An improvement and refurbishment programme which will benefit every fire station on the Isle of Wight is about to get underway.
All 10 stations on the Island will be fitted out with either new or improved vehicle exhaust ventilation systems, making life better and safer for our firefighters.
The extraction kits are connected to the fire engines when they are parked to remove unpleasant fumes from appliance bays and reduce any potential contamination.
Upgraded fire alarm systems will also be installed at several stations as part of the planned investment programme, due to start this month.
The work is the first step in improving our Island estate following the official formation of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) on 1 April 2021. HIWFRS is now one combined service, working together to make life safer for nearly two million residents on both sides of the Solent.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority approved the first stage of funding – worth £1.1m – ahead of the formation of the Combined Fire Authority and more stations will see improvements over the coming months and years. This approved funding is additional to the annual investment already being carried out on stations within Hampshire.
Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said:
“We are committed to improving our Isle of Wight fire stations to make life better and safer for our firefighters and the communities we serve.
“Our initial works programme will focus on essential maintenance projects that are needed to bring our Island stations in line with those in Hampshire.
“This is an important first step and I am delighted that this work is about to start.”
Other scheduled improvements include:
- Window and pedestrian door replacement and upgrades at Shanklin, Ventnor and Yarmouth
- Roof repairs and upgrades at Sandown, Shanklin and Yarmouth
- New appliance bay doors at Newport Fleet Services Vehicle Workshop
Councillor Rhydian Vaughan, Chairman of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority, said:
“Improving our Isle of Wight fire stations is an important milestone following the formation of the Combined Fire Authority and I’m pleased to see that these essential maintenance projects are starting.
“This demonstrates our commitment to our firefighters and the Isle of Wight community.”
All Island stations will also benefit from being included in HIWFRS’ ongoing annual rolling maintenance programme, which incorporates routine decoration and electrical testing as well as structural surveying among other required works.