BARNSLEY’S new fire station had its official opening ceremony last Wednesday with a Paralympian gold medallist in attendance.

The opening of the new £4m building, on Broadway, comes after the build began last June.

Former South Yorkshire firefighter and Team GB Paralympic gold medallist in Tokyo, Gavin Walker, did the honours of officially opening the new site.

Gavin had been a member of the fire service since 2003 when he broke his neck from slipping on decking in 2010 - he continued with the fire service for two more years and began training for wheelchair rugby before being selected for the national squad in 2013 and becoming a full-time athlete.

Chief fire officer Alex Johnson said: “The new station has been several years in the planning and represents part of our vision to provide all our firefighters with modern, comfortable and energy efficient spaces in which to live and work.

“The new station has been completed to a very high specification and with the wishes of the fire fighters who will work there taken into account at every stage.

“It has been paid for using money set aside from the authority’s reserves and we expect it to provide an outstanding service to the people of Barnsley for many years to come.”

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place, added: “We are delighted to see the new energy-efficient fire station on Broadway officially opening, representing an exciting step for sustainability in the borough.

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“We hope the new fire station will serve our communities for many years to come.”