A Royal opening

Employees from Barnard Castle’s four emergency services welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales to officially open the town’s new quad station on 15 February.

The building, which is the first of its kind in the country, is shared between North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS), Durham Constabulary and Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.

Built by CDDFRS at the site of the old fire station courtesy of £3.78m Government funding, work began in February 2016 and all four services moved in last year.

On arrival at the building Prince Charles was met by representatives from each service, including NEAS Chief Executive Yvonne Ormston, before being introduced to some of the employees from all four emergency services who work at the station as well as some of those involved in the planning and construction of the building.

To mark the end of his visit to the station, he unveiled an official plaque before an audience of the employees and their friends and family.

Mrs Ormston said: “Bringing our emergency services together in this way is a model which could potentially be replicated in other regions. We are incredibly proud to be able to demonstrate how breaking down the boundaries between the separate services could make a difference to our services as well as the communities we serve.”

Emergency care assistant Norman Brown was one of the NEAS crews introduced to Prince Charles as part of the visit. As well as working on the frontline at NEAS, Norman is also a retained firefighter at the same station.

He said: “Having all four services together has helped us build up great relationships, which helps when we respond together.

“It was an honour to meet His Royal Highness and show members of the public around our station.”

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