Emergency Services

by Chris Cooper

I have always had a special affinity for the emergency services since my father was a fire fighter and I work in the ambulance service and have always loved having the fire, police and ambulance sets from Lego.  My earliest memory was receiving set 6389 Fire Control Centre for my birthday. It was the biggest set I’d ever had up to that point and it was amazing, having a working roller door and a helicopter!

When getting back into Lego I found that the sets weren’t really living up to what I expected or remembered. Daft, as I know they are toys for children after all. So I decided that I wanted to create a station that rekindled that excitement I had all those years ago.

It took me nearly six months of painstaking designing and learning on stud.io before I came up with something I liked but didn’t really love! I’d tried several designs for the bay doors but nothing really jumped out at me (I’ve included a few early design photos below).  Then one day whilst sorting through the huge quantity of instructions I have I found the plans for 6389 and it was like a lightbulb moment and I decided that the bay doors would be the same as they were in that set. I set to making a prototype and working out how tall it would need to be etc.  So I hurried away with expanding the station for another three months and created MK 2.

Again I felt positive about the design but now I seemed to be left with what would look like a big red box! Back to the drawing board again, and, discovering the wide range of bricks and tiles available now, MK 3 was born!

Finally I was happy with the design. It felt like it was maturing, it had some nice details and was pleasant to look at. Now on to building!

This was going to be a huge project! The station is 32 studs deep and a massive 80 studs wide and 30 bricks tall! As building continued I found myself making adjustments along the way so MK 4 and 5 came and went and I’d only completed building the bays!  I’d added in a reception area along with wheelchair access and put in turnout gear storage along the back wall for the helmets etc.

As I moved through building the second floor I continued to adapt the design and layout and MK 6 soon became MK 7. The second floor would include the offices for senior management along with a training/conference room, kitchen/mess room and the watch room. By this point I was over the moon how it was progressing and decided to take it to the Milton Keynes Brick Festival 2 and the reception from the crowds was amazing.

Children staring at it and seeing the same look on their faces that I had when I unwrapped my birthday present was incredible and having adults coming over and asking questions as well as sharing stories of their careers in the fire service etc told me I had done a good job with the details.

At the moment I’m working on the third floor which has the sleeping area for the firefighters along with toilets, shower room and R&R/crew room along with the roof garden but here are a few photos of how it stands now and some ‘mini stories’ going on inside.