1. #1
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    Default Your dream firehouse...

    I am designing a firehouse in architecture this year, and was wondering...

    If you could add anything to your firehouse, what would it be?

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    A parking lot.

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    Manpower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    A parking lot.
    I'll second that.

    FTM-PTB

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    a pole. i don't care if the station is one level, give me stairs so that i can run up to the top and slide down when we get a call.

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    I'd settle for a bathroom.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    A wash bay equipped with pressure wands and soap dispensing brushes...how cool would that be!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    A wash bay equipped with pressure wands and soap dispensing brushes...how cool would that be!?
    Did I miss something? Are we designing a firehouse or a Car Wash?

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    I'll second that.

    FTM-PTB
    I'll third that!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Did I miss something? Are we designing a firehouse or a Car Wash?

    FTM-PTB
    No, but wouldn't it be nice to have a bay dedicated for washing your apparatus quickly and efficiently in a dedicated wash bay?

    I guess if you're a city firefighter where you don't occassionally have to drive down gravel roads, or space is a premium...this would confuse you.

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    A reticulated water supply. And a seperate training room that wasnt soooo damn cold during winter.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefiftyfive
    I'll third that!!!
    Having seen first-hand the firehouses that you guys have to work out of in NYC, I'll fourth that. The career firefighters down here would be out on strike if they were suddenly forced to operate out of your firehouses - they couldn't live without their car parks with remote controlled security gates, drive through bays with 5 yards between parked rigs, everyone having their own bedroom and bathroom in the newer stations, gym, the latest in hi-tech communications gizmo's with data ports in every room, and so on. Some of these stations have earned nicknames like "Taj Mahal" and "Buckingham Palace".

    But at least your firehouses have character and maintain tradition - they feel like firehouses, where as the ones down here feel more like an infectious diseases hospital because they are so sterile. You've kept the traditions, even the simple things like still writing the riding positions up on a blackboard instead of going to a whiteboard or computer printout.

    So that's my contribution to what should be included - a design that respects our traditions and heritage.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    You know something is wrong when you hear over the radio:
    "Firecom south-east this is 631 Alpha"
    "go ahead 631 Alpha"
    "secure doors station 3"
    "securing doors 16:32"

    (they call into Firecommand to get their doors closed for them!)

    Shame/Good thing that the rural stations are not like that. I could picture some guy leaving something in the path of the doors!
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    I did the same thing for an Architectural Drafting & Design class in High School. It was one of the neatest courses I ever had! We went through the whole kabosh- From Zoning Hearings (using site plans we drew) to drawing up specifications and "job plan books" to bidding,"pre-construction" meetings with actual contractors who volunteered to participate with our class. We had to draw up site, foundation/slab, framing, joist layouts, steel framing, etc etc etc.......I even had a PE who volunteered for our class sign and seal my truss layouts! I also had a friend of my dad who is an FPE sign and seal my sprinkler plans, and as a bone, he threw me a calculations sheet to include. As the drawings progresses, Code Enforcement officials volunteering their time performed "inspections."

    It was a great time, one of the highlights of my school career. And it helped with my adult careers; first as a Career Federal Firefighter (of which I just ended after 10 years) to become a Code Enforcement Officer! The class really gave me an understanding of building construction and how it relates to Firefighting. Even more so for my new job as a Code Enforcement/Building Inspector!

    GOOD LUCK TO YOU! You will enjoy it! (oh and one other thing......take the amount of closet/storage space you currently have, and DOUBLE it, if not TRIPLE it!!!!)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    as long as it doesn't move when the wind blows
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    ------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------

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    Quote Originally Posted by stillPSFB
    So that's my contribution to what should be included - a design that respects our traditions and heritage.
    Well, to put some more perspective on your point; my house was built in 1907 and many things from the old days are still in quarters! But like you said its got tradition and character!

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    We just spent a year getting our dream station built.It has geothermal heating and cooling,equipped as an EOC,pull through four door bays,enough room for every piece of rolling stock owned by RFFD,a meeting room big enough for 70 people,computer terminals/phone jacks as far as the eyes can see,one huge axe kitchen for the chowhounds amongst us,office space for the Chief,Assistant Chief,the Board of Trustees,a receptionist,our EMS supervisors,showers,bunk rooms,storage areas for SCBAs and cleaning gear,a decon room with a washer/extractor for turnouts,and an exercise room.There's even a brass pole for our Philidelphia transplant who loves sliding down poles when responding.
    We'd had a hard time getting the contractor to keep working on it and not double charge us on backfill dirt and the like.The roof is supposed to be guaranteed for 50 years against hurricane strength winds of 150+mph.We'll see.
    If I've forgotten anything it's because there's so much to it and I may not know everything about the place.
    I've suggested that for the dedication ceremony,we try and get hold of some gear that was available or reasonable facsimilies thereof when the department was first formed back in the 1950s and have our newest member wear a set of brand new turnouts while standing next to the oldest member in the old style gear.
    Last edited by doughesson; 11-11-2005 at 01:29 PM.

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    Parking. I hate having to circle the block a few times to find a space when the tones go off.

    Restrooms!

    Exaust vent system

    Back-up power

    Ethernet

    Autosprinkilers / alarms

    Overhead tank filling

    Drive through bays

    biometric access control

    office space

    sitting space

    kitchen space

    storage space

    washer/dryer for clothing

    extractor for PPE/other nasty stuff

    Decon sink

    A/C

    WORKING Heat

    classroom / meeting rooms

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    How about one where the D/C isn't stationed. Seems like my whole career I've been at the houses where there at.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up OK, Here Goes...............

    Since I joined our VFD in 1958 we have built new stations in 1964 and then in 1992. Each replaced the one before it, we still only operate from one station. Some of the things I mention may also apply to stations that are operated by a Paid crew, all are appropriate for a Volunteer Station.

    1. Parking. As much parking as possible, within reason, AS CLOSE TO THE APPARATUS AS POSSIBLE. Volunteers responding from home or elsewhere need to be on the apparatus as fast as possible. Time lost in the station CANNOT be made up on the road. Turnout gear rack placement must be planned with quick access in mind also.

    2. Lighting. Recent years have seen Architects embrace a lot of goofy things, including so called "Energy efficient lamps" BEWARE OF THESE THINGS. They save you a very few dollars per month on your electric bill, BUT they need to be replaced as often as so called "regular" bulbs, BUT COST AS MUCH AS TEN TIMES THE PRICE OF A REGULAR BULB. You save ten bucks a month on your electric bill, then spend five times that amount on new bulbs. STUPID.

    3. Auxilary Power. After a qualified electrical technician figures up the total electrical power needed to operate the ENTIRE building, spec a Standby Generator of TWICE that capacity. Some stations only have enough standby power to do a few things like operate doors and a few lights. IF YOU NEED IT WHEN YOU ARE OPERATING ON COMMERCIAL POWER. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT WHEN YOU ARE ON A STANDBY GENERATOR.

    4. Doors. From a Visual (Asthetic) standpoint, NOTHING is a bigger turnoff to people (the taxpayers who are funding the construction) than the solid windowless "Fort Knox" style doors. For Volunteers in particular, you need to exude a warm, open, inviting look about your station. PUT AS MUCH GLASS AS POSSIBLE IN YOUR OVERHEAD DOORS.

    5. Floors. "Nonskid" floors as much as possible, everywhere in the building. Despite all the preaching and rules, people ARE going to run in a Fire Station, Paid or Volunteer. Floors ARE going to be wet from time to time. Nonskid surfaces will help cut injuries due to falls on wet/slippery Floors.

    6. Storage Space. You will NEVER have adequate storage space. Plan ahead, determine what you think will do, then square that amount. Always have one side of the building constructed in a manner that will make adding more space to the building (More Truck bays probably) later on down the road as easy as possible.

    7. Sprinklers. Absolutely. enough said.

    I'm sure I'll have more comments to add later.
    Last edited by hwoods; 11-10-2005 at 08:03 PM.
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    1. Respect for heritage

    2. Sprinklers

    3. Good lighting

    4. Study/writing space for everyone
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Since I joined our VFD in 1958 .
    Mr. Woods,

    That is a long time to volunteer. You must have seen so much over all those years. My hat is off to you.




    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    Another thing - have a long thin drain that runs the length of each bay straight down the middle, and then have the floor slope just slightly toward the drain so as any water that leaks from the apparatus flows towards the drain, rather than out from under the rig where crews can slip on it when climbing onto the rig.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

  24. #24
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Thumbs up Yes.....................

    Quote Originally Posted by stillPSFB
    Another thing - have a long thin drain that runs the length of each bay straight down the middle, and then have the floor slope just slightly toward the drain so as any water that leaks from the apparatus flows towards the drain, rather than out from under the rig where crews can slip on it when climbing onto the rig.
    Absolutely Correct. Our first station, according to my grandfather, didn't need a drain. Dirt floors soak up the water. Second station had a concrete floor, a level one that we had to sweep water off of. Third station has a Concrete floor with a 1/4 inch to the foot pitch toward the doors, with a drain running parallel to the doors, 1 foot inside the doors. Current station has drains as described by stillPSFB, above. One Cautionary note: IF you use your apparatus bays for events that involve tables and chairs, keep the pitch to a minimum, say 1/4 inch to the foot. Sitting on a sloping chair is kinda uncomfortable.

    Rossco - Thank You. It's been a (mostly) fun ride, and there's a long way to go yet. I have 47 years in now, Dad had 68 ACTIVE years when he passed, and I'm going to beat that.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    One lesson that we have learned is to find a contractor that will not sell dirt that is supposed to be returned to your location,not buy equipment using the department's tax exempt status,who will stay on schedule unless there really IS weather to deal with,and,basically,a contractor who knows that fire trucks weigh vastly more than the family car so pavement must be poured accordingly.
    Even if you have your dream sheet approved by the Trustees,the money to build it all and the architect can draw it up the way you want,you still need a good contractor unless you want to have delays,squabbles over code and the end results.
    I'd suggest having a specification of MIL-TFP-41 on all of your plans.
    "Make-It-Like-The-F***ing-Print-For-Once"

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