27 September 2022
By Tom Collins
The new fire station, located on Gurteenroe Road next to Macroom’s new Garda Station, will allow easy access to the new bypass to a service which responds to approximately 150 incidents per year including house fires, road traffic collisions, chimney fires as well as gorse, hill and grass fires. The new fire station will be staffed by a local crew of 10, in total, which includes a station officer, sub-station officer, driver mechanic and 7 firefighters.
Designed by Cork County Council staff and constructed by Cahalane Brothers’ Construction, the new fire station is a state-of-the-art building, tied to the national network of fire service mobilisation and communications centres.
Officially opening the new station, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins highlighted how, “This new, state of the art fire station, is a fantastic addition to Macroom and will serve the community well. This is a project that has been a real team effort across a range of specialist skills. The new Macroom fire station has been designed to the highest of modern standards and is equipped with many new elements such as storage for fire appliances and bay areas. It will be a superb base for our firefighters who carry out essential work here and most importantly serve the community when called upon.”
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said, “The Macroom Fire station crew, along with all stations in Cork County Fire and Rescue Service, respond to a wide range of emergency incidents from fires, road traffic collisions, chemical incidents, water rescues and severe weather events. 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. In May of 2022, I had the pleasure to open the new fire station at Kanturk, 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.”
Sustainability was a key driver in the development of the new Macroom Fire Station. Cork County Council is an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Partner and in line with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, the grassed areas around the fire station will be managed to support wild-life and pollinators. They will be alive with wildflowers and will be mowed in accordance with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan. Rainwater will be harvested and stored in a large attenuation tank in the drill yard for training purposes. Renewable energy was integrated into the design with PV panels to provide sustainable energy and to offset carbon emissions. An air source heat pump was specified for both hot water and space heating, further reducing energy requirements while making the building cost efficient to operate and heat. The building also complies with the Part L Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey went on to say, “The Fire and Rescue service is a vital part of Cork County Council’s service provision with Macroom Fire Station one of 20 fire stations located across Cork County. We have over 200 firefighters, who are members of the local community in which they serve, are highly trained and on call to respond when an emergency arises. Council staff across various Departments worked closely with the Fire Service and other stakeholders on the design of the new fire station in Macroom to allow for rapid connections through the building. Sustainability was another key driver for this project and this collaborative thinking is evident is every aspect of our newest Fire Station.”
Macroom Fire Station will be connected to the Munster Regional Communications Centre which provides emergency call-taking and mobilisation services for seven local authority fire services in the region. The Munster Regional Communications Centre is part of a national network of fire service mobilisation and communications centres and reflects current best practice in all aspects of its activities, including its operational response, technology, and management.
The new fire station, with a total floor area of approximately 308 m² over one floor, is composed of two main formal elements, an appliance bay for the storage of fire appliances and a domestic bay, to house the watch room, muster bay, kitchenette, lecture/training room and ancillary spaces. The new building is also universally accessible.