The County Government of Kirinyaga has commenced the construction of an ultra-modern fire station in Kutus town.
The fire station that is being put up is expected to take care of the growing needs brought about by urbanization in the county, especially in the fast-growing Kerugoya-Kutus Municipality.
Some of the beneficiaries of the project will be financial institutions, government offices, health institutions, markets, retail and wholesale outlets, residential estates, and learning institutions including Kirinyaga University.
Governor Anne Waiguru said the new station will comprehensively cater for the needs of the fire department and create employment opportunities for many unemployed residents during construction and recruitment to the fire department, thus improving the economic standards of the residents.
She added that technological advances in firefighting and disaster management, as well as the expansion of the department’s services and the need to have additional staff, require adequate and commensurate infrastructure.
Waiguru said once complete, the new fire station will have a fire engine bay that can accommodate four fire trucks, a control room, a gear locker room, a store, a first aid room, a dining room, and a kitchenette as well as sleeping quarters.
It will also have a reception, an office, a meeting room, a duty room, and an adequate public car parking area.
There will also be express fire trucks entrance and exist separate from the general entrance and exit.
And to ensure adequate supply of water at all times, there will also be a water hydrant within the facility.
She said that with rapid growth in population as well as commercial and residential investments, there is need to establish a modern, equipped, and upgraded fire department, emergency response, and rescue center.
“The new station, which has excellent accessibility due to its location along Kutus -Sagana Highway near Kutus -Kerugoya junction, will be one of the best fire stations in the country and the best in the central region,” Waiguru said.
The county’s firefighters are upbeat about the project since it will enhance efficiency in their operations.
John Kiama, one of the firefighters says that it will be a great relief since they have been operating from a makeshift fire station whose infrastructural inadequacies negatively impact on the department’s operations and emergency response.
He thanked the governor for the initiative, which he said, would provide an integrated and sustainable fire emergency and management system for the county.
The department currently operates from a makeshift structure within the Public Works compound in Kerugoya.
By Irungu Mwangi