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Saturday
Oct032009

Fire Station No. 306

By COD

Photo credit: Mike Desmarteau

WHAT’S THE HULLABALOO about Fire Station No. 306 anyway? Is it because it is located right in the heart of Sun City Grand’s Adult Community at 16645 W. Clearview Blvd. Surprise, AZ?

This newly designed fire station maintains the integrity of the surrounding architecture in the community. The designers wanted to keep the feel of a “second home” for the firefighters dispatched from this location. But beyond the aesthetics, they also wanted to provide a low maintenance surface for the station. Concrete floors further compliment the colors while providing a durable solution. Periman Architects of Arizona Inc.’s Design Team: Ken Powers, Architect of Records, Erik Thomsen, Project Designer, and Gerrald Adams, Project Manager also added resident golf cart parking, a welcoming lobby, and integration of materials seen throughout the adult community.

Little did they know that their efforts would have the bonus of receiving the Station’s Style Design Award.

The original perception within the community was that the firehouse would be very noisy and reduce the property values. To address these concerns, an elaborate computer network was setup so that any 911 calls dispatched through the Phoenix Fire Department would be received at the station with no outside alarm for fire warning. They also implemented medical and emergency policies in which the sirens are not sounded until the equipment reaches the main streets — unless necessary. Examples of this would be when entering onto Bell Road or Grand Avenue.

Further, with the approval of this location, the community improved in response time.

Sun City Grand’s response time prior to the opening of this station was approximately eight minutes. Today they have improved to approximately four minutes! That’s a very important four minutes saved, considering the fact that 80% of the responses are medically related. The other 20% of the calls are fire related, but are generally never heard about due to the rapid response time. This quick response time maintains containment of the fire to the area that it started. (Keep in mind that a fire doubles in size every minute it is left unattended).

Therefore, with the very rapid and improved response time for medical and other emergencies, it is likely that Sun City Grand is a more desirable retirement community. After all, the primary responsibility is to see that the community is as safe as possible. That secure feeling now comes from the state-of-the-art Fire Station No. 306, which is manned in shifts of 24 hours each.

There are three sets of personnel. Each shift works 24 hours and is off for 48. The firehouse is open 24/7. Each shift has: a captain, an engineer, and two firefighters. Each shift also has two EMT’s and two paramedics. Any member of the team can have a second designation depending upon their training. Surprise is one of the few cities where personnel are cross-trained in several functions and skills.

All trucks are equipped with a GPS system that guides the vehicles, and also shows the locations of the nearest fire hydrant which saves time. Did I say state-of-the-art?

Welcome to the community Fire Station No. 306! Be sure to stop by and tour this new state-of-the-art facility and don’t forget to thank these professionals dedicating their service to our community.

For more information check the city of Surprise website: www.surpriseaz.com

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