Temple Street site's future still in doubt as Keynsham Fire Station closes
Published on: 04 Nov 2015
As Keynsham Fire Station closed its doors on November 1, there was still no news on when a decision would be taken about what will happen to its Temple Street site.
The station closed its doors at the start of the month ahead of the team’s move to the new fire station being built at Hicks Gate.
Firefighters from Brislington will be responding to incidents in the Keynsham area in the meantime, before work is finished on the new station in early 2016.
The future of the Temple Street site, however, is still no clearer as we went to print with no date set for a decision on whether the fire service’s headquarters will be relocating to the town.
The move was proposed as part of the fire service’s money-saving Investing for the Future programme last year, but just weeks ago it was revealed a site in Emersons Green is also being considered.
The Hicks Gate fire station recently reached the halfway point in its construction and both Keynsham and Brislington crews will be based there.
Chairman of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Peter Abraham, said: “The decision to close Keynsham and Brislington fire stations was made in 2014 as part of the Investing for the Future programme to make annual savings of £4.5 million as a result of reductions in funding from central Government.
“The regeneration of Keynsham town centre meant we needed to move the existing Keynsham Fire Station. This has provided us with an opportunity to amalgamate the part-time station at Keynsham and Brislington fire stations, which will both close, into a new wholetime fire station at Hicks Gate.”
Avon Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “There will be a short period between the closure of Keynsham Fire Station and the opening of Hicks Gate but with crews responding from nearby Brislington Fire Station our response standards remain the same.
“Keynsham Fire Station was operated on a part-time basis with staff responding to 999 calls via a pager. Brislington Fire Station is crewed 24 hours a day so firefighters will be available to respond to calls immediately.
“We have managed to retain the services and experience of many of the firefighters who were based at Keynsham Fire Station. They will be joining our wholetime crews and will be based at stations across the AF&RS area. Those staff will be embarking on a period of training in the additional areas required as a wholetime member of staff.”
The Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS), which has been based at Keynsham Fire Station, will be moving to the new Hicks Gate Fire Station.
For more information on the Investing for the Future programme, visit www.avonfire.gov.uk and click on the About us section.