Fire stations of the world: East Cambridge Fire Station in Massachusetts, US
The East Cambridge Fire Station, Cambridge Fire Station 3, is located at the corner of Second and Cambridge Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US, across the street from the old Middlesex County Courthouse and abutting a small-scale residential neighbourhood. The design called for the housing of two active fire companies and one reserve company with an apparatus room, residential quarters and related training spaces. Each company’s dormitory facilities are located directly over its respective vehicle, allowing quick access via conveniently located slide poles.
East Cambridge Fire Station is home to Engine 3 and Ladder 2.
The interior materials were chosen with a view toward economy, maintainability and durability. To overcome the institutional appearance often found in fire stations, bright colours and graphics have been applied to wall surfaces with epoxy paint and vinyl wall fabric.
In order to break up the scale of the building to better relate to the surrounding residential neighbourhood, the apparatus bays have been stepped back. In addition, roof monitors, the hose tower and stair tower provide small-scale elements that help further reduce facility’s overall scale. The major exterior material is a brick chosen to complement the brick of the old courthouse.
This bare-basics urban structure expresses the presence of three separate fire companies and their shared facilities by a strongly articulated four-part massing.
The Cambridge Fire Department was established by an act of the state legislature on March 17, 1832 with a suppression force of 6 engines and 1 ladder truck. Today the Department is a 21st Century “All Hazards Department” which provides not only fire protection, fire prevention and education, emergency medical advanced life support, heavy rescue service, and protection to the environment but all technical rescue skills as well, including hazardous materials, high-angle, collapse, trench and confined space rescue and water/ice rescue, both surface and underwater.
The Cambridge Fire Department is staffed by 270 sworn members and six civilian members under command of Chief Engineer Gerard E Mahoney. The Department is a member of Boston Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and MetroFire, the Boston area mutual aid network. Thirty-four cities and towns, including Massport, participate in MetroFire.
The department consists of two fire suppression divisions and four staff divisions. Suppression companies operate from 8 fire houses strategically located throughout the city. The fire investigations unit investigates undetermined, suspicious, and incendiary fires.
The sworn members of the department maintain membership in Local 30, International Association of Firefighters, Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, AFL/CIO/CLC. Celebrating 100 years, Local 30 is the oldest local in the Commonwealth.
Sources: Cambridge Fire Department, HMFH