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Green Firestations

Fire stations too much like fire stations, says Govt | The Register

You may not have noticed that you have a problem with fire stations, but fortunately the Department of Communities & Local Government is there to put you right. Today, the bit of government that is all that remains of John Prescott's expensive and ephemeral empire unveiled its "vision for a new generation of open, accessible, inviting and environmentally friendly fire stations" in the shape of its guide, Achieving Design Quality in Fire and Rescue Buildings.

"The design of many fire stations - often intimidating and closed-looking Victorian buildings - does not make them naturally attractive places for the public," it says here. "The popular image of fire stations is often of red bay doors opening briefly to allow out a blue light fire engine before closing again to the outside world."

Well, apparently this is A Bad Thing, and the design guide is intended to change this. "Firefighters' first job will always be fighting fire, but stations can also play a greater role in promoting good community relations by opening up to them and putting a greater emphasis on prevention by increasing education about fire safety," said Fire Minister Parmjit Dhanda.

The trouble with fine old buildings, of course, is that they're not environmentally friendly (the guide announcement is headlined "Green fire stations to open up to local communities"). And they don't "offer high tech facilities",* aren't "welcoming and accessible to the community", or environmentally friendly". They don't meet the needs of diverse communities, "reflecting them in their workforce."

So the guide suggests new uses that would help engage the local community (and, one might speculate, point towards alternative roles for fine old but redundant buildings). Hosting community events and services, "on site cashpoints", car parking space for rural areas, and providing "space for art displays." Or property development opportunities - but we made that last bit up (possibly). ®

Comments

These people have no common sense. How on Earth did they survive into adulthood?

Unless it is all a cunning plan. Turn fire stations into car parks and community centres and the old car parks and community centres can be sold off for redevelopment! Perhaps the Civil Service isn't so stupid afterall...

Oh good-lord! Why can't a fire-station just be a fire-station - and while you're welcoming friendly accessibility, watch out for getting your ass run over by a giant fire truck. These stupid morons think "educating the public" is the answer to everything?

Sounds like this is just another attempt to wipe out yet more history. You'll notice its the "old" buildings that get slated, not the ghastly new constructions of the sixties and seventies.

And what's this accesibility nonsense? These are places where, without a moment's notice, several tens of tons of diesel powered, siren wailing metal might launch itself off the hardstand at high velocity. That's hardly the sort of place you want gawpers, goofers and small children ambling around in the moronic manner of their species.

And that's before one considers the fact that civilians will fiddle with, pinch or break anything they see. Regardless of warning notices, fences or even claymore mine defences. Imagine Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grub arriving at a towering inferno only to find some random visitor has nicked the spanner that makes the ladder work.

Verily the nation is administered by fuckwits.

We have a Fire Minister?

RM, It gets worse. The latest game played by our feral youth is to start a fire, call 999 and wait for the Fire Service* to attend. Firefighters and equipment are then attacked with bricks, stones, air rifles etc. Surely equipping appliances with a turret-mounted GPMG would be a better use of money than improving accessibility.
You're right about the value of old buildings. Whole life costing (to include materials,construction, maintenance and energy use) puts traditional brick built buildings way ahead of modern alternatives that are just fit for demolition after their 30-50 year design life spans whereas the trad build can be refurbed time and again with proven technologies.
* PC means that the militaristic word "brigade" ist verboten and the roll call "Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grub" isn't sufficiently multiculturally diverse.

Ian Bennett: If Nick Clegg can appoint Brian Eno as Yoof Consultant or whatever, why shouldn't we have a Fire Minister (to accompany the Secretaries of State for Earth and Wind)?

Gallimaufry,

Turret mounted GPMG's would be a start, though personally I'd prefer 7.62mm miniguns.

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