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Metro Newsroom

Mayor, Fire Chief Celebrate Opening of New Firehouse

Wednesday March 18, 2009

 LOUISVILLE (March 18, 2009) – Mayor Jerry Abramson joined Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick and a throng of neighborhood children to formally open the new Portland fire station – the city’s first new fire house in 14 years.

Engine 6, located at 2500 Griffiths Avenue, replaces the fire station at 2425 Portland Avenue. The new Portland fire station is one of two fire houses to be completed this year as part of Abramson’s 21st Century fire plan.

“This modern fire station meets the needs of our firefighters as well as the needs of the citizens in Portland,” Abramson said. “We are making good on the promise to develop a 21st Century fire department for a 21st Century Louisville.”

The old Engine 6 was built in 1903 and designed to house a single horse-drawn water wagon. The station was renovated in 1969 – removing the upper level and horse stalls and adding dormitories for the firefighters.

The new station is much larger, covering more than 7,600 square feet. The apparatus bay houses a fire engine, an auxiliary fire engine, an EMS response vehicle while on standby, and one fire support vehicle. The location will continue to serve the Portland neighborhood and provide support to nearby areas such as Shawnee, California, Beecher Terrace and the developing areas along downtown’s western edge.

“The house is a vast improvement over the current firehouse,” Frederick said. “Not only will our firefighters have better tools and equipment to do their jobs, but the entire community will benefit from the upgrades.”

Neighbors served by this new fire station had significant input in choosing the location and adding suggestions for the design. Keyes Architects and Associates incorporated elements from the surrounding neighborhood and earlier firehouses so Engine 6 would echo the area’s architectural character.

The fire station will serve two Metro Council districts, and both council representatives applauded the city’s efforts to involve residents in the planning process.

“Engine 6 is a truly state of the art facility, and a welcome addition to the Fourth Metro Council District,” said Metro Council President David Tandy. “Public safety is my top priority, and this new station will help keep our citizens safe.”

“Our Portland neighbors are excited about this new building, and expect that this new firehouse will continue a strong relationship between firefighters and the community,” said Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton. “This state-of-the art facility in this central location blends well into the neighborhood, and I’m sure it will serve the Portland area for many years to come.”

Engine 6 includes several environmentally-friendly design features, including geothermal heating and cooling, pervious concrete to improve stormwater runoff, and energy-efficient LED lighting in the dormitories.

Another new firehouse, Engine 21 on Spring Street, is nearing completion. It will serve the Butchertown, Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods. A third new firehouse, Engine 10 in the Beechmont neighborhood, is currently under design.

21st Century Fire Plan Adds Vehicles, Builds New Firehouses, Maintains Stations

Since the mayor announced the 21st Century Fire Plan nearly three years ago, the city has added $5 million worth of new fire trucks and equipment to modernize the firefighting fleet:

· Tower 2 – a new aerial unit with a 95-foot telescoping ladder housed at the Floyd and Jefferson Street fire station; approximate cost $900,000

· Engine 10 – new pumper housed at Ashland Avenue fire station in Beechmont neighborhood; approximate cost $450,000

· Truck 8 – new ladder truck for Ashland Avenue station; approximate cost $650,000

Four new pumper trucks have been ordered and should arrive this summer. A 100-foot aerial ladder truck will be delivered in the fall, and a rescue truck for the dive team will be ordered soon. Ultimately, the city will replace more than half of the Fire Department’s 28-vehicle front-line fleet with new equipment.

The mayor has continued to dedicate funds to refurbish existing fire stations. Over the past three years, the city has replaced roofs, added new windows, completed structural work, renovated dormitories, and added new heating and air-conditioning systems and vehicle bay ventilation systems.