All Under One Roof in Abertillery
Emergency Services leaders and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, will jointly launch the new Emergency Services Station in Abertillery this afternoon (2:15pm).
Refurbishment work on transforming Abertillery Fire Station to provide modern and upgraded facilities to accommodate all three emergency services began last year. Since January 2017, Gwent Police officers, Welsh Ambulance Service crews and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service crews have all been operating from the station. Each service now has its own vehicle bay and access to all the facilities and office space they require. In a model which could pave the way for future service provision in Gwent, this is also the first time all three emergency services have been based permanently under the same roof in South Wales.
During the launch, the invited dignitaries will witness joint displays and drills performed by all three emergency services, including a road traffic collision demonstration. They will also have the opportunity to take a look around the new facilities and speak to some of the staff, officers and crew members based at the station.
The newly remodelled fire station has enabled Gwent Police to re-establish a permanent base in the town following the closure of the police station. The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, is responsible for the police estate in Gwent which includes all of the police stations, land and assets in the force area. The PCC has confirmed that he is already in advanced discussions with emergency service partners about how this model could be replicated elsewhere so that the Force can maintain a strong presence in the heart of Gwent communities.
Embracing the new partnership, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert, said: 'Despite a significant reduction in funding to the Police service over the last six years, I am committed to working with key partners to ensure that we provide a visible and accessible policing service which adequately responds to local need and provides assurance to the community. This new partnership forms part of that commitment. Working together in this way not only ensures value for money for the tax payer but also provides modern and upgraded facilities which all three emergency services can be proud of. Through innovative collaborations like this, we can continue to provide enhanced services to communities across Gwent whilst reducing costs.'
The Chief Fire Officer for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Huw Jakeway, said: 'We are delighted to be welcoming our colleagues from Gwent Police and the Welsh Ambulance Service to our station in Abertillery. The new station is a shining example as to how, as emergency services, we are working more collaboratively to ensure that we continue to keep the communities we serve safe from risk. The relationships between each of the services is already well established and with joining together to operate under one roof, is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to this relationship and its long term future.'
Patsy Roseblade, Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust said: 'We're delighted to be able to share this facility with our emergency services partners at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Gwent Police. This combined facility here at Abertillery will enable us to work more closely for the benefit of the communities we serve as well as achieving some operational efficiencies.'
Welcoming the move, the Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jeff Farrar, said: 'Through this partnership the Force now has access to an up to date modern facility which serves the needs of our staff and the local community. We already have an excellent working relationship with our partners in the Ambulance and Fire Services but this new venture enables us to work closer together and have greater coordination when responding to incidents. Given the financial constraints facing public services, this also enables us to maintain a strong community policing presence in the area.'