HILL AFB—Response times are expected to improve by 90 seconds now that a new fire station is open and operating at Hill Air Force Base.
Ninety seconds may not sound like much, but it is a long time “when lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft and equipment are endangered,” according to Micah Garbarino of the 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.
The new 16-bay facility has space for newer, larger response vehicles, Garbarino indicated.
It will house 45 firefighters who will live and work there, according to fire prevention Chief Jeff Beck, and includes a giant kitchen, gym, recreation room and laundry room.
“The base originally requested a new station in 1997,” said Beck.
Three years ago, the old facility “was deemed unsound,” according to the Air Force. Since then, the firefighters have lived in an old airmen dormitory, which was farther away from the flight line.
A grand opening for the 35,000-square-foot facility was held Thursday, Feb. 1 and drew Air Force leadership, federal, state and local politicians. Instead of a ribbon cutting, a fire hose was uncoupled.
The station was built at a cost of $14 million and is one of four stations at the base and the Little Mountain Test Facility.
Firefighters work 48-hour shifts and put in 144 hours every two weeks, according to Garbarino.