Southland station believed to be first of its kind in NZ

A new fire station in Southland has been built to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake and is believed to be a New Zealand first.

Thornbury volunteer fire brigade was selected for the new prototype which Fire and Emergency New Zealand said would replace other stations throughout the country.

Thornbury chief fire officer Andrew Hall said people had asked "why Thornbury?''

It had land designated for a new station which was located close to the airport.

"It is very well planned and organised. It will be more practical to work.''

The fire station had modern facilities including a new appliance bay, an operational area with decontamination facilities, new showers and toilets, as well as a meeting room that is available for community use.

It was located on higher ground than the previous station, which tended to be flood prone, and was also built to AF8 standard.

"It is completely self-sufficient if needed. This means that if we do have a major weather event or natural disaster, people can use the station as a hub and we can continue to respond to incidents and support our community.''

Thornbury chief fire officer Andrew Hall shows the new station. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
Thornbury chief fire officer Andrew Hall shows the new station. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
The new station, situated 200m down the road from the old station on Foster Rd in Thornbury, was home to 22 volunteer firefighters.

Mr Hall said the new facility would help them improve their work and attract more volunteers.

Fenz chairman Paul Swain said with climate change, the organisation was focusing their efforts on "risk reduction.''

Mr Swain said the organisation wanted to ensure the team had the right facilities, tools, technology and support to keep doing their work.

"This new station is a great example of that commitment and will ensure we have a station capable of serving the people of Thornbury for the next 50 years and beyond.''

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz

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