Residents should feel much safer as medical response times will be dramatically reduced once the new Fire Station 17 opens in north Redmond early next year, according to city and fire officials.
The official groundbreaking ceremony for Redmond’s Fire Station 17 was held this morning at the Northeast 116th Street site, where Mayor John Marchione, city officials, Redmond fire and design team representatives held a ceremony for the project.
Construction of the new station is scheduled to begin next week with an anticipated completion time of 12-15 months. The location of the station will improve response times in the north Redmond neighborhoods of English Hill, Education Hill, Avondale Road and Red-Wood Road corridors by a significant amount of time.
“North Redmond has become a growing, thriving neighborhood and to stay in pace with the growth a fire station was scheduled to come here,” Marchione said.
Presently, the response time from Station 11 to Emerald Heights Retirement Community on Education Hill is 8 minutes, 10 seconds. With the new station, response will be less than 2 and a half minutes.
In 2010, Redmond Fire responded to 10,404 total incidents, of those, 70 percent required medical assistance. Station 17 will be staffed at all hours by two firefighter/emergency medical technicians and an aid car. They will provide basic life support services.
Every fire station in Redmond has an aid car with the exception of Station 16 where the ladder unit is located. This will be the seventh fire station within the city of Redmond and King County Fire District 34 with an aid car, said Redmond Fire Captain Tom Langton.
The decision to build the station was arrived at by a panel of Redmond fire representatives, King County Fire District 34 and citizens back in the late 1980s. They created a master plan for the fire department after looking at the demographics and the projected growth of the area. It was determined that a fire station was needed for the Northeast 116th corridor in order to deal with the increasing response demands in that area.
“We’ve been looking at the 116th corridor for a long time,” said Langton. “The top of the hill gives us good access to the Woodinville/Redmond Road and also the Avondale Road corridor.”
The 15,000-square-foot building design will be more energy efficient than any other station in Redmond, designed to last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance. Durable materials will reduce the need for exterior maintenance and provide a long life. The interior walls will use energy-efficient insulation. The design will reduce the ongoing operations and maintenance costs, saving taxpayers a significant amount of money, Langton said.
“The design projects the future need to increase staffing for a number of different reasons, so when we need to bring in additional staff we won’t need to increase the footprint of the building,” said Langton.
The engineering estimate for construction of the station was $6.1 million. Kirkely/Cole Associates in Everett was the lowest responsible bidder with a bid of $5 million. The station was not eligible for stimulus money so funding will come from the city’s capital improvement budget.
After being elected in mayor in 2007, Marchione, a former city councilmember, selected three projects of focus: the downtown central park, the acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks right-of-way through downtown, and construction of Fire Station 17.
“We’ve prepared for today, made it sustainable for the future, and we’ve made the size to match the growth expected to occur here in North Redmond,” said Marchione. “When I decided to run for city council seven years ago one of the things I stated was ‘I want to work to build this fire station’ so I see this as a fulfillment of my campaign pledge.”