The new Eastside Fire and Rescue fire station 78 is moving right along. Scheduled for completion in early October, Chief of Maintenance Kelly Refvem said they hope to be moved in the first part of November.
Located at 20720 S.E. May Valley Road, the new station will replace the old station 78 (called the Coalfield station) at SR 900, near 164th. The district will sell that station.
Refvem said station 78 serves areas in unincorporated King County up to Renton City limits, Mirrormont and Tiger Mountain.
The new location, on a straight stretch of highway, is better suited to serve the areas in District 10. Refvem particularly likes the line of sight — with the straight stretch of road, when they need to tear out for an emergency, the drivers will be able to see if anyone or anything is coming. The station will be home to one engine, one aid car and EFR’s brush truck.
The general contractor of the project is Corp Inc. Construction, from Salem, Ore.
“We’re following many of the same (green) principles as station 72, but we’re not going for the LEED designation,” Refvem said.
Station 72 in Issaquah received an ASHRAE award last year, described as the Oscars of engineering, for its green design.
Following that example, No. 78 will have a heat pump outside, extra insulation — 11-inches in the roof — and an underground cistern to collect rainwater for washing the trucks and flushing toilets.
EFR commissioners and the community wanted a public meeting room, so there will be one with a wet bar area for refreshments and two public restrooms. There are four sleeping rooms for the firefighters — each with its own bed, built-in desk and night light — two more restrooms with showers for the firefighters, a large workout room, and of course the kitchen/dining/day room.
The kitchen will have three refrigerators, one for each shift. All of the countertops and appliances are stainless steel, and all of the floors in the entire building will be polished concrete. Refvem said the reason is that those surfaces don’t harbor bacteria.
Along that line, there is a decontamination room to clean blood, pathogens and dirty EMS equipment. In addition, there are sinks by the doors for the guys to wash their hands when they come in, because, after all, this is their house.
“Anything we can do to keep them healthy,” Refvem said.
In one of the work areas a big screen TV will be mounted on the wall — not for watching TV — but rather for pinpointing call locations on a live map from dispatch.
A south facing patio will have natural gas for a barbecue, there is a laundry room for the guys, an area for their bunker gear and extra storage. Additionally, they’ll have a room for disaster supplies including MREs and water.
This station will be the “hose” station, where all new fire hoses will be stored, and damaged hose will be repaired. Outside there is a generator and enclosed trash area.
The station will always have three firefighters on duty. Refvem, who started out as a volunteer when he was 18, has been a career firefighter for 33 years. He said with this station in such a beautiful rural area, they tried to make it look a bit like a farm house to fit in with the surrounding community.
The station was funded by a bond issue in District 10, unincorporated King County. The way the EFR funding model works, funding for each station is based on assessed valuation of homes it serves.
Station 71 in downtown Issaquah covers Tiger Mountain now, but once the new station 78 opens, Issaquah property owners will bear more of the cost of station 71 because more homeowner’s in District 10 were also paying for coverage out of 71.
The station will be home to one engine, one aid vehicle and the brush truck.
The station is on a straight stretch of road, for ideal line of sight when the engine or aid vehicle have to pull out.