|Why Is The Proposed New Firehouse Twice As Big As The Current Firehouse?|
|By Lieutenant Heather Feldman|
|April 15, 2019|
The New Firehouse Committee, with 328 years of combined emergency service experience (mostly in Bedford Village) defined our operations, our district’s demographics, the changes our district has seen since the current firehouse was built, our types of responses, our current apparatus, our deficits in the current building, and our anticipated needs for the future. A professional team of architects and engineers who specialize in the NYS requirements for Essential Facilities and specifically in firehouses. They then identified additional deficits that we would have to remedy in the new firehouse. They designed a building with a plan of almost 30,000 square feet that met all of our needs plus all codes and regulations.
The Department and District worked together to combine spaces, remove a bay, and use the space above the truck floor to shrink the footprint to 13,610sf (including a possible 678sf front porch) and get the overall square footage down to 24,678. This is the maximum square footage and footprint allowed by the resolution adopted by the Board of Fire Commissioners. During the design phase, the square footage is allowed to go down but not up. It is very unlikely to go down by any significant amount.
Almost half (6,260sf) of the interior square footage of the first level is the truck floor for the 7 vehicles we have now plus a future planned tanker. The rest of the ground level is operational, and support and storage for operations, except for the exercise room for first responders and the "day room" for members to utilize to work on their "real" careers in between calls. These spaces serve to keep first-responders in the firehouse, thereby keeping them immediately available for emergency calls.
The second floor front is administrative. In the current firehouse we have one office for all Department and District business, and no designated record storage.The new firehouse has 3 offices planned: one for the 3 chiefs, one for all other Department business, and one for all District business. One conference/classroom, record storage for both the Department and the District, mechanicals, IT, and public restrooms.
The space above the truck floor will have the kitchen, meeting room, a bunk room, and a training room.
The rear egress stairway (sized to code) doubles as a training tower, again keeping our volunteers in district for emergency availability during training. The minimum number of bathrooms, the width of the hallways, the stairways, the size of the elevator shaft, the size of the public meeting room: all these things are regulated by code.
Many firehouses have recreational spaces and museum spaces, neither of which we included.