New Fire Station Projects
The planning for the replacement of Fire Station #1 has been in the works for a couple of years now.
The Fire Department was established in 1948 and responded out of the basement of Town Hall. The bay door is still there! In the early 1950’s, the fire department doubled its space and moved into a building that was located behind the existing Station #1. The Fire Department shared that space with the Service Department. It was razed in 2011.
In 1966 both Station #1 and Station #2 were dedicated. Station #1 was built as a combination Fire Station and Community Center.
The inventory of Concord Fire that will be brought into the new station currently occupies almost 12,000 square feet of space throughout the Township that will be brought into the new station #1. This existing space includes the current Station #1 at approximately 6,400 square feet, Fire Prevention Bureau at approximately 1,540 square feet, an ambulance at approximately 570 square feet, and equipment from the red barn including an off-road rescue vehicle at approximately 2,086 square feet. This does not include Station #2.
The remaining square footage comes significantly from features that do not exist in our current footprint or in creating space for equipment and supplies. One of our primary objectives is to improve emergency response. We currently have an ambulance staged in the Service Department. The fire department has timed its deployment from that area and when it is needed could add up to 4 minutes to our response time. Additionally, we have an off-road rescue vehicle that is kept off site as well that is used primarily for rescues in the parks. Also, our Command Vehicle is kept outside 24/7/365. Our firefighters want to be able to get to you as quickly as possible and bringing that equipment into the fire station will help us tremendously in achieving that goal.
The fire department has an air compressor that allows us to fill our breathing air bottles. This compressor is currently located in the apparatus bay and uses ambient air from the apparatus bay. The new station will have a separate room for that process in addition to storing spare air bottles.
In our existing stations, the firefighting gear is kept in the apparatus bay and they off-gas into the living quarters of the fire station. The new station includes a separate room to store firefighting gear that is absent of UV light and has negative pressure ventilation to allow the gear to off-gas outside of the station.
The EMS supplies and oxygen is currently being stored in the same area as the trucks. These need to be in a clean and secured area.
We currently launder our uniforms and linen in the same washer and dryer as the towels used to clean tools and decontaminate the ambulances and fire engines. The new station provides for a separate laundry space for ambulance decontamination and uniforms.
The new station allows for firefighter decontamination when they return not just from fires, but also hazardous materials incidents and trauma. In terms of firefighter living, our current station has 5 firefighters sharing one shower which is also in the same room as the six lockers we have for a staff of 45. They also share one toilet when there is a female on station. The new station will include adequate restroom and shower facilities to accommodate not just our firefighters but visitors as well.
The additional space requirements come into play in terms of being able to more efficiently travel around the station. There is inadequate space between the trucks for firefighters to prepare to deploy to an emergency.
The same people who live and work here and should be considered experts on emergency response have established the space requirements for the new station. We feel that these are the minimum requirements of fire station design today and well into the future.
The firefighters have always and will continue to do the best job possible for the protection of our community.
We urge all who are interested to stop by Station #1 to learn more about the issue and our plans.