You may have seen the recent construction to our fire station, we would like to explain the extensive process and considerations taken prior to breaking ground. In 1983 the existing fire station was built to house a few fire apparatus and respond to a couple hundred calls per year. This building would also be utilized by its strictly volunteer staff to host the annual 4th of July Celebration, Annual Pancake Breakfast, and other fundraising events. As you could imagine, a lot has changed in 37 years and the outdated building just could not keep up with the growth of the town and department. Our current staffing consists 5 Firefighter/EMT-Paramedics per day, and 3 administrative/support staff that respond to approximately 1,100 calls for service per year. The aging utilities within the building were beginning to fail; the water lines were rupturing under the concrete floor causing sanitary issues, the HVAC system components were becoming weak and brittle, and it all began to collapse from under us. The biggest weakness was the aged and undersized electrical system/components which needed to be addressed. In our attempt to maintain the highest level of safety amongst our staff, we have implemented an exhaust removal system and a firefighting turnout gear extractor. This along with the addition of the self-contained breathing apparatus compressor/fill station and new server racks/computer workstations, the outdated electrical system was failing. We fell victim to multiple electrical fires within the walls which were caused by overloaded electrical components. Our staffing has also increased to both full-time and part-time employees. Although over the past 20 years numerous small projects have been done to accommodate 24/7 staffing, we still continue to outgrow the station.
In 2018 we hired FGM Architects to conduct a facility needs assessment based on our daily operations. FGM conducted interviews with department members and performed an analysis on our greatest needs. They gave options as to build an entire new station or greatly improve on our existing one. After a station committee was formed which included 2 Firefighters, 2 Lieutenants, the Deputy Chief, Fire Chief, and 2 Trustees, we came to the conclusion that the best course of action was to build an addition and remodel. The committee kept the district’s current needs in mind but also planned for the future growth when designing the fire station. An additional 6,195 square feet was able to be added to the existing 8,522sq.ft. to accommodate our growing staff and fleet of apparatus. State of the art alerting systems and safety systems were all implemented to insure our men and women are always ready to respond to emergencies.
R.C. Wegman Construction was hired in April of 2019 to perform construction management services and lead our project. Construction began on April 27th, 2020 slightly delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. During construction, our members along with our administrative staff, are operating out of the construction trailer next door to the Post Office. The station committee continues to meet on site with FGM and R.C Wegman on a weekly basis to monitor progress of the project. The estimated completion date is January of 2021. This project is not only to ensure we provide a safe working environment for our members, but to ensure we are able to continue to provide the absolute best service to the residents and visitors to the Village of Beecher and surrounding area.