TAKE A LOOK | Joburg's getting a new fire station – with a six-storey training tower – Business Insider South Africa

28 Mar
A new fire station is being built in the heart of Johannesburg after the previous one fell into ruin and was ultimately closed.
Johannesburg’s firefighting services have been under immense pressure recently as the city’s dilapidated buildings become high-rise tinderboxes, ripe for disaster.
In 2018, the iconic 31-storey Bank of Lisbon building in downtown Johannesburg was engulfed by flames. Three firefighters died while attempting to extinguish the blaze. An investigation into the state of firefighting services and dilapidated buildings in Johannesburg was subsequently launched.
Since then, more deadly fires have gutted downtown buildings, like the blaze near the Kwa Mai Mai market, which left nine people dead in April 2021.
Johannesburg’s historical central fire station, built more than 90 years ago, was closed in 2018 “in the interest of the safety of the firefighters and staff members operating from the station.” Firefighters were relocated to Fairview fire station.

Plans to build a new central fire station – with modern fittings and layout – were touted before the old facility was closed down, with plans to break ground in 2019.
Construction on the new fire station, led by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), started in May 2021 and is 30% complete.

The new facility in Marshalltown has a contemporary design, incorporating soft and hard roofs, with durable clay face brick and minimal plastered feature walls.
“The building is one level, except for a few areas which extend to the first floor, and a six-storey training tower. The facility will be low-maintenance and sustainable, and a landmark of modern design to the surrounding community,” said a statement issued by the JDA on Friday.

The training tower allows firefighters to hone their skills in combatting building blazes, like those which erupt in the tightly packed, high-rise, inner-city area of downtown Johannesburg.

Once completed, Johannesburg’s new central fire station will feature wash bays for fire trucks, lifting tanks for training on drafting water, a swimming pool, a recreational area with braai facilities, and a gymnasium.
“Some of the project milestones achieved for this facility, since the start of construction, include the relocation of vehicle pound, township establishment approval, the completion of the lifting tank and the completion of the attenuation pond,” said Belinda Echeozonjoku, the MMC for Development Planning in the City of Johannesburg.

03 Jun


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