A new state-of-the-art community fire station was officially opened today in Theale following a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by officials from emergency services throughout the county.

This will be the third tri-service station located in Berkshire facilitating fire and rescue, Thames Valley Police and South-Central Ambulance Service.

Not only does it create better co-operation between forces but it has also been proven to improves response times in emergencies.

Commenting on today’s opening, Councillor Paul Gittings, Chair Royal Berkshire Fire Authority said: “Today represents another important milestone for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service as we modernise our buildings. This important work supports the Fire Authority’s commitment towards ensuring that fire stations, and our people and resources are placed at the heart of local communities.

“We are extremely proud to be opening our third tri-service community fire station. It demonstrates our continued commitment towards working collaboratively with our emergency service partners as we continue to make improvements for all Services in the efficient use of public funds.”

Wayne Bowcock, Chief Fire Officer Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The Station represents a landmark to be proud of. It has been designed to be easily identifiable and provides an important space for local communities to use.

The station is located just off the A4 Bath Road meaning transport links are next to none. 

Mark Arkwell, the deputy chief fire officer for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue: “It’s a fantastic investment from the fire authority.

“Our response times have improved, and that’s predominately due to the proximity to the fantastic road network of the A4 and M4.

"Not only does that mean that we are able to get our assets out to the local community but also across Berkshire.

“Because we’re working with the other services we are seeing that knowledge sharing and closer working together and that’s leading to efficiencies but also within the quality of services we offer.”

Kirsten Willis-Drewett, Head of Operations, South Central Ambulance Service said: We’re delighted that Theale Community Fire Station will bring even closer working relationships between local ambulance, fire and rescue and police services.

The three emergency services have, of course, always worked closely together during incidents and through community events.

"In addition to this, all three emergency services will take part in joint training exercises and share expertise in a number of areas, whether this be rescue or casualty care.”

Innovation and design has been at the centre of the new station, creating a better enviroment for fire crews with seperate facilities for accomodation. 

Matthew Barber added: “It’s a great project bringing together all the emergency services on time and on budget, delivering some savings for the public purse which we can re-invest in the front line, but also making sure that the public are safe and getting better response times for fire, police and ambulance”