Londonderry Fire Chief Darren O'Brien and Battalion Chief Kevin Zins offer a guided tour of the current Londonderry Central Fire Station, highlighting its inadequacies and the major need for renovation in order to better serve the Town of Londonderry and its surrounding communities.
View Part II of the video series in which the new station design and financing is discussed.
The current Dispatch Center has enough space for two work stations. The equipment and infrastructure for the Dispatch Center is split in two locations - one underneath a stairway and the other in a makeshift closet on the 2nd floor. The Dispatch Center and its related equipment and servers are in great need of updating in order to keep up with the demands of ever-increasing call volume.
There is also a need for security locks and systems in place, as the current facility does not meet Homeland Security standards. There is no electronic "buzz-in" security system in place to prevent intruders from entering the building. Various safety issues like these threaten the safety of Fire Department personnel and must be addressed.
The Fire Station's current HVAC system is outdated, having been developed from a makeshift conversion of the original forced hot water system. The limitations of this conversion approach did not allow for adequate ductwork to be installed, resulting in the system being unable to keep up with the heating and cooling needs of the facility.
The usage of portable heaters and air conditioners is the current "solution" to this problem. Additionally, the boiler room does not have enough clearance for servicing of the mechanical and electrical systems, and at 40-years-old, the current boilers have outlived their life expectancy. Costly maintenance for these outdated systems is an ongoing problem.
As none of Londonderry's Sub Stations have any space for training, the Central Station is responsible for hosting continuing education courses on a weekly basis for fire fighters and EMS personnel. The current training room is very cramped, barely allowing enough room for 15 people, and the air quality is so bad that oftentimes the bay door has to be opened to allow for adequate air flow. The training room also house two work stations for paramedics to do their reports after medical calls.
The current living quarters also function as storage space and do not have room for lockers large enough for fire fighters to keep all of their gear in. Their gear is currently stored either on wall hooks or on a set of racks in the apparatus bay near all of the vehicles. The Central Station does not have a gear decontamination room or washer and extractor to properly clean their gear and protective apparel, running the risk of spreading contaminants and carcinogens throughout the living areas and, even worse, bringing them home with them.
Located within the main thoroughfare of the facility, the current kitchen does not provide enough space and lacks the proper equipment to keep up with 24-hour, high-volume usage.
There is an overwhelming need for storage space at the Central Station. Currently, offices, living quarters, makeshift closets, and even the apparatus bays are doubling as storage areas when they have much more important functions for which to be utilized.
There is not enough room to store the quantity of life-saving equipment and back-up emergency medical supplies needed by the Fire Department to handle the volume of calls they receive. The Fire Department is unable to benefit from discounts buying supplies in bulk as there is not enough space to store extras.
The apparatus bays also currently house storage racks for gear and equipment, large vehicle exhaust collection system tubing, vehicle & equipment maintenance area, and a makeshift sprinkler room, fitness area, and ancillary equipment storage area in the corner.
The roof of the facility requires repair four to five times a year, and for the last three years has been deemed a complete failure.
Currently, the Central Station does not have space to accommodate an in-house tool and equipment maintenance and repair area. They have only a small work bench with minimal space to store tools and equipment that need repair, potentially leading to hazard or confusion differentiating properly-working equipment from out-of-service equipment.
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