Wednesday marked the end of an era for Mount Druitt firefighters, as they closed the roller door on their Belmore Avenue station for the last time.
But as one door closed, another one opened, and they drove right through it into their new state-of-the-art home on Railway Street.
The station’s D platoon were taken off the grid for a day so they could move into their new digs.
“It all went relatively smoothly,” Station Officer Phil Sturges said.
“There’s going to be a few teething problems like with any new building, but we’re obviously very happy.”
The $3 million facility has been opened for strategic and operational reasons.
Fire and Rescue NSW believes the new location will improve response times for one of Sydney’s busiest stations.
It will also feature added training facilities to ensure firefighters are better prepared for the task at hand.
“It’s about as different as you could possibly imagine,” Mr Sturges said.
“The old station has always struggled to keep up the demand over the years.
“It’s a great feeling to have this new facility. It’s been long overdue.”
But it was still a bittersweet day for current and former Mount Druitt firefighters.
Opened in 1971, it was a home-away-from-home for the hundreds of members who served the community.
It was not designed to be used as a full-time station, which caused problems as the years passed.
Station Officer Daron Lesslie posted on the crew’s Facebook page in tribute to the “32”, as the Belmore Avenue station was affectionately known.
“As poor as the facilities have been, many of us will miss the ‘Old 32’,” he said.
“The station has helped forge some great friendships and fostered a strong camaraderie amongst crews.
“There are amazing memories here and as is the nature of our work, some terrible ones but we hope that our friendships have helped ease the pain for those involved.”