THE £1.5MILLION revamp of Malvern Fire Station has now been completed and firefighters have moved back into their spruced up home.
The station is set for a formal unveiling later this year but the Observer were invited to take an early look at the premises.
The work has taken just over a year and involved most of the existing station on Worcester Road, demolished apart from the foundations and the steel frame.
The original building, built in 1985, had become very inefficient and costly to maintain but now the new premises in the same spot in the Link has been built with more eco-friendly materials as well as being kitted out with modern boilers and LED lighting to reduce annual energy costs.
But the major benefit is now the venue is a much more suitable training venue for staff thanks to the greater space which has been afforded by re-shaping it.
There is now space to accommodate five engines instead of four in the main appliance area including space to house water first responder vehicles properly.
A new overhead ledge has been installed specifically to provide training for rope rescue crews who previously had to go up to the Malvern Hills themselves to practise.
The station was already a key facility in providing Road Traffic Collision (RTC) training and now there is even more space at the back to accommodate that.
A new lecture room which can sit about 30 people has also been introduced which officers said would help take the pressure off the station at Droitwich.
Other additions include a new gym, dedicated office space and separate changing rooms for men and women unlike before, which will all make life better for the workers.
Since April last year, the response team had been relocated to portakabins at the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) operational logistics site on Betony Road.
Watch commander Saul Bolton said: “The last building hadn’t aged very well and was very inefficient. It was like a green house in the summer and a fridge in the winter but this building is a lot more efficient and future proof.
“Working out of portakabins has not been ideal but you get used to it. But this new building is much better now with much better facilities for us as well as being a much better training venue than it was. We can even mobilise a bit quicker now because most of us live closer to here than Betony Road.
“It is just much more pleasant to work here now.”