Fire stations of the world: Volusia County Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station 17 at Daytona Beach International Airport, US
In October 2001, the Daytona Beach International Airport Fire Department was transferred to Volusia County Fire Rescue in Florida, US. The Airport Fire Station, designated Station 17, is located on the south side of the airport and houses aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicles with a minimum of six fire fighters and one battalion chief assigned to the station. The existing 30-year-old aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) facility at the Daytona Beach International Airport (DBIA) was replaced by a new state-of-the-art facility designed by SchenkelShultz Architects.
The new building houses fire services staff 24 hours a day and includes offices, living quarters, a fitness facility, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), medical decontamination, medical storage, gear wash/dry, kitchen, day room, locker room, showers, storage and multi-vehicle drive through apparatus bays.
The new LEED-certified fire station balances essential operations and comfortable living quarters for firefighters with safety and health-oriented design principles. The interior design promotes wellbeing through the use of decontamination zones, MERV-level HVAC filters, bipolar ionisation, hardened flooring finishes and air locks that are situated between the apparatus bay and living quarters. The station provides an integral safety component to the community and users by providing first-response capabilities to every location at the airport. The building orientation and curved walls allow for unparalleled 80-degree views from more than 75 percent of the building’s windows.
Designed to operate 24/7, the station is a Level IV essential facility and is hurricane-hardened. It houses four bays for ARFF and EMS apparatus, with direct exhaust capture. All utilities have full redundancy through a backup generator. A medical decontamination zone that has a gear wash and an independent room for appropriate storage of chemicals, including Purple-K foam, is separately located off of the bays. For the crew, the design includes living quarters, locker rooms, showers, a fitness area, a kitchen/dining space and a dayroom for collaboration. The floor plan has multi-use spaces, such as a training room that functions as a community room and as an emergency operations centre during an activation event.
These fire fighters respond to a wide range of aircraft emergencies; from general aviation to major air carriers, including specialised military aircraft. Daytona Beach International Airport is a major hub of flight activity within the region due to special events and close proximity to a major aeronautical university.
Aircraft rescue fire fighting is an exciting facet for Volusia County Fire Rescue. All ARFF team members are trained to the highest standards surrounding ARFF and also employ the newest technology in aircraft emergency response, all with keeping safety the number one priority for fire fighters and passengers.
Commercial aircraft landing at Daytona Beach International Airport are at least 126 feet in length but no more than 159 feet in length. This means the personnel at Station 17 must protect the lives of up to 250 passengers in the event of an emergency on-board a commercial aircraft arriving or departing Daytona Beach International Airport.
Station 17’s personnel are also required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be in place on the runway for a declared aircraft emergency within three minutes of notification. These firefighters must have knowledge regarding the types of aircraft arriving/departing, maximum number of passengers possibly inside, location of emergency exits on the aircraft and location of critical systems on the aircraft, which could increase the danger to passengers exiting the aircraft if it was on fire. As the thin walled aluminium exterior of a large commercial aircraft burns so hot and quickly, all lives on board can be lost in less than five minutes making immediacy of response critical.
In order to provide top notch service to the flying public at Daytona Beach International Airport, Volusia County Fire Rescue has integrated the services currently provided by personnel at Station 17 with its existing efforts throughout the county.
Sources: Volusia County Fire Rescue, SchenkelShultz Architecture