EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California --
The Edwards Fire and Emergency Services officially unveiled their airfield fire station during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Dec. 8.
The new fire station is a $44 million, 41,000 sq. ft. facility designed with meeting firefighters’ needs and requirements to provide optimum responsiveness in case of emergency. It will replace the old fire station which has been in service for more than 50 years.
“When I look at this building right here … I don't think of the brick and mortar, I think of the team of people who actually worked so long and so hard, so persistent, and yes, loving, that got us to where we are today,” said James Judkins, 412th Civil Engineer Group director.
The new station provides two separate dedicated bays for structural and aircraft response. Both bays can be accessed quickly from the centrally located living and administration areas within the facility. Additionally, brand new high-speed opening 4-fold bay doors provide rapid response to emergencies.
Another feature specifically designed for firefighters is that the roof, wall and triple-glazed assemblies were all validated to ensure they met target sound levels. This provides firefighters on rest schedules or training classes the necessary lower sound levels from within their facility.
“The new fire station brings a much improved working and living environment and allows for more efficient emergency response,” said Chief Timothy Johnson, Edwards AFB FES Fire Chief. “The new facility is a milestone that many others have been looking for, for years.”
The innovative design of the new fire station netted it an Honor Award for Facility Design with the 2020 Air Force Design Awards Program. I.E. Pacific, Inc., the design organization, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles Disctrict, the design agent, and the 412th CEG, the base engineering organization, were all recognized for their efforts.
Juror comments for the award include; “great modernization project to bring the facility up to date and make it safer for firefighters at Edwards AFB” and “interesting solution placing the primary structure between apparatus bays. Inclusion of an interior courtyard balanced design guide criteria with local climate impacts.”
Almost two years after base officials broke ground at the site of the new airfield fire station, the building is now set to provide world-class services, as per Edwards FES history. That history of service is something Col. Randel Gordon, 412th Test Wing Vice Commander, said he is thankful for.
“The reason I believe that we can take such risk when we fly to go do these test missions in support of national security is because we know we have a team of professionals that's going to be at ‘home plate’ for us if something goes wrong, and they're going to be there for us,” Gordon said. “I can’t tell you how it just brings the stress level down after you land and the fire chief comes up on the radio and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got you…’”