A brave South Yorkshire teenager has helped to officially open a new multi-million pound fire station in Sheffield.
Joe Bowers, who suffered life changing burns as a baby following a house fire, joined Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts in formally unveiling the new Parkway fire station.
The £4 million facility improves South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s service to Sheffield’s major industrial sites, new housing developments in the area and road traffic collisions on Sheffield Parkway.
It houses a full time fire engine and an aerial appliance and also features a community room with audio visual facilities, for use by local residents for meetings and events. The station started receiving its first 999 calls in July 2015.
Red watch firefighters performed a breathing apparatus demonstration in front guests, who included teachers and pupils from nearby Pipworth Community Primary School. Other invitees included Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police David Crompton, members of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority and staff from contractors BAM Construction Ltd.
Speaking at the event Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “The financial pressures the fire and rescue service faces are both well documented and unprecedented. But this fantastic new facility is the best possible physical reminder of the fact that despite the challenges we face we remain absolutely committed to supporting our future.
“The site was carefully chosen to improve our emergency response service to the city’s major industrial sites as well as new housing developments nearby and incidents on Sheffield Parkway. But this project has also been about providing our firefighters with a workplace which is befitting of their skills and the vital role they play in our communities.”
Joe Bowers was rescued from a house fire in 2001 when he was just 18 months old and suffered life changing burns and spent months recovering in hospital. Overcoming everything from facial reconstruction to muscle transplants with admirable strength and incredible determination, he was last year awarded Youth of Courage at the Spirit of Fire Awards in London.