Orange introduces new Fire Station 1, replacing decades-old headquarters – Orange County Register

The City of Orange’s new, massive Fire Department Headquarters — complete with all the trimmings — is operational on East Chapman Avenue.

The #1 Fire Station, which now serves as both the department’s administrative headquarters and the station from which emergency calls in the area are serviced, was unveiled Thursday, October 6, during a ceremony followed by tours of the new 29,000 square feet , publicly revealed -foot system.

The new headquarters includes a 15,500 sq. ft. warehouse for the fire engines and trucks and a two-story, 13,500 sq. ft. administration building. It replaces the old Station No. 1 in town, located a few blocks away on South Grand Street. The department outgrew its previous home, which was built in the 1960s and experienced seismic issues, said Orange City Fire Department assistant firefighter Ryan O’Connor.

After six decades, “the old headquarters was beginning to fall apart, beyond repair,” he said, and as the department acquired more engines and expanded its services over the years, “it was time to either modernize the facility or build one.” a new.”

The new fire station is larger and was constructed with more sensible design features, O’Connor said, such as a bay that allows fire engines to pull through instead of driving into the garage. That greatly reduces the chance of accidents, he said.

The additional space also provides space for firefighters to train and test gear, and for the city to house their back-up equipment and wildland gear used to care for overgrown brush and other hazardous vegetation. This equipment and machinery used to be stored in different locations to save space, O’Connor said.

And because the new headquarters is on a main street rather than a side street like Grand, response times to emergency calls could be improved, according to O’Connor.

The facility, which was built on a site that previously housed the Orange County Fire Authority headquarters, was valued at $22-23 million and was paid for by city-issued bonds, O’Connor said.

In 2020, rental bonds totaling $34 million were issued to the fire department and to fund upgrades at the city’s police department headquarters, city spokesman Paul Sitkoff said. The city is paying back $1.7 million annually over the next 30 years to help cover the costs.

Construction of the fire brigade headquarters began in January 2021, and the facility was completed last month.

State-of-the-art lighting, HVAC and emergency alert systems feature in the new space, as well as individual dormitories for on-duty firefighters. As more women join the fire service, single rooms and restrooms are a key design element that was missing at the old station, O’Connor said.

But despite all the modern facilities, some space is reserved in the new facility for functions that date back to the early days of the fire service. A small museum in the administration building displays relics like an old fire rod and an antique engine, surrounded by photos from the department’s past. An original bell that rang in the city’s first train station now stands in front of the new headquarters, along with the red lights that once shone from the old truck.

Station 1 is one of eight fire stations in the city, and the new headquarters will house the department’s administrative staff, fire inspectors, chief and emergency services. Orange introduces new Fire Station 1, replacing decades-old headquarters – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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