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Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency celebrates Canterbury station openings

Fire and Emergency celebrates Canterbury station openings

WARNING: Some views may find the content at the start of this video distressing.

Fire and Emergency is celebrating significant work being completed in its post-earthquake reconstruction programme in Christchurch, officially opening both the flagship Christchurch City Fire Station and the Sumner Fire Station.

Both stations were built on existing sites following the demolition of the original stations that were extensively damaged in the earthquake sequence of 2010-11. Most of the funding for both rebuilds came from the Government’s Covid Response and Recovery Fund.

Blue watch was on duty when the 2011 earthquake struck, and it was only fitting that the same watch was on duty again on Friday for the official opening of the new station. Brigade members who were on duty on that day were also in attendance for the opening.

District Manager Dave Stackhouse, who was a serving Senior Station Officer at Christchurch City Station at the time of the quake, presented the New Zealand flag that was flying that day back to the brigade on Friday and says opening of the new station had been a long time in the making.

“It’s been a journey that has taken an emotional toll on many of us, as well as our emergency services colleagues. However, time is a great healer. We’ve reflected and learned from our mistakes.

“Above all, we understand that our fire stations and emergency services centres are more than just a building, they’re a symbol of our communities’ resilience and strength. They represent a willingness to come together, to care and support one another in times of need, and this station particularly is a reminder that no matter what challenges we face, we will always emerge stronger and more united.”

The official opening of the station was completed by Internal Affairs Minister Hon. Barbara Edmonds. The station has been built on the site of the original facility in Kilmore St. The total cost was $14.07 million, which included demolition of the original station along with ground remediating works. The Government’s Covid Response and Recovery Fund contribution for this project was $11.2 million.

Work was completed last year, enabling firefighters to move out of the temporary fire station in Lichfield St and occupy their new quarters.

Minister Edmonds paid tribute to the firefighters who had worked from temporary facilities under less-than-ideal conditions for several years. “Your patience has paid off with the development of this new facility and the Government is very pleased to have been able to help make it a reality.”

The new fire station includes four appliance bays, decontamination and storage areas, operational work areas, facilities for filling breathing apparatus plus training and meeting rooms. There are 12 bedrooms for firefighters on night shift along with kitchen, mess and lounge facilities.

The new Sumner Fire was opened on Saturday. It too is a completely new building, replacing the original facility that was extensively damaged in the earthquakes. Fire and Emergency bought land next door to the original site, to enable a larger station to be built, serving the needs of the Sumner community.

The Sumner Volunteer Fire Brigade moved into temporary quarters while their former station was demolished and the new two-bay station was built. $2.9 million of the total $4.52 million cost was met by the Covid Response and Recovery Fund.