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Earthquake improvements part of $3.2 million overhaul of Capitol Hill fire station

With thoughts across the state turning to being prepared for the next big earthquake, we have two good pieces of news about an important safety asset on Capitol Hill.

  1. E Pine’s Fire Station 25 is about to dig in on seismic improvements as part of a $3.2 million retrofit and expansion of the facility.
  2. The firefighters who protect Capitol Hill every day won’t skip a beat.

“The firefighters will remain at your favorite station so it will not have an impact on our operations,” Kyle Moore, Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS.

There is a design open house of the project scheduled for Sunday October 28, 2012 from 2p. to 4p where the public can come to the station and see the designs first hand. You can also meet your local fire crew.

Here’s a summary of changes coming for the facility as part of the project slated to wrap up in 2014:

Planned Station Features

Technical Capacities

  • Bay space for eight regular apparatus
  • Bay area for breathing apparatus and compressed air fill equipment
  • Decontamination/clean room
  • Maintenance work area, battery charging alcove, and compressor
  • Storage for major disaster supplies and EMS equipment
  • Mobile generator
  • Hose tower
  • Training facility: drilling platform, training classroom

Administrative and Crew Areas

  • Station office
  • Bunker gear room
  • Beanery kitchen and dining room
  • Physical fitness room
  • Firefighter bunk rooms
  • Toilet/shower rooms
  • Laundry room

The city describes the building as “fairly new” and in “fair condition” but says inspections have revealed the need for the infrastructure upgrades. Additional work will be completed to improve the functionality of the facility and create more space for storage:

Inside the fire house — circa 2002 (Image: City of Seattle)

The other main work to be done at Station 25 involves a space reconfiguration so that apparatus bay support functions – including areas for decontamination, crew preparation, and vehicle maintenance – can be accommodated immediately adjacent to the actual bays themselves. Also, a small addition to the building will provide approximately 500 square feet of storage space. The existing crew area on the main floor will remain as is; some minor remodeling in the basement and on the second floor will reconfigure the living quarters and bunk rooms.

Funding for the project and a handful of similar upgrades across the city comes from the 9-year fire levy passed by voters in 2003. The total cost for the fire station improvement projects was expected to top $14 million according to 2011 estimates.

Fire Station 25 currently is home to a significant component of the city’s fire fighting assets and teams:

Station 25 is the lead station for Battalion II, which serves the central part of the city. As a battalion station it houses an engine company (E25), a ladder unit (L10), an aid unit (A25), and a battalion chief unit. It also houses several reserve units, including a reserve ladder unit, and battalion chief unit. Finally, Station 25 houses the department’s Mobile Ventilation Unit, which is utilized to support large-scale decontamination/ventilation efforts.

As part of the changes, the city says there will be some shifting of units from Capitol Hill to the Belltown Station 2 on 4th Ave.

We’re assuming the disco ball stays:

The Station 25 work isn’t the only construction underway in the area. A 65-foot apartment tower is currently being built across the street at 1222 E Pine.

Station 6 for sale
Meanwhile in the Central District, a discussion is brewing about the future of 23rd and Yesler’s Fire Station 6. The soon to be shuttered station is being prepped for sale by the City of Seattle “in an open, competitive process” but some have voiced an interest in retaining the building as a community medical facility. The city is holding a public meeting about the planned sale Wednesday at 7p at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on 17th Ave S. A new Fire Station 6 has been constructed at MLK and Jackson.

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