New Wenatchee Fire House


The rear of the building allows for easy in and out without using busy North Wenatchee Avenue

Wenatchee’s newest fire station ready to roll Nov. 1

 

Story and photos by Gary Bégin

Chief Brian Brett of the Chelan Fire Department District 1 was kind enough to take time from his incredibly busy schedule to answer a few questions about the new fire station on North Wenatchee Avenue. Here is the Q&A, exclusive to the Wenatchee Business Journal done in late September:

WBJ: Is the new station on schedule?

Chief Brett: The fire station is 1½ years behind schedule because of events beyond the district’s control. 

WBJ: When will it officially be opened?

Chief Brett: We are confident in operating from the new station on November 1.

WBJ: What is the total expected cost?

Chief Brett: The projected cost to date is $5,348,000.  Original cost was $5,278,000.

WBJ: Are there many cost overruns (change orders) expected or unexpected?

Chief Brett: Yes, we currently over budget by $70,000 with another known overages of $20,000.  We have had 15 Change Orders and 109 Field Orders, with over a thousand corresponding emails regarding the project.

WBJ: Will more personnel be added or just transferred from other stations?

Chief Brett: Currently, the District is unable to hire additional Firefighters.  We are going to reposition personnel around the District to maximize our capabilities with the staffing we currently have.  Our goal is to run a Rescue Vehicle, a Battalion Chief, and a Tiller Ladder Truck from the new station.  The Rescue Vehicle will carry our Water Rescue, Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Emergency Medical Equipment, and Auto Extrication Equipment.  This vehicle will respond as a single unit on calls warranting only one apparatus, while being the second unit, on multi-unit dispatches.  We are excited for the opportunity to have a more maneuverable vehicle, for a large portion of our responses, while simultaneously minimizing wear on our larger fire apparatus.

WBJ: Are state of the art functions now available to Wenatchee firemen?

Chief Brett: The Fire District is very frugal with District finances.  We have the bare essential amenities in the new station to minimize cost.  We strive to minimize costs in our facilities and invest those savings into our fleet, training, and aviation programs.

The benefits of the new station include the improved health and safety for our team members.  The area separations and air cleaning systems minimize exhaust and fire scene contaminates that are common to all busy fire stations.  Our gear will be stored out of UV light, to minimize degradation, and decontamination stations for our team, gear and equipment are in the apparatus bay.

WBJ: If I were a frontline fireman, what would my favorite feature be?

Chief Brett: The ability to maintain a clean, sanitary environment is the feature appreciated the most.  Also, not having to block a major thoroughfare to pull out, or back into, the station is a major plus.  The strategic positioning of this station complements our existing stations.  Next, we plan to put a fire station on Stemilt Hill and in the Colockum to maximize our coverage.

WBJ: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Chief Brett: We are really grateful for the overwhelming support we receive from our citizens in the Fire District.  At the direction of the Fire Commissioners, we will be convening a Citizens Advisory Group to review where the District has been, where we currently are, and what the vision and expectations of the people are regarding the District’s emergency service capabilities in the future.

 

 

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