A brand-new fire station officially opened in the East County community of Boulevard Friday designed to serve backcountry residents and improve response times in the rural area.
A jointly-operated facility from the San Diego County Fire Authority and Cal Fire, the spacious and modern 7,866-square-foot station opened at 40080 Ribbonwood Rd., near Old Highway 80.
The new station will be able to accommodate up to 12 firefighters and hold up to six fire vehicles, including a paramedic ambulance. Officials say this is expected to improve advance lifesaving response times to the roughly 1,800 residents living in Boulevard while serving a 78-square-mile area.
The facility is the first county-built fire station to house Cal Fire, Fire Authority volunteer reserves and a paramedic unit under one roof. It includes living quarters, an exercise room, a kitchen and a garage.
Officials say the new station will produce its own electricity using photovoltaic panels and can provide its own water with a new 560-foot-deep well and holding tank.
City leaders and officials broke ground on the $3.5 million facility back in January 2014. Friday’s opening was attended by Supervisor Dianne Jacob, among other county and fire leaders.
Until now, firefighters in the area had been sharing a county building across the street from this new facility with the Sheriff’s Department.
Boulevard is located about 65 miles east of downtown San Diego.