Crossroads residents turn out to take in the shiny new fire station
By BY DIANNA WRAY
Feb. 5, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:05 p.m.
The sun made the windows sparkle like diamonds as residents, city officials and Victoria Fire Department firefighters gathered in the apparatus bay of Fire Station 2 to dedicate the building.
A fire bell clanged in the silence, officially dedicating the building on Saturday afternoon.
After a prayer and an address by Mayor Will Armstrong, firefighters were on hand to give tours of the place to a curious public.
The new fire station, located at 2708 Miori Lane, replaced the old Fire Station 2 building. That building, constructed in 1966 was designed before the average station had computers or air conditioning.
"It was good building, and it served the community well, but it was very difficult to make changes to it or update it at all. It was time for a new building," Battalion Chief Michael Belt said.
The new fire station still smells of fresh paint and features a larger apparatus bay - the old one was built when fire trucks were significantly smaller, Belt said - and even a breathing air compressor room for firefighters to fill the air tanks they need to keep them breathing as they walk into burning buildings.
The fire station's location is also important, Belt said, as it makes response time more even across the city, he said.
The station also features shiny new living quarters and is equipped with a weight room, a spacious kitchen and a living room with a large television and expansive armchairs.
Firefighter paramedic Matt Gomez couldn't keep the smile from his face as he looked around the new station. Firefighters work 24-hour shifts and spend a significant amount of time in their stations, he said.
"This is our second home. The old station was built a long time ago and you can just see the difference. Everything is new here so it's very exciting for all of us. It's like getting a new house," Gomez said.
Construction on the building started last February and it was put into service in the week, Belt said. The project cost about $2 million to complete.
Victoria resident Monica Huddleston echoed Gomez's enthusiasm about the new building.
"I think it's wonderful. It's awesome. These guys work so hard and they jeopardize their lives. They really need something nice like this," Huddleston said.