Theale Community Fire Station in Reading has been officially opened and is the third community tri-service station in Berkshire. The station has been operational since October 2021, with the official opening delayed due to Covid, and it provides improved training and welfare facilities for staff, helping to support the workforce of modern public services.
The building has been carefully designed to promote an inclusive working environment for a range of staff from across the fire and rescue service and partner agencies, while providing the flexibility of function that is required in the modern era.
Included in the designs are welfare and physical training areas to support the functional fitness requirements, as well as built-in operational features to support the health and safety of fire crews, such as designated decontamination zones and improved facilities for breathing apparatus equipment to be cleaned.
The new site supports a healthy and vibrant habitat for local species of flora and fauna following the planting of over 900 ground cover plants and over 1,500 native woodland trees and shrubs. It also benefits from electric vehicle charging infrastructure, roof-mounted solar panels and a greywater recycling system.
Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said, “Careful consideration was given to the location of Theale Community Fire Station, with the main aim of improving the overall speed of response times to emergency incidents. As such, the station now offers improved access to major road networks, such as the M4 and A4 corridors, while ensuring emergency vehicles are closer to the surrounding communities.”
Kirsten Willis-Drewett is the Head of Operations, South Central Ambulance Service. She added, “The three emergency services have, of course, always worked closely together during incidents and through community events. In addition to this, all three emergency services will take part in joint training exercises and share expertise in a number of areas, whether this be rescue or casualty care.”