Broughton Fire Station
Childs Way, Broughton, Milton Keynes, MK10 9AP
Broughton Fire Station was constructed early on in the development of Milton Keynes city, close to the village that gave the city its name.
Milton Keynes as a village is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086). When Henry II ascended to the throne, he gave the Manor of Milton Keynes Village along with Amabel de Bereville, the daughter and heir of its former owner, to Hugh de Keynes (cahaines). In order to distinguish the Manor from others with a similar name in the neighbourhood, the family name of Keynes was added to the original name of Middleton to make Middleton Keynes. This later changed to become Milton Keynes. Today the village itself is known as Milton Keynes Village and the region it occupies is Middleton.
Prior to the fire station being built in 1977 the local villages relied upon fire engines from neighbouring towns such as Newport Pagnell. The station had its official opening on 23 April 1977 and was initially a day-crewed station with firefighters responding from local houses at night. The station was upgraded in 1985 and other (Retained Duty System) crews from Woburn Sands and Newport Pagnell were relocated here in the early 1990s.
Various fire engines have been housed at Broughton over the years, traditional designs including Dodge, ERF and Volvo. Different special appliances have also been based here including an aerial appliance (hydraulic platform) that provided cover for the north of Buckinghamshire.
The current station has an operational complement of 42 personnel; 28 working a wholetime shift system split into four equal watches, a Retained Duty System (RDS) crew consisting of 12 staff and a Station Commander. Three support staff, and the Milton Keynes Fire Safety Department is also based at the station. The RDS crew were recently presented with a Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Congratulation for their dedication and commitment to maintain the crew’s availability.
The station covers varying amount of risks; the city centre, Milton Keynes Hospital, support to Cranfield airport, a large number of housing estates as well as a significant section of the M1 motorway. The rescue pump is also used as back=up to all other fire stations in the city (Great Holm , Bletchley and Newport Pagnell), as well as the crew at Olney.
The Incident Response Unit (IRU), which contains equipment to carry out mass decontamination of members of the public, provides operational cover in the county and also has a responsibility to respond to all areas of the country in times of national crisis.
Away from the operational element of the job, a major role of the modern firefighter is the mitigation of all types of incident. The station personnel are heavily involved in local initiatives to reduce fire deaths and injuries.
The station celebrated its 30th anniversary in the summer of 2007 by holding one of its most successful open days ever, well in excess of 1,000 visitors attending the site.
In 2009, Broughton Fire Station was a runner-up in the national Spirit of Fire Awards for the staff’s work for charity, and it was shortlisted again in 2010. It has just been shortlisted for the third time in four years, and is a finalist in the 2012 Charity Team of the Year category.
Incidents of note
Broughton crews have been first on the scene at many incidents on the M1 motorway. These have included road traffic collisions where persons are trapped in their vehicles and many chemical spills. Most recently the crews attended a major incident when a National Express Coach overturned at the Newport Pagnell service area.
Numerous rescues have been carried out from building fires in the past year, the crew saving a number of lives in fires in within the local housing estates.
In the past two years Broughton crews have received a Chief Fire Officer’s Letter of Congratulations for their firefighting and rescue operations in two separate incidents.
The crew were in attendance in the early stages of the scaffold collapse at Jury’s Inn Hotel, Central Milton Keynes, in 2006 and first in attendance at a number of major fires in in recent years, notably MK Recycling Factory, Electrolux and the December 2011 fire at The Swan Inn in Milton Keynes Village.
The station is in a key location as the development of the eastern flank of Milton Keynes continues and the likely increase in both industrial risk and population continues.
In light of this, significant refurbishment took place in 2010. This work increased the size of the appliance bays to incorporate further appliances, provided further office facilities, vastly improved disabled access and amenities, and provide an upgraded heating arrangement and a more environmentally-friendly system in keeping with current regulations. It was officially reopened on Tuesday 30 November 2010 by Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, Lord-Lieutenant for Buckinghamshire.
The ultimate aim of any station is to see the figures for all types of incidents fall, which will result in fewer deaths and injuries. To achieve this, the crews will continue to carry out Home Safety Checks for the residents of Milton Keynes and surrounding towns and villages as well as maintaining and enhancing their own operational technical skills.