“It’s been years in the making,” said Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer. “It’s been a team effort by the board, but especially by the township staff, to make this project happen.”
She said the township is building for the future and “this fire station is one of many projects that will help us reach that goal. Fairfield Twp. can take pride in this new facility.”
Thomas headed the design and construction of the fire station and didn’t want a replay of what happened with the fire headquarters on Morris Road when it opened nearly 20 years ago.
EARLIER REPORT: Fairfield Twp.’s new $4M fire station set to open in the spring
“The headquarters building was quickly outgrown soon after it opened,” he said. “We’re obviously building for the future so we wanted to make sure we have enough room.”
The station is designed to house 10 on-duty firefighters and paramedics, though only six currently would be on duty out of Station 212. There are large storage areas to allow the department to make bulk purchases, large offices for officers and four 80-foot vehicle bays with 14-foot garage doors.
The Tylersville Road station has undersized offices and vehicle bays, co-ed sleeping quarters, storage bins in the hallway and an inadequate driveway that isn’t level. The current station’s last update was in the 1970s, and the special-order smaller fire engines and ambulances cost more.
PHOTOS: A look at the undersized fire station
There will also be enough room in the vehicle bays to fit the township’s safety trailer and other fire vehicles currently stored outside.
“It’s going to extend the life of the vehicles we have that we can keep inside,” Thomas said.
The station will be dedicated on May 11 but is set to be operational before the end of April
There’s still a lot of work to do, including including finishing the 5-foot-by-8-foot back-lit fire station marquee with an LED video panel that will display short safety messages. Also, the driveway and parking lot will need to be poured, which Thomas hoped would have happen this past November before the asphalt plants closed for the winter.
“It was just too wet,” he said.
Asphalt plants will open this month, and Thomas said the township’s fire station project should be one of the first to jobs.