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

The site of Ilam Fire Station and Fire Engineering Educational Training Facility, the first fire station and training facility in New Zealand to be built alongside a University, was officially blessed today.

The blessing was led by Aroha Reriti-Crofts, a descendant of Tuahiwi, on behalf of local Iwi.

Fire and Emergency Board Chair Paul Swain, attended the blessing along with MP for Ilam Hon. Gerry Brownlee and University of Canterbury (UC) Vice Chancellor, Cheryl de la Rey.

The location of the new facilities presents a unique opportunity for Fire and Emergency to work closely with UC, share resources and further strengthen our 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.

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.

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, so we can continue to keep the New Zealand public safe.

“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,” says Area Commander Dave Stackhouse.

“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.”

Work is expected to be complete by December 2020.

You can read more about the blessing on our website(external link) and watch a video(external link) from the event below. 

Artist's impressions of the completed Ilam Fire Station and Fire Engineering Educational Training Facility

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