Cromwell fire station refit begun

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Work has begun on a $600,000 refit of Cromwell Fire Station, the first time there has been major work on the station since it opened in the early 1980s.

Region 5 property co-ordinator for Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) Michael Adam said work included seismic strengthening to importance level 4, which is 180% of building code.

Disaster ready . . . Region 5 property co-ordinator for Fire and Emergency New Zealand Michael Adam inspects firefighters’ personal protective equipment at Cromwell fire station. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON

“The building needs to be functional post-disaster,” he said.

An extension to the building will house a personal protection equipment room which will ensure firefighters’ apparel contaminated after a fire could be set aside and sent back to the manufacturers for cleaning if needed.

An operations room and office will include new computers and communications technology.

A refurbished training room and ablution block will include showers and a decontamination wash area.

Rewiring of the whole building will incorporate a new backup generator on a trailer for emergency power.

The work, which is being carried out by Stewart Construction Ltd, will be completed by the end of June.

Mr Adam said all operations would continue as normal while the work was being done.

The cost of the refurbishment was covered by insurance levies which funded almost all of Fenz costs, Mr Adam said.

Central Otago had benefited in recent years from several upgrades to fire stations in Frankton, Millers Flat, Omarama and Alexandra and construction of the new fire station in Wanaka.

All these stations had been brought up to the level 4 category, he said.

Disaster-proof building

Cromwell Fire Station will be essential in a disaster after the refit.

The building code defines a Level 4 building as one that is able to be operational immediately after an earthquake or other disastrous event, making critical for post-disaster infrastructure.