Combining role-play, fire safety and teamwork, Barnas Brannstasjon (Children’s Fire Station), is also a whole lot of fun.
This new attraction at Kongeparken near Stavanger, Norway, represents an investment of around NOK15 million ($2.75/€1.9m) and has been entertaining young guests all summer.
Although other fire-fighting attractions have been built at parks around the world, notably Legoland, Barnas Brannstasjon is perhaps the largest and most elaborate yet, providing a full 20-minute experience including a Splash Battle-style ride sequence lasting five minutes.
Aimed at children between the ages of four and nine, the adventure begins with a fire safety briefing but the action steps up a gear when an emergency call is received and the children are enlisted to respond. Donning fire fighter jackets, they cross to the fire station, slide down the pole and hop on board a bright red fire truck to make it to the scene of a simulated blaze, where they work as a team to pump water and extinguish the “fire.”
Barnas Brannstasjon accommodates 30 children at a time and parents watch from a gallery as the kids enact their roles with relish, all the while learning the principles of fire safety and teamwork in an authentic setting. The children’s success earns them certificates of accomplishment and a fire checklist. Gifts are also provided by a local insurance company that sponsors the attraction.“We used five years of research on this project,” reveals Kongeparken owner Håkon Lund. “The attraction a collaboration with Eric Daman, who also designed unique attractions like Freia Chocolate Factory and Fuji Smil med Meg. With Barnas Brannstasjon we wanted to make the next generation of immersive experience, in line with our park’s six values: learn, play, share, explore, magic and excitement.”
“Håkon understands the family market,” adds George Wiktor of the GW Group in California, who provided the special effects. “Kongeparken has again set a brilliant example of how much can be accomplished on a modest budget with a resourceful team that cares about quality.”
GW designed and delivered the lighting, smoke, fire and water effects that help make Barnas Brannstasjon so authentic, together with a control system that is robust and simple for park staff to operate and maintain. The ride system was supplied by Metallbau Emmelm.
The result, Lund believes, “is an experience that combines a show and a ride on a level that normally only major parks can afford, but within a budget that fits smaller regional parks like us.”
According to Wiktor the attraction is a hit not just with those riding, but also those standing to the side: “For the parents it’s powerful – even cathartic – to observe their children’s earnest participation. The kids are very focused on the ‘grown-up’ tasks at hand.”
The season at Kongeparken continues until September 18, with the park reopening for five days in December.
You can have one too!
The concept for Barnas Brannstasjon was developed by long time Kongeparken collaborator Eric Daman, with the park using its in-house resources for design, fabrication and construction.
As well as Metallbau Emmeln and the GW Group, the attraction also uses the services of US companies including Visual Terrain, Kool Fog, Sigma Services and Alcorn McBride.
“We have had several requests from other parks that would like to make something similar,” says Kongeparken’s owner Håkon Lund, “and would be happy to help as this is an attraction that combines fun with very important lifesaving education.”