17 May 2022
By Mary Bermingham
A new state-of-the-art fire station, serving more than 15,000 people, has been officially opened in Kanturk. The ribbon was cut by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD on Friday, May 13th, 2022.
The facility on Percival Street replaces the old station at St Theresa’s which was home to Kanturk Fire Brigade for nearly 70 years. Kanturk Fire Brigade responds to approximately 130 incidents per year including house fires, road traffic collisions, chimney fires as well as gorse, hill and grass fires.
Kanturk Fire Station is staffed by a local crew of 10 which is made up of a station officer, sub-station officer, driver mechanic and seven firefighters. All of the crew live and work within two miles of the station.
The new fire station extends to 340m2 and has two appliance bays as well as a domestic bay to house the watch room, lecture/training room, kitchen, changing and shower rooms. It’s universally accessible meaning that people of all physical abilities can access and work in the building. Outside there is a drill yard and parking facilities.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said,
“The new fire station is a long-awaited addition to Kanturk. It serves Kanturk, Newmarket and many small villages in the vicinity. Kanturk Fire Brigade also provides additional assistance to crews in Mallow, Millstreet, Charleville, Abbeyfeale and Castleisland. The old facility at St Theresa’s has served the town well for almost seven decades. However, it was on a confined site close to a housing estate and could not be upgraded, expanded or modernised to meet the needs of a modern fire service. The new station on Percival Street is still located within the town centre but is a much larger and more modern building.”
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD highlighted how,
“Kanturk Fire and Rescue, along with all the stations in Cork County Fire Service, respond to a wide range of emergency incidents from fires and road traffic collisions to chemical incidents and water rescues. This new station will provide greatly improved facilities to ensure the continued delivery of an effective emergency and fire safety response to the community for generations to come. Today I also viewed the site of the new fire station at Macroom, which will soon be handed over to Cork County Council; and my Department are currently working with Cork County Council on a new Fire Station for Clonakilty. This long term investment through my Departments Fire Services Capital Programme not only ensures the continued development of a sound service infrastructure of fire stations, but the further investment in vehicle fleet, specialist equipment and command and control capability, reflects the importance we place on fire safety in terms of our citizens and property.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council, James Fogarty added,
“The Fire and Rescue service is a vital part of Cork County Council. Kanturk is one of 20 fire stations located throughout the county of Cork. We have over 200 trained firefighters, who are members of the local community in which they serve, are trained and on call to respond to whatever emergency arises. Cork County Council’s Architects’ Department worked closely with the Fire Service and other stakeholders on the design of the new fire station in Kanturk to allow for rapid connections through the building. Sustainability was another key driver for this project. Rainwater is harvested for use during drill training. There are also solar panels and an air source heat pump to reduce energy requirements. The boundary stone wall and gates which date from the 19th Century have also been carefully refurbished.”
The contract for the new building was awarded to Cork company HG Construction, following a competitive tender valued at €1.8 million, and was funded by the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government.