Salina City Commission updated on fire station need

By Eric Wiley
Salina Journal – October 17, 2018

Salina Fire Station No. 4 needs a new home, according to a needs assessment study.

On Monday, Salina City Commissioners were given a tour and presentation at the station, 669 Briarcliff.

Fire station No. 4 relocation has been on the city’s capital improvement plan since 2013 as an unfunded project, or lacking funds. In April, a third party performed a needs assessment study for the fire station to address future needs for a new fire station.

Issues found included the age of the facility, workspace limitations, security, meeting federal compliance regulations and living arrangements.

Kevin Royse, Salina fire chief, said the useful life expectancy of a fire station is approximately 40 to 50 years. Station No. 4 is 49-years-old.

“Our apparatus are getting larger, so spacing is at a premium,” he said. “The fire services have changed and different types of work is done now compared to when the building was built in the 60s. The services have grown since the addition of an EMS unit at the station.”

Royse said the current facility needs a male and female bathroom, a better living arrangement for firefighters and more because “we really need more space, we’ve outgrown the station.”

The current facility is 9,300 square feet.

“Remodeling is just not going to be possible,” he said. “There’s an adjacent lot just south of there, and even both of them combined would not be big enough. Our guys sleep in the basement. It’s very inefficient. They get an alarm and have to run up the stairs. The layout is not conducive to what we need.”

Royse, who applauded the location of the current station, recommended a lot just south of the current facility at the East Crawford Street and Markley Road intersection.

The lot, he said, has all of the needed space and utilities and is city owned, preventing any acquisition issues, and was one of the few useful areas on the east side of town for the station.

No timeline has been set as to when a new station may be built or how it would be funded.

Royse said the change in location would not affect the station’s current response time of being on scene within four minutes 90 percent of the time.

“The location actually places us directly across the street from one of our largest target hazards (Presbyterian Manor),” he said. “As the city grows, the fire station must grow. Fire stations are a part of the infrastructure of any city, especially where public safety is a priority.”

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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