09/02/04 — Groundbreaking for new fire station held at Seymour Johnson AFB

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Groundbreaking for new fire station held at Seymour Johnson AFB

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on September 2, 2004 1:59 PM

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base firemen will have a new and improved headquarters within the next two years.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the base's new fire and crash rescue station was held today. Construction will start this month with a completion date of spring 2006.

It is an $11 million project funded by Congress, and the building will replace the old station, which dates back to 1956.

The new building will have an increased storage area to accommodate the fleet of fire trucks, which includes 18 vehicles. It will also contain updated training equipment and an expanded sleeping quarters, from 36 square feet per person to 115 square feet. The firemen currently only have enough room for a bed and a locker. The additional space will provide them with more room to study, said Chief Tom Wade.

The old building had been modified continuously over the years. The normal life expectancy for a station is 25 years.

The new one will take the station into the 21st century, added Wade. It will also comply with the National Fire Protection Association standards.

The new main fire station will be 42,600 square feet, which is about double the size of the current one. Construction will also begin soon on a 6,800-square-foot satellite fire station, which will be at the tanker end of the airfield. Having both stations will allow the firemen to meet all of the expected response times, added Wade.

The fire stations include central communication control centers, bunk rooms, 4th Fighter Wing and 916 Air Refueling Wing fire protection administration and training spaces, fitness and recreation areas, kitchen and dining rooms, vehicle maintenance and parking stalls and storage rooms. The stations provide fire and emergency services for the entire base along with medical or structural problems, hazardous materials and threat response.

The base has 84 firemen, and 26 of those will be deploying to Iraq within the next two weeks, said Wade.