enable Southern Ambulance Service to vacate its current premises at Four Roads for conversion into a replacement for Port Erin’s 60-year-old fire station.
Minister Beecroft said:
‘This is a positive investment in our staff and infrastructure to meet the needs of the community. Having firefighters and ambulance staff under one roof is a good move. It will assist the coordination of multi-agency emergencies and support our efforts to keep people safe.’