Our Christchurch Rebuild programme has reached a significant milestone with the official opening of the Ilam Fire Station and the Ilam Fire Engineering and Training Facility, co-located on campus at the University of Canterbury.

Te Ihu Region Manager Paul Henderson says that locating a fire station and fire engineering facility within a campus is a first for Australasia. “Our ability to build the new station at Ilam reflects the strong relationship our organisation has had with the university over 27 years,” he says.

The new station is positioned to serve the wider Ilam community and Christchurch’s western suburbs as well as the university. The 16 career firefighters who are now based at Ilam were previously at the Harewood Fire Station. The shift was influenced by the population movements which followed the 2010-11 earthquakes and Paul Henderson said he expected the firefighters based there would be spending most of their time in the community, “driving down risk and building relationships”.

The new fire engineering building will be a centre of excellence where our own fire engineers and the university’s fire engineering programme will share resources and collaborate on research and development. Fire and Emergency already provides scholarships and employment opportunities, and students will benefit from the ability to study in a practical fire engineering environment with chances for mentoring and engagement.

The building includes offices and training rooms, equipment storage and ablution areas.

Minister Hon. Jan Tinetti cut the ribbon to officially open the fire station while Chair Hon. Paul Swain and University Vice Chancellor Cheryl de la Rey opened the fire engineering facility on 30 April.

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