New fire engine for Long Melford
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
This village fire station has undergone a £310,000 make over - and that is not the only reason to celebrate.
Crews operating out of Long Melford Fire Station have also taken delivery of a brand new fire engine and new uniforms.
The station, at Little St Mary's in Hall Street, has seen renovations to its frontage, bay doors, storage and welfare facilities.
The improvements were unveiled to the media on Thursday night, with the crew's new Volvo fire engine also on display.
The appliance is one of three new engines in Suffolk, the other two being based at Framlingham and Holbrook.
Firefighters also demonstrated new personal protective clothing (PPE), which they have been using since May, that is more lightweight, comfortable and tailored, with specific designs for men and women.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the Long Melford station is the latest to benefit from its continued investment in equipment, resources and wellbeing of crews.
MORE: Suffolk firefighters take funding demands to MPs in WestminsterIan Bowell, area commander, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The new fire engine will replace the crew's old one which is going off as part of a national programme to give fire service equipment to other countries that need our assistance.
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"They [Long Melford crew] are really pleased tonight, they've taken over their new fire engine, along with their new PPE and at the same time, they've just undergone some renovations here so they've had three really good things happen to them in a very short space of time, so they're obviously very pleased and so are we."
Richard Rout, cabinet member for environment and public protection at Suffolk County Council said: "This is part of our on-going programme of investment to make sure our firefighters have the best available tools for the job, while improving their safety and wellbeing.
"Despite the ongoing financial challenges, our priority is keeping our staff and Suffolk safe."
MORE: New 'multi-purpose' uniforms help put out fires across SuffolkMembers of the Suffolk branch of the Fire Brigades' Union recently visited Westminster to campaign for more funding for the county.
The union says that response times in Suffolk are currently the slowest in the East of England and that firefighter jobs in the county have been cut by 21% since 2010, while central government funding has been cut by 18% since 2016/17.