In Quarters: Canyon Lake EMS & Firehouse No. 54

Dec. 20, 2021
Canyon Lake EMS & Firehouse No. 54 was built on a foliage-dense site in a lakefront community in the Texas Hill Country.

This facility received the Satellite Silver award in the 2021 Firehouse Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here

Found within the Texas Hill Country, Canyon Lake EMS & Firehouse No. 54 takes inspiration from its residential context. Texas limestone, projecting gable roof forms, overhanging eaves that have rafter tails and heavy timber trusses allow this station to blend seamlessly into its lakeside community. Comal County Emergency Services District 3 provides coverage to more than 250 square miles around the picturesque Canyon Lake. With the addition of this station, average call response times decreased to no more than 10 minutes from 25 minutes.

Located on a foliage-dense site that’s within a lakefront community, the footprint of Firehouse No. 54 was minimized to reduce its effect on the existing environment. Two preserved Heritage Oak Groves beautify the property and provide a much needed reprieve from the Texas sun. Additionally, a covered wrap-around porch allows personnel and visitors alike to be immersed in the surrounding natural landscape.

On the first floor are two doublestacked, pull-through apparatus bays for the station’s fire and EMS apparatus. Support spaces include the shop, a bunker gear room and decontamination rooms. An exercise room that has operable vents and a coiling door allow for proper ventilation. Opposite of the bays is an EMS storage room and firepole. Through the airlock is the watch office, the officer’s office and an open-concept kitchen/dining room/dayroom that has direct access to the patio. Semi-private sleeping quarters are located on the second floor; a gate-protected firepole allows for swift access to the apparatus and support spaces that are below.

As first responders often operate in high-stress situations, a station that feels like home is essential. To reduce the amount of stress that’s imposed by the alerting system, each sleeping room  is outfitted with red lights that gradually brighten and adjustable-volume speakers. These simple design features might help to drastically improve the lives of first responders.

Architect/Firm Name: Brown Reynolds Watford (BRW) Architects

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