Fire stations of the world: City of Allen Fire Station 2 in Texas in the US
City of Allen Fire Station 2 is located in the northeast portion of Allen in Texas in the US off Exchange Parkway. Rebuilt in 2016, the station offers three equipment bays and more living space for fire fighters. The new 11 800-square-foot Fire Station #2 for the City of Allen replaced the previous fire station that existed on the same site. The project scope included demolition of the existing station, the design of a temporary apparatus bay and living quarters on an adjacent property to keep the fire station functioning while the new station was under construction. The one-storey stone-and-brick facility provides three drive-through apparatus bays and living quarters for 10 co-ed fire fighters. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, men’s and women’s locker rooms with full-sized louvered wood lockers and private bunkrooms for 10 fire fighters facilitate a culture of wellness.
The design team worked closely with fire department and city facilities planning staff to develop a “lodge” design aesthetic, reflecting the residential character and scale of the adjacent neighbourhood while still be being identifiable as a fire station. The station provides all the equipment and layout efficiency required to perform their extraordinary jobs with all the comforts of home as well.
A naturally lit clerestory-capped main corridor leads to a comfortable multi-tiered dayroom with individual overstuffed recliners and terminates into a spacious kitchen and dining area, providing a residential atmosphere with views and access to a covered outdoor dining and living space in a natural garden setting.
Sustainability and LEED principles are integrated into the design by utilising a solar-efficient building orientation, clerestory providing natural light, highly efficient HVAC systems, LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances and drought-tolerant landscaping with drip irrigation.
The Allen Fire Department was founded on 18 February 1953. The department was formed entirely of volunteers and required an initiation fee of two dollars to join. It operated under the motto "When Duty Calls 'Tis Ours to Obey."
Allen Fire Department's emergency response personnel are the core of the department's operations. Personnel are divided into three, 24-hour shifts and respond out of four stations.
Trench rescue operations
Trench collapses are a continuous threat in North Texas due to unique soil content and ongoing construction. The Allen Fire Department is equipped with pneumatic shores, air quality detectors, "snake" cameras, confined space communication systems and air circulating equipment for trench collapse emergencies. Trench rescue technicians receive hours of classroom and field practice. Technicians learn how to properly approach, shore, and remove victims from several kind of trenches.
The Logistics Division, led by Assistant Fire Chief Richard Vaughn, provides firefighters with the tools they need to keep the community safe. It provides fire fighters with protective equipment, prepares vehicles and equipment for emergency response, monitors trends related to fire fighter safety, identifies emerging technology and supervises the design and purchase of fire stations, fire apparatus and rescue equipment
The Training Division prepares firefighters to respond to a wide variety of emergencies with instinctive knowledge and expertise. In order to maintain the high standards of the Allen Fire Department, firefighters must learn and excel in many areas, including fire fighting, search and rescue, emergency medicine, vehicle extrication, swift water rescue, trench collapse rescue, confined space rescue and hazardous materials.
Sources: City of Allen Fire Department, VAI Architects, City of Allen ACTV