Menlo Park firefighters preserve history with new fire station

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Firefighters from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District are getting ready to unveil their newest fire station to the public Saturday morning. The project took years to complete, but many community members say it has been worth the wait.

"We've been watching as they leveled the ground," said Lisa Lee, Menlo Park resident. "We've been eagerly waiting the finished product."

From conception to completion, the $10.4 million "Fire Station 6" project downtown took 11 years to navigate due to the recession and zoning issues. The fire district says it's a state of the art facility that's well positioned for future growth.

The congestion, the density, all of that is just going to equate to more call volume, and to match that, we have to have a facility big enough to support more units and more people, and we've been able to do that here," said Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

The station also has a new museum in the back of the property that pays tribute to the legacy of the fire district. Firefighters say they can't help but be inspired when they look at what's been collected over the years.

"The camaraderie, the history, and the tradition of the fire service, and all of the training is cool," said firefighter Aaron Blandford. "You never know what call you're going to go on, and altogether, it's just a great way to make a living, and I'm proud to do it."

The original "Fire Station One" as well as a horse drawn hose wagon were also moved on site.

"This is a very historic looking facility, which is almost like a faade in many ways, for one of the most modern facilities you're going to fine which even has technology that tells us there's a quake coming, and for these guys to protect themselves," said Chief Schapelhouman.

Fire Station 6 is located on Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park. Community members can stop by from 10am until 2pm on Saturday, June 22 for the grand opening.
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