Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Fire Station

On Monday, Roanoke City dedicated its new fire station, Roanoke Fire-EMS Station #5.

This will be my husband's new location because the battalion chiefs will be working from this station now.

The station consolidates two structures, old station #5 and station #9. Station #9 is officially retired, and both old buildings will be sold. My husband was captain at Station 9 for almost 10 years before he received his promotion.

The closing essentially eliminated 12 jobs, although the local media has not reported that recently. It was publicized when the decision to close the stations was made several years ago but apparently that has been forgotten.

You can see media coverage of this here: WSLS, WSLS (stations closing), Roanoke Times. Station 9's old blog is here and you can see in the header what the old station looked like. I don't know if new Station 5 will have a blog. Apparently that depends on the firefighters and who has an interest in keeping it up.

Anyway, on with the tour:

The new structure cost about $4.5 million.

They also introduced a new ladder truck to the public. It is a Quint, which means it carries water and has a ladder. It cost $843,000.

Firefighters J. D. and Dennis, both of whom have worked with my husband for many years. Dennis is going to be a daddy in the next month or so. He was very kind to me while my husband performed his duties and saw to it that I had water and found the rooms with air conditioning. He also gave me a tour of the building.

The new battalion chief's office.

The turnout gear locker. If you have never been in a fire station when the bells ring and the fellows all run for their gear, it is an amazing sight. It's like a ballet on speed.

Dennis and my husband, who was all decked out in his dress uniform.

The pole for a fast exit from the second floor. I understand this pole came from old station #3 and is about 100 years old.

The crowd was large for such an event: about 250 people. Many were dignitaries but others were retired fireman and local citizens who wanted to take pride in this new structure.

Captain Kevin and Fire Investigator Ronnie.

Captain Kevin and his crew created this very large table - it's about 18 feet long - to serve as the eating place for the firemen. The table has inlays of pictures of the closed fire stations as well as a tribute to tomorrow's firefighters in the middle.

Dignitaries made long speeches. Mayor David Bowers had a hard time keeping a straight face at one point. Tears fell during a presentation to Battalion Chief Bobby Slayton, who has been with the Fire Department for over 44 years. He retires this month. Unfortunately the heat was miserable; the event was mid-day and the bays of the fire station, where everyone gathered, are not air conditioned.

And there's me and my sweetie.


  1. I love this post, Anita! What is the location of this Fire Station? There is a new one I drive past on my way to the mall and I wondered if it is the same one. Is it on Hershberger?


  2. You must be very proud...good luck to all the firefighters.

    Hey, Bowers looks drunk LOL

  3. Wow, that is an impressive firehouse! The new ladder truck is also something to be proud of.
    Congratulations to your husband and all the Roanoke firemen.


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