RATHFRILAND Fire Station is open once again after works to rebuild the facility were finally completed.
The Leader was given a guided tour around the modern, state-of-the-art facility last week, which had to be rebuilt following a fire in 2009.
Amongst the new facilities are a new lecture room for staff, which doubles as a community room when it is not in use by the Fire Brigade; new computers and an impressive new ‘CAFS’ system.
‘CAFS’ is a new compressed foam system which will allow crews to put out car fires, for example, with just 20 litres of liquid rather than the 2,000 litres it would normally take.
Even new ventilating systems for drying out wet equipment have been installed in the fire station.
Local UUP MLA John McCallister, was also on the tour around the new Fire Station last week. He said he is “highly impressed” with the facilities.
Speaking afterwards, the South Down representative said, “This is an ultra- modern building fitted out to the highest standards and is a real asset to the Rathfriland and surrounding area.
“I, along with others, have been fighting tirelessly to see a new replacement station built in Rathfriland and I’m delighted to see it in operation.”
Mr McCallister said the substantial financial investment from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is hugely welcomed and he commended them for making the commitment to the town and district.
“The fire-fighters in Rathfriland have always done a tremendous job and I have nothing but praise and respect for them. I am delighted they have a modern purpose built station to operate from. I feel very fortunate living in an area served by a highly skilled and dedicated team of professionals.
“I was also pleased to note that a room at the new station will be available for community use on nights other than drill practice. This will be of huge benefit for many groups and organisations in the area.
“I wish Rathfriland Fire Brigade every success in the future and congratulate them on their new state of the art facilities.”
Following the tour the firemen received Jubilee badges from the Southern Area Commander, John Allen, to commemorate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.