Fire stations of the world: The Platte Valley Fire Department in Kersey, Colorado, US
The Platte Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD) was officially established in 1954 to serve the Town of Kersey, community of Gill and the surrounding unincorporated areas in Weld County, Colorado in the US to provide the citizens of the district with professional emergency services responding to fire, EMS and rescue incidents as well as citizen assists, community events, fire prevention training and more. Platte Valley Fire Protection District is considered a special district in the State of Colorado and is governed by a board of publicly elected directors who reside within the District. In 2014, the population within the District totals approximately 6 500 consisting mainly of seniors and families with children. The assessed value of the District currently totals more than $8 500 000 with over 780 calls for service in 2016 and continually increasing. The new station, completed in 2013, houses a variety of apparatus to respond to calls. There are three fire engines, one used for training while the other two are changed out periodically; one heavy rescue, equipped with a variety of tools and extrication equipment. The department has three brush trucks, two Type-6 and one Type-3, as wells two tenders for wildland fires and deployments and water shuttling. For the Water Rescue Team, they have two boats, including one flat bottom. Crews are considered a ‘six-man crew’ along with ambulance services provided by UCHealth. The majority of the calls that require the services of the Platte Valley Fire fighters involve multi-car accidents along Highway 34 and adjacent county roads, medical calls requiring BLS and ALS response provided by the fire fighters and paramedics, wild fires involving dry fields and ranches, hazardous materials control and clean-up, automobile fires, response to large rig accidents, and response to local school activities.
SEH architects designed the new fire station with low-maintenance, energy efficient features, including quick-opening bay doors and an energy-recover ventilator to improve air quality. Energy-efficient lighting and fixtures were used throughout. The project saved enough money that the department was also able to construct an on-premise training facility and community room.
Seven double-loading apparatus bays
Nine sleeping rooms
Six administrative offices, private conference room and work areas
80-person community room
Emergency operations centre
At the updated fire station in Kersey, Colorado, the department strengthened its connection to the surrounding community by building into its fire station an 80-person community room complete with full kitchen, restroom facilities, AV system, as well as tables and chairs where citizens host community events like birthday parties, baby showers and family reunions. In addition to serving as a meeting room, training room and rentable public space, this room has also become Kersey’s town hall.
Similarly, community education is playing an important role in gaining public and local stakeholder buy-in, especially with fire departments needing to prove the ‘why’ behind building new stations.
Sources: Platte Valley Fire Department, Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc Architects