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Station 145 construction on track for November opening

8/9/17

Elizabeth Medora
Staff

DESERT HILLS – Construction on Daisy Mountain Fire Department’s Station 145 in Desert Hills is moving swiftly, and the station is on track to open in November 2017.

“Our buildings are right on schedule,” DMFD Deputy Chief Danny Johnson said. DMFD expects to hold an open house at the new station sometime in November.

This station replaces the old Station 145, which was torn down several months ago because the building was in poor shape, essentially damaged beyond repair by the expansive soil in the area. The old station was sinking, causing severe foundational damage that was estimated to cost as much or more to repair as it would cost to construct a new station. Construction of the new Station 145 is funded through a bond. In the interim of construction, Station 145 firefighters are working out of a temporary station near the construction site.

To deal with the expansive soil issue, Johnson explained that the construction team for the new station over-excavated the site six feet down. Then, they imported “good dirt” to take the place of the expansive soil. A soil testing company was on-site throughout the process, checking the soil as the work went on.

Equipment and furniture from the old Station 145 has been sent to other stations for use there, replacing aging or worn out items.

“All the equipment has been reused at other stations,” Johnson said.

When going over the plans for the new Station 145, it’s clear that the design is focused on health, safety, and efficiency, with an emphasis on creating a safer living and working space for firefighters. Every step of the design shows purposeful planning and detail, from the general layout to the individual rooms and storage areas.

Johnson said that the new building took about a year to design, adding that CORE Construction has been a “great resource.”

Johnson noted that making this new station cleaner for firefighters is a high priority. The diesel exhaust emitted by the fire engines is a carcinogen; the new station is geared toward reducing exposure to this danger, with multiple large vents installed throughout the bay. A room just off the bay will be specifically for turnout gear, leaving it space to outgas to lessen carcinogen exposure. A “clean room” off the bay will have space for cleaning up after calls, aiming to keep any cross-contamination from occurring by containing potentially contaminated items in that area and keeping these items away from firefighters’ living quarters. As the other DMFD stations get remodeled, “clean design” will be integrated there, as well.

The east side of the station houses community space, including a community room for local meetings. The station also has an EMS room to treat patients who choose to come directly to the station with illness or injuries, instead of calling 911. (Johnson noted that the department strongly encourages people to call 911 for emergencies. Firefighters could be out on a call when someone comes directly to a station for treatment, and it’s faster to call 911 for emergency assistance.)

The station has eight identical rooms for living quarters, which will be shared among the firefighting shifts. The setup includes extra bedrooms so that the station has the ability to expand as needed in the future. The design of the building takes into account how many people will be living there, which Johnson described as planning for “three families.” This requires extra pantry space, closet space, etc., and it’s all been included in the design. The building also offers space for integrated videoconferencing, allowing firefighter training to take place remotely.

Johnson noted that one area they’re especially enthusiastic about is a room dedicated to firefighter health and fitness. Research indicates an increase in cardiac issues in firefighters, and DMFD is aiming health and fitness activities towards cardio. This new fitness room will include a treadmill for the regular cardiac tests each firefighter undergoes, as well as other equipment targeted toward the job, including a stair stepper. The room will also have double doors to the outdoors, allowing for easy access for outdoor training. A 1/8-mile running trail will loop on the grounds.

The building will have new safety and security measures, including a full fire sprinkler system. Firefighters will be able to park in a secured parking lot, as well.

Firefighters help keep the community safe, and this new station will provide them a safe place in which to work. Johnson calls it a building that “protects the community and protects firefighters, as well.”

Keep updated on the progress of Station 145 by following Daisy Mountain Fire Department on Facebook at facebook.com/DMFDPIO and @DMFDPIO on Twitter.