You may have heard people using the term ‘safe haven’ when describing places in the local community where somebody in need of help or who is distressed can safely raise the alarm.

A number of locations that might spring to mind are police stations, GP surgeries or your place of work but let us add another building to the list, as your local fire station is also a safe haven.

“We have 17 community fire stations positioned throughout Tyne and Wear across all five local authority areas, and our doors are always open for anyone who is seeking help or assistance,” said Assistant Chief Fire Officer Lynsey McVay of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

ACFO McVay adds: “We are always associated with protecting the public by fighting fires and rescuing people, but we also believe that we have an essential responsibility of keeping people safe from harm through being a safe haven for people to find solace at a time of need or distress.

“Each fire station has a bell at the front door to alert the station crew.  If the crew are out at the time, a call box can be found at the entrance to help gain assistance and support from our Fire Control Room.  This team are based at our Service Headquarters, which is staffed 24-hours-a-day.

“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues across the emergency services including the offices of the Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner – in our quest to help keeping people safe”.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Our fire stations are often a key part of what makes us feel safe in our local neighbourhood. Of course, I don’t want anyone to find themselves in a situation where they feel unsafe or need urgent help but it’s good to know that if you do, help is very much there. So, no matter who you are, young or old, if you’ve been attacked or are experiencing abuse at home, whatever it is, know that your nearby fire station can help with so much more than putting out fires.”

Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness and Lynsey McVay, Assistant Chief Fire Officer are pictured outside Newcastle Central Community Fire Station – where the call box (alarm) is located.

For a full list of fire stations across Tyne and Wear please visit