New ground for Christchurch Fire Station

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

New ground for Christchurch Fire Station

The site of the first fire station in New Zealand to be built alongside a university was officially blessed today.

“The new Ilam Fire Station will provide state-of-the-art facilities to support a rapid response from Fire and Emergency to the Ilam community,” says Fire and Emergency Board Chairman Paul Swain.

“The new site will also be home to a Fire Engineering Educational Training Facility where fire engineers can work closely with students and experts of the University of Canterbury’s fire engineering programme.”

The location of the facilities presents a unique opportunity for Fire and Emergency to share resources and expertise with the University, and further strengthen their longstanding relationship.

“It means we can deliver fire risk reduction activities to all students, provide fire engineers’ practical experience to mentor the University’s fire engineering students and access the University fire lab and engineering facilities for further research and development,” says Mr Swain.

University of Canterbury (UC) Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey looks forward to welcoming Fire and Emergency into the UC community.

“The Fire Station and Fire Engineering Educational Training Facility is a welcome addition to the UC community. Our students and engineering staff will benefit from the hands-on practical learning and knowledge sharing, plus the Ilam community will benefit from reduced response times and increased local resource,” she says.

“UC is the only university in New Zealand to offer qualifications in Fire Engineering. This close relationship with Fire and Emergency will further increase the industry relevance of the UC engineering qualification as students will benefit from embedded practical learnings, and the opportunity to ‘ride along’ and connect with industry professionals.”

Ilam Fire Station and Fire Engineering Educational Training Facility, are the next instalment in Fire and Emergency’s Christchurch Rebuild programme. This programme involves the redevelopment of 12 stations to create a modern, unified network of fire stations in the greater Christchurch area.

“The significant investment in the new facilities in Ilam is an example of Fire and Emergency’s commitment to ensuring we have the right resources in the right places to continue to keep the New Zealand public safe,” says Fire and Emergency Area Commander Dave Stackhouse.

“Having a station alongside the University is a ground breaking opportunity for us to upskill current and future fire engineers and provide fire safety and risk reduction activities to a student audience which is traditionally hard to reach,” Mr Stackhouse says.

“We look forward to the new station and training centre and the opportunities that these will bring to our firefighters and both the University and Ilam communities.”

Today’s blessing was led by Aroha Reriti-Crofts, a descendant of Tuahiwi, on behalf of local Iwi, and attended by MP for Ilam Hon. Gerry Brownlee.

Work is expected to be complete by December 2020.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Board Chair Paul Swain and University of Canterbury (UC) Vice Chancellor, Cheryl de la Rey at the event.