Dubbed as the best fire station in regional NSW the opening ceremony held at the newly built facilities on The Ringers Road, South Tamworth, this morning hosted the whos who of local and state emergency services.
In a socially distanced manner, the driving force behind the new station NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Tom Cooper lead a ceremony to recognise everyone involved in making the new station a reality.
Len Waters Kamilaroi man and Traditional Custodian of the Land welcomed the gathering to country and spoke of the strong connection the station has with local Aboriginal communities in the region.
In fact, when Fire and Rescue Commissioner Paul Baxter spoke he said the strong relationship between local Aboriginal people and the local fire crews is commendable and has become a model for the entire state.
Superintendent Cooper thanked Tamworth Mayor Col Murray and Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson for their support and persistence in getting the new facility approved.
Mayor Col Murray said its the best fire station he has ever seen and Kevin Anderson MP after years of lobbying he is glad the station is finally open and serving the community.
The new South Tamworth Fire Station brought together the fire crews of 508 and 448 under the one banner of the 448 Station in what Captain Carl Dunn called a "spirit of special cooperation".
Station Officer Johnathon Hughes shared a similar sentiment and said combining the two crews has created a great dynamic.
"This new fire station in South Tamworth is somewhat special, it's not simply a new building for an existing station, but the creation of an entirely new station bringing together the career firefighters from Tamworth Fire Station and the on-call firefighters from West Tamworth," Officer Hughes said.
In a slightly sorrowful note, the restrictions imposed by COVID -19 meant the opening ceremony couldn't be a big celebration as originally planned.
Due to space restrictions and bureaucratic differences with the states Museum of Fire, the Tamworth Classic Fire Engine Club and the retired firefighters couldn't attend the official ceremony.
The Tamworth Firies Shed members did attend from across the road standing side by side with four vintage Fire Bridge trucks gleaming in the sun in all their well-maintained beauty.
Retired fireman and Classic Fire Engines Club member Bob Hancock said the trucks are in great working order and would be parading downtown this afternoon.