Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Station 16 Today Part 1

In a recent post I extended an invitation to the readers to visit Station 16 Firehouse at 143 S. Division St and take a tour of the building in order to see the conditions at that facility. I'm happy to say one individual took me up on that offer and I met them there on Monday last. I believe that person came a away with a much better understanding of how the men and women of the service live while in quarters and what its like to have to work under the conditions that exist.

I want to share with you some photos of the Station as it is today and ask you to then return to Albero's post of his visit to the new Station 16 and maybe through he eyes of two cameras you can make a more fair assessment of the situation. In this first picture you can plainly see how close to the wall Rescue 16 sits in it's berth at the station. I assure you this is quite true with all the equipment. On the opposite side of the room Ladder 16 sits as close to that wall as does this piece. The equipment sits four abreast across the front of the building and the space between the pieces is about the same as you see here against the walls except for the center aisle which is only about twice the distance. Behind Rescue 16 in this picture is a small work area used for maintenance and repair of tools and equipment. This area is so small and cramped it is often necessary to move apparatus out side in order to have room to work.

The second and third photos are in the basement of the current Station 16. There are four pieces of equipment parked here. Two ambulances, a brush truck, and the Rescue boat. Also you can see here the cramped and crowded situation. In order to back equipment in to the basement one must back down a ramp and make a turn at the same time in order to navigate through a fairly narrow door. As you can see the ceiling is not so high and much of the equipment in the department is unable to fit into this area. Time was when even an engine could be backed in here for maintenance and upkeep but due to the size of the vehicle today that is not possible.
In the third photo is the view from the other side of the ambulance.Again you can see the closeness of the ceiling and equipment to each other. As you can see, any need for the rescue boat, (in the second photo in the back of the room) would require the removal of two pieces of equipment first. Depending on the manpower situation this could take several minutes to accomplish, possibly to long for a victim in need.

Refer now to the large bay in the new Station 16 from Albero's pictures. Spacious, yes it is. But please remember this, 80 years ago when the current Station 16 was built, it too was spacious.
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