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Town’s new fire station opened

The new Bishop’s Waltham Fire Station was officially opened on Monday 27th March.

The current crew welcomed local dignitaries and senior officers to the Lower Lane site for the official opening of the station, which is where the town’s firefighters have been based since 1960.

Planning permission was granted in August 2021 before the team moved into their temporary site in February last year. A few weeks later the old building was demolished prior to the ground-breaking ceremony almost a year ago.

The on-call firefighters who live and work within the local community, and respond to incidents via their pagers, held their first weekly drill night at the new station earlier this month.

Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin introduced speeches from Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Rhydian Vaughan MBE and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, Esq.

Guests were also treated to a tour of the station’s better working and training facilities, including a new tower, as well as a dedicated community engagement area.

The state-of-the-art building is also integrated with nesting bricks to encourage local wildlife, and once they were installed one bird moved in almost immediately!

Bishop’s Waltham Watch Manager Ady Smith said: “I am extremely proud to hold this post during such a historic period for the station and town.

“The excellent facilities we now have access to will help us keep the public safe.

“As well as training and responding to incidents, we will be able to reach out and engage with our local community from our new station.”

Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin said: “This is a modern fire station designed to support our dedicated on-call firefighters in serving their local community.

“The building, with its new training facilities and bespoke community engagement spaces, will be of great benefit to the people of Bishop’s Waltham, and the wider county, and will help the fire service make life safer.

“I know that this new station, and the teams who represent it, will continue to be at the heart of the town for years to come.”

Work commenced last month on the new Cosham Fire Station, with the three-storey building set to boast improved training facilities, separate clean and dirty zones for managing contamination, plus space for partners. Firefighters at Cosham are set to move across the road from their current site next year upon completion.

The last station to be built by the service was opened in Basingstoke five years ago.

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