Several projects are currently planned for the New Albany Fire Department.
One of the projects is a proposed expansion to Fire Station No. 2, which is located on South Denton Road.
Fire Station No. 2 was built in 1996, and now there is a need for more space, said Fire Chief Mark Whiteside.
“We’ve outgrown it,” said Whiteside.
He said that Station 2 is the “growth station” and that it is near medical facilities, the hospital, hotels and eating establishments.
The plan is to add a 30-foot by 60-foot addition to the back of the fire station, the chief noted.
Whiteside said the shell of the building can be paid for with fire protection funds, which is state rebate money.
The firefighters who stay at Station 1 are crowded, and the beds are only 2 to 3 feet apart.
Expanding the building has been discussed for several years. When the COVID-19 crisis began, the firefighters could not safely distance themselves due to a lack of space.
The expansion will include a sleeping area, bathroom, office, laundry room, multipurpose room for workouts and training, a safe room, storage area, gear room and an upstairs for future expansion.
The laundry room will be accessible from the fire truck bay. This way firefighters returning from calls won’t have to take contaminated gear into the living area or sleeping quarters.
This will provide a healthier environment, said Whiteside. Furthermore, Whiteside said Station 1 and 2 currently do not have safe rooms where firefighters can go during severe weather. The plan is to add safe rooms to both stations.
Officials are currently in the process of getting bids for the Station No. 2 expansion project.
Another project in the works for Station No. 2 is upgrading the concrete pad that the trucks drive on when they enter and exit the station.
Part of the concrete pad was replaced about 10 years ago. Now it is time to fix the rest of the pad, which is caving in where the culvert is, Whiteside said.
He noted that the fire trucks used to weigh about 30,000 pounds, and now they weigh about 50,000 pounds. He doesn’t want a fire truck to break through the concrete and possibly damage the truck. If the city does not do something now, the situation is only going to get worse, Whiteside said.
The estimated cost to fix the concrete pad is $40,000.
The fire department also received a federal grant of $69,910 to install exhaust systems at Station No. 1 and 2. The fire department will match the grant with $3,495, which will come from state rebate funds.
The exhaust system will remove fumes from the buildings when the fire trucks are started.