The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service’s new state of the art fire station at Omagh is set to be fully operational by June of this year. Costing £3.2million in all, the new facility will also become a centralised hub in Western Area Command for operational service delivery, on-site fire-fighter training and transport and engineering workshops. It will afford too a dedicated community engagement facility with a strong focus on fire, road and community safety activity.
NIFRS’s Western Area Commander Trevor Ferguson said, “This new Community Fire Station will be a fantastic facility for our local fire-fighters who serve their community on a daily basis, and for all the personnel in Omagh District and NIFRS Western Area Command, as well as the local community and for our partner agencies involved in emergency response. “
Last year Omagh Fre Station was alerted to attend 372 incidents which included fires, road traffic collisions and specialist incidents such as large animal rescue, flooding incidents, water rescues and hazardous material incidents. “Given the range of incidents we attend and the level of specialist and ongoing operational training that is therefore required, the new station will provide us with the training space and facilities that we need.”
The station was designed by HLM Architects and is being built by local construction firm, Lowry Bros Ltd. A number of local sub-contractors and suppliers are being used throughout the project and it is estimated that between 40-50 workers are on site each day. The main contractor has also been working in conjunction with the South West Regional College providing apprentice placements, work experiences and a number of employment opportunities through the ‘Steps to Work’ programme.
Another exciting element of the Community Fire Station will be the potential to build closer links with local community groups and schools and with the general public, through the dedicated community safety facility that we will have on site. The station has been designed to our specific requirements and includes an incident command room that will be used during major or protracted incidents and can also be used as a multi-agency facility where a co-ordinated response is required to incidents such as major incidents and weather related incidents ie flooding, heavy snow, gorse fires.
Commander Ferguson added “It will also be used for multi-agency resilience planning and emergency training exercises. “In addition the station will have a dedicated transport and engineering workshop that will be utilised by all 20 fire stations in Western Area Command. It has long been recognised that the current station on the Killybrack Road, Omagh is no longer fit for purpose and the new station will provide better facilities for our 34 retained and wholetime fire-fighters based there and will be fully compliant with all building and regulatory requirements.”
Fire Crews at Omagh have thanked the local community, and particularly the residents living close to the building work and Omagh District Council for the support they have given to them both pre and during the construction phase and they look forward to sharing their facility with the local community when it becomes operational later this year.