$1.5m fire station opens in Athol

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti unveils a plaque marking the opening of the Athol Fire Station on Saturday, alongside Athol Fire Brigade chief fire officer Rob Durling (left) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand deputy chief executive, people, Brendan Nally. Photo: Supplied

ATHOL’S new fire station has been officially opened, putting the final seal on a $1.5 million project that has provided the volunteer fire brigade with a purpose-built facility.

Most of the funding for the new fire station came from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund, and the building is home to the Athol Volunteer Fire Brigade, whose members began operating from the new building in June.

It includes a double engine bay for the brigade’s two appliances, operations room and locker room, facilities for cleaning personal protective equipment, a meeting room and kitchen, showers and toilets.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand board chairwoman Rebecca Keoghan said the organisation was committed to supporting volunteer firefighters and their communities with facilities that were fit for purpose.

She thanked employers who released their staff to respond to calls during work hours, noting Athol was one of 695 volunteer brigades around the country which responded to fires, motor vehicle crashes, medical events, flooding and other types of emergencies.

Ms Keoghan said fire brigades also had an important role to play in helping communities to be resilient, through activities such as home fire safety visits.

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti cut the ribbon at the new fire station on Saturday.