Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA), part of the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS), has begun a 12-week consultation on proposed changes, to emergency response cover in Aintree and Croxteth, following initial approval to create a new superstation and training center. The consultation will run from 15th July to 7th October 2021.
Integrated Risk Management Plan
The plans were outlined in a recent consultation on the innovative Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) for 2021-24, including plans to increase the number of fire engines available to respond to incidents.
The plans also proposed the development of a new multi-pump Fire & Rescue Station
The plans also proposed the development of a new multi-pump Fire & Rescue Station and a state-of-the-art Training Academy, and National Resilience Centre of Excellence, on Long Lane in Aintree.
These plans gained strong public support and MFRA approval, with the current consultation moving forward, in order to focus more directly on the merger of Aintree and Croxteth stations, at the new site, located in Long Lane, Liverpool.
MFRA’s consultation questionnaire is available online
The consultation questionnaire will be available online, on the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s official website and there will be three public meetings, and three focus groups to discuss the proposals, either online or in-person, depending on any COVID-19 restrictions being in place.
A detailed consultation document has been developed, which will be available online, with some of the key points as follows:
- Aintree Fire Station and Croxteth Fire Station opened in 1926 and 1962, respectively and despite having been modernized, the buildings are not capable of offering the accessible, larger modern facilities that modern firefighters and the local community needs.
- Extensive research and review of other sites were carried out, with multiple sites ruled out for reasons, including availability, size, and building restrictions. The proposed site at Long Lane in Aintree is almost equidistant between the existing stations and offers a significantly improved response time.
- The service has managed station mergers across Merseyside with great success and uses data from the preceding three years, mapping software, and algorithms to predict future performance.
- The proposed new site is located close to identified areas of potential risk, including a prison, a hospital, major sports venues, waste recycling centers, industrial centers, retail parks, and major road networks.
- The new station would enable emergency response availability at all times. Currently, as a non-key station, Aintree relies on surrounding stations to provide a response between 8:30 pm and 8:30 am.
- Recent new stations at Saughall Masseie, Prescot, and St. Helens have provided superb facilities for firefighters and have also provided accessible community rooms, for local groups to use. The proposed new station will offer the same benefits.
Fire stations merger
The station merger is part of a wider vision and continued optimism and growth for the fire service
The station merger is part of a wider vision and continued optimism, and growth for the fire service, after enduring a lengthy period of cuts. The views of local people and businesses are sought over the next 12 weeks.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan stated regarding the merger plans, “Our plans will offer our firefighters and the local community, the facilities they deserve now and in the future. The old stations have served their communities well over the years, but they have come to the end of their days and we must recognize this, and move forward into the future.”
He adds, “This station merger will make us more resilient, efficient, effective, and quicker to respond while ensuring that we are equipped to meet the demands placed on a modern-day fire and rescue service. The overwhelming public support for the plans in our Integrated Risk Management Plan has shown that the people of Merseyside are behind our vision for the future. The station merger is part of this bold way forward, the improved response times and night cover at the new site, are undeniable benefits of the proposal.”
New Training & Development Academy
Phil Garrigan further said, “The new station will occupy the same site as a new state-of-the-art Training & Development Academy, reflecting the commitment and professionalism of our incredible operational, and support staff. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is embedded within the local community and we would love to hear their thoughts. I would urge everyone to fill in the consultation - this is your Fire & Rescue Service.”