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February 4, 2009 > New fire station opens in Centerville

New fire station opens in Centerville

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Meenu Gupta

There is yet another new Fire station in Fremont. Fire station #6 located at 4355 Central Avenue in Fremont is the second of the three new fire stations proposed to be completed, thanks to the Fremont voters who approved the Fire Safety Bond.

Fire Station #8 was built earlier in September 2005. It is located at 35659 Fremont Boulevard in North Fremont. The third fire station in Niles is yet to be completed. Station #2 will be located at 37299 Niles Boulevard in Fremont. It is planned to house one engine and three additional pieces of apparatus that will maintain a high level of response.

"The Fire Bond that was passed by the citizens of Fremont has allowed us to retrofit our fire stations," said Gerry Fogel, Operations Captain, City of Fremont Fire Department. "Fire Station 2 should be completed before the end of this year."

Fire Safety Bond Measure R, passed by 74.4% of Fremont voters in November 2002 elections, authorized the issuance of $51million in General Obligation bonds to provide funding to replace these three fire stations. Bond proceeds funded the acquisition of replacement land, design and construction of these fire stations. "Though Stations 1, 4, 5, 9 and 10 look the same from the outside they have been seismically retrofitted too," said Captain Casey Mc Cuaig.

Centerville's fire station has moved from its previous downtown Centerville location to the corner of Central Avenue and Dusterberry Way. The new location will improve the relatively high demand for fire response in this district. Similarly, the North Fremont fire station was moved from its previous location on Darwin Drive to a 1-acre parcel located across Fremont Boulevard from the Brookvale Shopping Center.

These changes were designed to improve emergency response coverage. The new station #6 is approximately 13,000 square feet with four apparatus bays for vehicles with bi-fold front doors. "These doors open up fast and are more reliable and efficient as they are driven by chains. In the case of roll up doors, which were in the old station, springs can break, and they take time to open," said Captain Casey Mc Cuaig,

Previously Fire Station #6 - approximately 4,100 square feet - was located at 37412 Fremont Boulevard near Peralta. It was built in 1952 through the efforts of the Centerville volunteer firefighters. Construction of the new station started in July 2007, at a cost approximately $5.9 million was designed to house one engine company, one ladder truck company and one Battalion Chief. In addition to first line apparatus, the fourth apparatus bay will allow storage of a Reserve Ladder Truck.

The new facility has specialized spaces including an entry lobby, main office, private offices for the Captains and Battalion Chief, special project room, exercise area, small conference room, storage for medical supplies and firefighter protective clothing. Household areas for cooking/dining, laundry and dormitory quarters for a crew of eight to eleven are also provided. Designed by WLC Architects utilizing guidelines of the US Green Building Council, Fire Station #6 is constructed of materials designed to be highly durable and energy efficient. The "green building" has innovative and environmentally-friendly solar tubes to naturally brighten rooms, thus saving energy. This should help to increase the life of the building and reduce maintenance costs.

Station #6 has reintroduced a fireman's or sliding pole also called the 'fire pole.' The metal pipe, installed between floors in fire stations to help personnel reach the ground floor quickly in the event of dispatch, was missing in the old station,.

The new facilities replaced seismically unsafe stations ranging in size from 2,050 square feet to 4,650 square feet, small in comparison to the modern buildings that start at approximately 7,000 square feet. Apparatus bay doors were too low for new fire trucks and engines. Old Stations #2 in Niles and #6 in Centerville were built as volunteer stations, without the capacity to house 24-hour crews. Station #8 in North Fremont was established as a "temporary" station in 1972.

Artist Michael Clapper's "Unified Will" carved stone artwork, selected by the Art Review Board, adorns the entrance of the new Centerville Fire Station. The 8-foot diameter carved stone piece, symbolizes the history of volunteerism in the fire service and features a center negative space forming a Maltese cross.

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