Tuesday May 31st 2022
Fire chiefs are considering creating a joint station with other emergency services to replace Dalkeith Fire Station amid safety warnings over the state of the roof.
Talks have already taken place with Midlothian Council over the possibility of a joint campus at Stobhill and the local authority has said it would not object to a joint fire and ambulance service base.
The move comes after structural reports discovered the current fire station was built with the same type of concrete roof planks which were blamed for a school roof collapse four years ago.
Safety watchdogs issued a warning about the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) planks following the collapse and a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service review identified them in Dalkeith Police Station.
The discovery brought plans to repair the roof, which was leaking, to a halt and fire chiefs have been left considering their options.
At a meeting of Midlothian Police and Fire Rescue Board this week Local Senior Officer Hilary Sangster told members an alternative was being considered.
She said: “It (Dalkeith Fire Station) is dated and has issues with its roof. We need to look at alternative solutions whether to build on site, elsewhere or go jointly.”
She said while the current location of the station worked well there was scope for considering moving to a new site.
And she said the service’s property team and asset management were looking at what could be done including co-locating.
No time scale for the move is in place with the LSO adding it would happen when funds became available for the project.
Midlothian Council’s chief officer Derek Oliver said discussion had already been held over one site with the local authority accepting the possibility of shared space.
He said: “In terms of fire and ambulance services working together and co-locating we do not have any issues with that. We had been looking at co-locating to a campus at Stobhill with the council but that does not seem to be progressing.”
An HM Fire Inspectorate report into Midlothian’s service last year confirmed RAAC panels had been found on roofs of some fire stations including Dalkeith and final decisions over future work were still being considered.
It said: “Overall the situation with the roof of the affected stations will have a significant financial impact for the service, beyond that already spent on temporary and investigative work.
“The service, recognising that extensive remedial work may be required at some fire stations, has purchased some temporary modular buildings which can be relocated to other sites. We see this as a good practical approach.
“A final decision regarding any future changes to Dalkeith fire station has yet to be agreed, but the LSO will be fully engaged in the assessment of options.”Tweet Share on Facebook