A new fire station in Canyon Country was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday and is expected to be operational in April 2011. According to fire officials, it's just one of several stations planned for the valley.
Fire Station 128 will be built at the top of the hill at 28450 Whites Canyon Road. The station will consist of a two-bay apparatus room, main office, day room, kitchen, exercise room and dormitory quarters for seven personnel.
The new station is just part of the Fire Department's expansion to meet the growing needs of the Santa Clarita Valley, which includes a new Battalion that will begin service August 1.
"Instead of having three battalion chiefs, we'll have six," said L.A. County Fire spokesperson Stephanie English. She added that the battalion offices will be at Station 150, a new facility scheduled to be built at Golden Valley Road and the 14 freeway that will include a community room. Additional details on the new battalion will be made available next week.
Along with reducing the potential carbon footprint of the new station, sustainable design elements have brought down the estimated construction costs, from the initial estimate of $12 million down to $9.4 million. The building will feature energy-efficient light fixtures with timers, an energy management control system on the heating, ventilation and cooling systems and water-saving fixtures in the restrooms.
In addition, the exterior of the station will be landscaped using drought-tolerant plants.
"There are several stations being built, based on population, response times and the needs of the overall valley," English said. "This was one of the key locations identified to balance out the coverage."
English said that Station 128 is scheduled to have a paramedic squad based at the station as well.
"All of our firefighters are EMS trained, but a squad has full-time paramedics with the drugs and medical equipment, and they respond with an engine," she explained "People ask us why so many firefighters respond to every call, that's because we never know what we're going to find when we get there and we want to be prepared, for example there might be a heavy guy in cardiac arrest and it takes more than two people to lift the patient."
The new station joins 14 stations already online in the valley, even though some of those might be moving around. English said that Station 104, currently in a temporary facility on Golden Valley Road near the winter shelter, will be moving to a permanent building across the bridge once the cross-valley connector is completed. Station 132, located near Stetson Estates on Sand Canyon Road, will get its permanent home in a new building next door to its current location. And Station 143 is a new station slated to be built on Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic.