PHOTOS: Inside Bundy's red-hot new fire station
THE new Bundaberg Queensland Fire and Emergency Services station might be state of the art, but firefighters have creatively brought more than a little piece of history with them.
Walking through the front doors of the new facility at 57 Wyllie St, the front foyer houses a display cabinet which includes one of the first brass helmets worn by firefighters.
Moving through to the main corridor, the pristine, freshly painted white walls are adorned by photos and plaques from former Bundaberg fire station buildings, as well as staff photos dating back to 1910.
In a final nod to those who protected the city and surrounds since March 15, 1884, the former Woongarra St station boardroom table has been refurbished and contains shadow boxes under a glass table top.
Within the shadow boxes sits memorabilia, including a hand-written log book of jobs from the 1930s.
"This is one of the occurrence books we have ... it goes right back to 1930 when they used to write all their fire calls down by hand,” Mr Higgins said.
"Anything that used to happen on an occasion, any training, was all hand-written down.”
The table takes pride of place in the new, modern tea room and is a constant reminder to today's firefighters of their rich history.
Settling in after moving in two months ago, Bundaberg QFES Inspector Ron Higgins said the new facility had been thoroughly thought out and offered space, inside and outside, for training, which they hadn't had before.
Gone are the days when firefighters would leave their protection gear beside the truck to suit up before they jumped aboard and headed out to a job.
Now a dedicated room keeps the soiled protection equipment away from the rest of the station.
"Any new station now has a dirty area for all our clothing that we ware to fires and then they go into a room where you get cleaned and then into a clean area,” Mr Higgins said.
"All new stations are built that way now for health and safety.
"The protective gear gets regularly cleaned after every major incident.”
New to a lot of stations is a drying room, where specially designed clothes hangers with inbuilt fans circulate air through the suit in conjunction with a heater, which works to dry the heavy, protective clothing out quickly.
"A lot of fireys had input into the design of this station ... we came up with the design in how it was going to run,” Mr Higgins said.
"Each firefighter has a personal locker. It's very well laid out.”
A new gym provides a fresh facility for staff to keep up their fitness for the physically demanding role.
"Most of the guys use this. It's a pretty popular room and it's for everyone, even the office staff use this. It keeps the mind active,” Mr Higgins said.
The new station is home to various fire trucks, each slightly different and equipped to suit a range of situations.
"We have our main turn out truck ... it's the one they use mostly,” he said.
"Then we have our heavy rescue and tech rescue. It's the truck we use for a heavy rescue or trucks or anything like that.
"We also have a back-up truck for structural fires and we have a grass fire unit as well. It's a smaller unit that's utilised for bushfires mainly and we can also hook up the swift water unit, so it's dual purpose
"It's smaller, four-wheel-drive and can get into those places where we can't get a truck.”
Also parked behind the big red roller doors is Childers' new truck, which is fitted with compressed air foam and is waiting for auxillary firefighters to undergo training before heading south.
With dedicated officers, a breathing apparatus room, a chemical splash suit testing area and more, the station, which has been built to accommodate a higher number of staff into the future, ticks all the boxes.
But Mr Higgins said the best part about the new station was the space indoors to be able to set up an incident control centre in the event of a major incident, and the training space outdoors for practical exercises.
"We can now how guys come in from outer stations ... they don't have to go out and find a space outside of their work environment.
"Previously a lot of the training courses were held on the Sunshine Coast, but we've got the space and resources to simulate situations and hold courses here now.”
With the new centre positioned beside the new Bundaberg South Queensland Ambulance Station, the two emergency services will also be able to hold joint training sessions, which benefits the communities they serve and protect.