South Yorkshire’s only joint fire and police station has gone operational for the first time.
Firefighters have started attending 999 calls from the station in Maltby, Rotherham after work to modify the existing police station on Byford Road to accommodate fire and rescue service vehicles and staff was completed in September. The old fire station on Maltby High Street has now closed.
The project won Government Transformation Funding of £560,000 and means South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue can share running costs, enabling funding to be targeted at frontline services.
The move has shifted fire and rescue service resources approximately a mile closer to the east side of Rotherham, which traditionally accounts for a greater volume of emergency incidents compared to lower risk areas to the east of Maltby. It will also improve services by making it easier for police and firefighters to share knowledge, skills and expertise when tackling common issues, like anti-social behaviour and road traffic collisions. In a similar way, it will help both organisations to reach the most vulnerable members of the community.
Chief Fire Officer James Courtney said, “This new facility is the first of its kind in South Yorkshire and represents the best possible, physical example of our commitment to work more closely with our emergency service partners. By working alongside each other under one roof, we think the move will benefit both organisations by improving how we work together to solve problems we both face, which can only help to improve the quality of the service we offer to local people.”
Fire Authority Chair Cllr Linda Burgess said, “The fire authority has always been clear that collaboration should be about more than badges on buildings and saving money, with local people at the heart of any of the decisions we make. With this in mind, I am pleased to see the completion of the first joint police and fire station in South Yorkshire – not just as a symbol of the joint work the fire service is leading on with the police, but also because of the benefits I expect it to bring to both organisations and the community itself.”
Chief Superintendent Rob Odell, District Commander for Rotherham, said, “I’ve no doubt that this joint venture will help us to provide a more coordinated service to the public, particularly on issues dealt with by both services. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to better share information and to help meet the demands of modern policing, where working alongside our partners is vital in meeting the needs of our communities.”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said, “The joint fire and police station at Maltby offers a number of positive opportunities for the police and fire services to work together and collaborate. This new cost-effective way of working will allow agencies to share information and work more effectively together. The building will help reduce overheads to both organisations at a time when, the taxpayers want to see their money being spent on the safety of South Yorkshire residents and not on buildings and their running costs.”