By Karolyn Gephart
Two proclamations were presented by Mayor Tom Reid before the Council meeting October 14, 2019 at City Hall.
Mayor Reid proclaimed the month of October as Fire Prevention Month. The proclamation was accepted by Assistant Fire Chief Roland Garcia and staff.
Mayor Reid also proclaimed the month of October as Code Compliance Month. This proclamation was accepted by Code Enforcement Supervisor Marisa Vasquez and staff.
At the Council meeting, Council members discussed the resolution authorizing the City Manager or his designee to enter into a contract with Joiner Architects, in the amount of $592,600.00, for professional services associated with the design, renovation and construction of Fire Station No. 4.
The new fire station is being programmed for a full time emergency operation consisting of a modern 12,000 square foot facility to house one-4 person Engine Crew, one-2 person Ambulance Crew, a Shift Commander, and a Fire/EMS Captain.
The station will be evaluated for future expansion to house a Fire Command vehicle and rescue truck due to the central city location.
The station will include10 dorm rooms, restrooms with showers, a kitchen/dining area, a day room, and three offices. The equipment area will consist of minimum 60 ft. deep drive through apparatus bays, a bay area workshop with ancillary support spaces, a treatment room, and a storage area for bunker gear and medical supplies.
The new station will support a separation of contaminated/clean environments for firefighter health by including showers and equipment decontamination for personnel.
As current FD staff will be relocated to the new Fire Station No. 4, there will be no increase in personnel expenses with this project, according to city officials.
The contract also includes the evaluation and re-purposing of the existing Fire Station No. 4 to a police academy. The plan will be to evaluate and design for a 40 person training room, fitness area, a shared weight room for both facilities, bathroom facilities and offices for staff.
The building will also be evaluated to house the Police Department Mobile Command Vehicle.
Fire Station No. 4 was built in 2002 and was originally designed and constructed for an all-volunteer fire department. Over the years, modifications have been made to the facility to accommodate a full-time staffed Fire/EMS operation.
City officials conclude the modifications, however, have not fully addressed the needs of the staff, the demands of a large complex city with multiple fire stations, or the expectations of a modern fire service.
To address these issues and provide a facility meeting best practices for full-time operation, the existing Fire Station No. 4 is to be decommissioned and re-built within the Public Safety Complex, immediately east of the existing station.
The new Fire Station No. 4 will be designed applying the lessons learned in the design of Fire Stations No. 1 and No. 8 which placed emphasis on firefighter health, providing decontamination facilities between contaminated gear and clean living spaces.