Chatham’s new £4.8m fire station has been officially opened.
The old building in Watling Street was more than 60-years-old but despite its prime location, it needed extensive repair and refurbishment.
As the former station was located on an oversized plot, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) decided to build the new premises next to it.
Firefighters used the old station while it was being built and the old site will now be sold.
The new facility has one fire engine and one incident support vehicle.
It will be open 24 hours a day and 22 firefighters and managers will be based there.
It is also home to KFRS’s water services team and the technical fire safety team which supports businesses.
VIDEO: Inside Chatham's new fire station
Another fire station was opened in Marconi Way, Rochester, last year.
KFRS area manager Lee Rose said: “We had a station next door that was there for around 60 years and we’ve managed to split the crews.
“We’ve got a crew here and a crew at Rochester which gives us better coverage to make sure our services can get wider.
“Every fire station is fitted with a fireman’s pole because it gives us a quicker way to get out the doors.
“When you’ve involved in fire, seconds count.
“So for us, it’s about how fast we can get from one end of the building to another.”
KFRS chairman and county councillor, Nick Chard, said: “I am very pleased to announce the official opening of Chatham’s fire station.
“It gives us a base fit for purpose for modern day appliances and equipment, as well as being more energy efficient than the former station.
“This is a very real demonstration of our commitment to provide a good level of emergency response for local people, providing an effective base for our firefighters to help keep the public safe for years to come.”