Most Great Baddow residents will know that the Great Baddow fire station is located on the corner of Maldon Road and Longmead Avenue but many will be unaware that it was previously in, what can only be described as, 'a green hut' (opposite Shepherd Motors) in Brewery Fields. This hut used to be part of Galleywood race course and was donated to the Fire Brigade when the course closed. The hut has now been removed to make way for additional parking spaces but the sign at the entrance to Brewery Fields still refers to 'The Olde Fire Station'.
The shift system at the old station was retained. This is still used in rural areas and personnel crewing the station would have lived or worked in the local area and would be summoned to the station by a siren in the event of fire or other emergency. This would have been heard all over Great Baddow.
The present fire station was opened on the 28th October 1967. It then changed to a “day crewing” shift system and that is still operating today.
The shift consists of two watches of seven firefighters. Each watch covers a normal day shift (09.00 to 18.00) at the station. The watch that is on duty then provides fire cover from their homes between (18.00 to 09.00).
Eight of the firefighters and their families live in service provided houses in Tyrells Way. The other firefighters live in their own houses in the local area within 4 minutes of the station. Each firefighter does 42 hours at the station and 42 hours cover from home per week.
Great Baddow fire station covers a large area extending from Rettendon Turnpike to the other side of Danbury, The Hanningfields, Boreham and into Chelmsford as far as the Army and Navy Roundabout.
Due to the busy road network, a great deal of their work now involves road traffic collisions. Parts of the A12, A130 and A414 covered by Great Baddow fire station are some of the busiest roads in the country.
This information was kindly provided by Ashley Drage, a firefighter at the Great Baddow fire station. Thank you Ashley.