New £40m Aintree fire station opens

A brand new, state-of-the-art fire station has opened its doors in north Liverpool for the first time.

Located on the 12-acre site of the former Commercial Hydraulics plant, the new multi-pump super station on Long Lane will combine existing stations in Croxteth and Aintree. Crews based at the sites completed their final shifts this week in emotional scenes on Longmoor Lane.

The opening of the site marks a major point in the development of the land which will include a training facility and national resilience centre of excellence.

The new multi-pump station – station 19 – will provide 24-hour emergency cover, which is expected to improve response times across north Liverpool. Around 150 staff and contractors on hand from Wates Construction were tasked with bringing the design to life.

The station comprises four appliance bays, incorporating operational and welfare accommodation, offices and training facilities, external drill and training spaces, as well as a four storey training tower. It is expected more than 60 firefighters will be based at the site all working to a 24-hour shift pattern with 15 on duty during each shift.

The launch of this brand new location on Long Lane marks the operational closure of the previous Aintree and Croxteth stations. Dozens turned out at the Longmoor Lane station – which had been in operation for 98 years – to share memories from down the years.

Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan, Chair of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Les Byrom and officers from across the service were at the Long Lane station to welcome crews as they arrived to start a new era.

Mark Baldwin, station manager, said, “The team are excited to be moving to the new station, and this move presents a fantastic opportunity to serve the communities of Croxteth and Aintree with direct access to world class training facilities the whole service can be proud of.

“We are looking forward to serving the community with even faster response times from a modern fire station fit for the future set within a state-of-the-art facility.”

Remaining works on the Long Lane site are at an advanced stage. It will also be home to staff from the National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT), International Search and Rescue team (ISAR) and secondary Fire Control. A six-storey tower has also been installed designed to be set on fire, as part of training situations.

Each level will be layered out in a different scenario to challenge officers’ abilities including a standard home, a hospital ward or bar and club scenario. The location will also be home to a brand new town that most of the public will never see.

A brand new motorway with overhead signage, culverts for recovery of vehicles and even train lines complete with tunnels are being placed on site to hone the rescue and recovery skills of the crews.

Across from the training site where the high rise, motorway and tunnel would be situated, a purpose-built command and control suite is being developed to allow teams to visually train for a range of incidents, simulating small-scale incidents through to major incidents involving multiple agencies.

Image: MFRS

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