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New home for Dagenham firefighters

PUBLISHED: 18:19 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 August 2010

DAGENHAM Fire Station will be demolished to make way for a brand new building, the POST can reveal. The landmark structure, which was opened in 1937, has stood next to the Civic Centre in Rainham Road North for six decades. But London Fire Brigade (LFB) f

DAGENHAM Fire Station will be demolished to make way for a brand new building, the POST can reveal.

The landmark structure, which was opened in 1937, has stood next to the Civic Centre in Rainham Road North for six decades.

But London Fire Brigade (LFB) feel the building no longer suits their needs and have submitted a planning application to have it rebuilt.

Once finished, the new building, which will remain on the same plot of land, is expected to have improved community offices and better accommodation for female staff.

It will also become a regional training centre for East London, boasting facilities currently available only in central London.

The LIFE programme, which gives young people the chance to train for a week as firefighters, will also be given a permanent office.

Steve Hobart, Station Manager, told the POST: "We are really excited. It will be great to have somewhere the community can come in and actually meet us. And to have the training facilities on our doorstep will be excellent.

"It is an old station and although it looks like a big building we are actually quite limited.

"There are no community engagement facilities, and our female accommodation is quite small. When it was built we had an all-male fire brigade, but that is no longer the case."

The rebuild is part of a £52 million programme to replace 10 stations in and around London.

Exact plans have not been released, but a spokesman for the LFB said that the station would be replaced on a 'like for like' basis.

The spokesman stressed that services would not be disrupted while work was carried out and said a temporary fire station might be used during building.

The spokesperson said: "The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority is currently applying for outline planning permission to rebuild a number of older London fire stations which are either in poor condition, no longer meet the needs of a modern fire service or are expensive to run. This includes Dagenham.

"This is part of a £52 million private finance initiative scheme to rebuild up to ten London fire stations and, as well as providing new facilities for operational staff at these stations, the rebuilt ones will allow the Brigade to be even more community-focused."

Four watches are based at Dagenham, each containing around 16 firefighters. It is equipped with two fire engines and a brand new 100ft ladder unit.

Dagenham firefighters are also specially trained and equipped to deal with the rescue of large animals.

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