SFFD debuts first new fire station in 40 years

March 28, 2013 12:25:16 PM PDT
The San Francisco Fire Department is debuting its first new firehouse in more than 40 years. The state-of-the-art station is on Folsom Street about five blocks from its old home on Howard Street. The story behind it involves a unique partnership.

Firefighters spent the morning putting the finishing touches on the station so it looked good for Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. Firefighters told ABC7 News the thing they like the most about the new facility is all the light that comes in through its many windows. Firefighters said their old station was dark and a little dingy. Firefighters also say the old station needed $9 million in earthquake retrofitting work so it was time for a new station. Still, they say that doesn't mean moving was easy.

"Firefighters, by nature, have that adapting mentality because we're always going into an emergency situation, so you've just got to see what's there and adapt to it. So, they're good that way, to adapting stuff," said Asst. Deputy Chief Ken Lombardi said.

"But when it comes to moving your own personal belongings from one firehouse to another, it's like moving your house. We're really a family. They stay in these places for 24 hours, so it's good but most of the people are happy for the move because they know they're coming into a newer building," he continued.

One new feature the station has is a filling station for the firefighters' rescue air equipment. That equipment usually has to be transport from station to station and firefighters say that can be a hassle.

The move frees up the old station on Howard Street for the Museum of Modern Art. The museum needed space to expand so it made a deal. The city gave the museum the old fire station. The museum bought the land on Folsom Street for the new fire station and paid for the fire station.

City officials are happy and say the move saved the city a lot of money. Firefighters are proud of the new station and say they have a lot to celebrate.


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