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Elk Grove Citizen

New Fire Station 68 Responds to Firefighter Well-being

Jun 14, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Patrick Larenas

Mayor Donald Terry joins Sac Metro Fire leadership as they 'uncouple the hose' at the grand opening of Fire Station 68. From left to right: Donald Terry, Rancho Cordova Mayor; Gay Jones, Metro Fire Board of Directors; Cinthia Saylors, President, Metro Fire Board of Directors; Todd Harms, Fire Chief; Susan Wood, wife of Director Ted Wood, Metro Fire Board; and Jennifer Sheetz, Metro Fire Board of Directors. Photo courtesy of Sac Metro Fire

New Fire Station 68 Responds to Firefighter Well-being [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On May 27, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) opened with a “hose uncoupling” the newly constructed Fire Station 68 in east Rancho Cordova. The now inaugurated facility, located near Douglas Road and Sunrise Boulevard, incorporates state-of-the-art improvements which show the way of the future in firefighting facilities.

Susan Wood, wife of Sac Metro Board Director Ted Wood "' Division 4, shared with the crowd that during the economic slowdown, the older Fire Station 68 had been temporarily closed, which left a sizeable “geographic service area hole” in the surroundings.

The new Fire Station 68 located at 12065 Cobble Brook Drive will replace the station that was formerly located at 4381 Anatolia Drive, which Rancho Cordova Mayor Donald Terry described as “more like a shed with a house in the back.”

Sac Metro staff said the facility will keep “three firefighters, staffing one fire engine with room to expand staffing as the area continues to build and grow.” And there certainly has been a lot of growth recently.

Fire Chief Todd Harms commented on the first stages of the project: “When I first came out here, and we looked at the site, there was nothing that was out here"'literally a few roads. There was a little bit of expectation of the growth that was about to happen. But just in the time that we have built this location, the growth has just been incredible.”

The fire station, which features state of the art crew quarters, health and wellness facilities, safety equipment, and fast-access sideways opening bay doors (rather than garage-style doors), was designed by Tylor Babcock of MFDB Architects and built by Trent McCuen of McCuen Construction Inc., and the construction management team led by Sean Strongman.

Speakers highlighted that what makes the new fire station building so innovative are the health and safety features incorporated into its design.

Chief Harms explained that “because someone will live in this fire station 24 hours a day and 365 days a year for the next 60-70 years,” they will be exposed to toxic diesel exhaust fumes and soot which cause cancer.

Station 68 features a descending exhaust ducting system that hooks up to tailpipes to expel spent gases, together with divided living and garaged areas which are pressurized at different levels (somewhat analogous to a space station) so as not to allow contaminants flowing into living spaces when opening doors and other access breaches.

Metro Fire Board of Directors President Cinthia Saylors expressed gratitude that this station prioritizes the long-term health and safety of its members.

“As a retired firefighter, this is extremely important to me,” Saylors said, “My generation suffers [from] very many types of cancers because we did not have the protections of sucking up the exhaust fumes; We had to live with the exhaust from our rigs; We had to live with the dirt on our turnouts; We carried our turnouts inside our rigs... We did not know that just the soot on our turnouts was cancerous.”

Newly representing the redrawn Supervisor District 3, which covers Station 68, Supervisor Rich Desmond attended the grand opening and congratulated the fire district and residents.

Desmond said that the new station was not only going to “improve response times… in the local community… but also that it was going to boost Sac Metro’s response to all hazards in the county.” He was referring to the pre-positioning of wildland response rigs and other special operations which will be based at Station 68.

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