HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A new fire station is set to be built in Highland Springs. Tuesday, the board of supervisors will discuss paying for the four million dollar station, with a 2005 bond referendum.
The new fire station will be around 11,000 square feet. That's almost quadruple the size of the company's current building - leaving speed and efficiency easier goals to achieve.
The list of obstacles is long and frustrating for the 19 firefighters at Station number three. Personnel and technology have simply outgrown the 1950s facility.
It's happened at several stations across the county, so the fire department is trying to catch up with the times. Fire Station 21 in the west end is now the prototype - the fire house all other stations will be modeled after.
Station 21 has a spacious bay for firefighters to spread out when checking equipment and leaving at a moment's notice to go to a call. It also has a separate large training room so firefighters will not have to leave the grounds for critical lessons.
"When we do training, we're in service meaning a call could come in right now so we need to be able to do the training here versus going out somewhere else because our response time," said Henrico Fire Department Captain Stan Langford.
At Station Three, the day room doubles as a training room. And, the east end facility's bunk room is cramped to say the least.
"This is tough living. You think about the alarm going off at 2 a.m. and everyone heading for that door and they bump into one another and trying to dress out here because there's just not that much room," said Henrico Fire Department Asst. Chief Wayne Baber.
Station 21, and eventually the newly constructed Station Three takes into consideration these firefighters stay here for 24 hour shifts. It's basically a second home.
"We want to give them the most luxury that we can give them of a home setting and being able to get rest so we can be the best when we come out at 2 in the morning," said Langford.
And "being the best" ultimately means efficiency and safety for the community. The board could vote on the plan in July. If approved, construction could start as early as September.