A £21 million new fire station and training centre has been officially opened by the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard.
The site becoming operational was described as “the start of a new era” for the fire service by West Sussex County Council chairman Pete Bradbury.
It was commissioned by the county council as the first of its type in West Sussex to replace the 55-year-old fire station in Hurst Road, Horsham.
And it was named Platinum House in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth.
Councillor Bradbury said: “This is a momentous occasion for West Sussex County Council and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service as we reach the culmination of a commitment to build an industry-leading new facility to ensure our firefighters are equipped with the skills that they need to keep us all safe in the event of an emergency.
“The building represents far more than bricks and mortar. It represents our vision for the future. Platinum House becoming operational marks the start of a new era for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.”
West Sussex County Council leader Paul Marshall said: “Horsham has a long and proud history of firefighters who have worked tirelessly to keep people safe and to be there to support them in their hour of need.
“I wonder what the firefighters from days gone by, dressed in brass helmets and wool tunics, would make of Platinum House today?”
He highlighted better safety for those fighting fires and “the way we power the building through the use of green energy sources”.
Councillor Marshall added: “I suspect they would be in awe of this remarkable facility – and it is in their memory that we dedicate the opening of Platinum House as we look to a long and prosperous new chapter for the fire service in Horsham – and beyond, across the whole of West Sussex.”
Chief Fire Officer Sabrina Cohen-Hatton said thanked the county council “for understanding the vision we had to deliver a first-class facility here – not just for the residents of Horsham but all of our communities in West Sussex”.
She added: “Platinum House will serve as a reminder to us all of our late Queen’s remarkable public service over 70 years.
“The state-of-the-art training centre and new fire station for Horsham will ensure that West Sussex’s firefighters continue to have the skills and knowledge to keep residents safe for years to come.”
Platinum House is in Highwood Village, close to the A24, and at the official opening on Tuesday (28 November) guests were given a tour while firefighters put on a demonstration.