"For the first time in 47 years, Engine 2 is back in service and available in District. We'll take that call for the rescue."
That was the first call for the new fire station in downtown San Diego that opened Thursday.
The new Fire Station No. 2 is located on Pacific Highway, across from the San Diego County Administration Center and west of the railroad and trolley tracks that slice through downtown.
“Bayside Fire Station will provide critical public safety resources and personnel to Downtown,” said Councilman Chris Ward, who represents the area.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department has long considered a station on the west side of the tracks one of its top priorities because of the delays from rail activities that affect emergency response time.
“This new modern fire station is the latest example of the significant investments we’re making to improve public safety and protect our neighborhoods,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We’ll now have three fire stations serving a thriving downtown community that has seen an influx of residents, businesses and visitors over the past few decades. This is all about making sure that help gets there fast when you need it.”
The new three-story, 24,680-square-foot station was designed to achieve a LEED rating of Silver or above. It features a rooftop greenery, solar panels and an angled roof canopy.
Instead of the traditional roll-up doors in the apparatus bay, the new station has folding doors for quicker access. It can accommodate two rigs and a battalion chief vehicle.
The station also includes a commercial grade-kitchen, a training room, gym, living facilities and public art. The artwork was commissioned by the city's Commission for Arts and Culture.
“This new downtown fire station, along with two reconstructed neighborhood stations opening soon, are models for efficiency and modern amenities,” SDFD Interim Chief Kevin Ester said. “These improved working and living conditions benefit not only our firefighters but the communities they serve."
The station is the third new fire station built as part of Mayor Faulconer's initiative to improving neighborhood services throughout the city. The city has opened new fire stations in Mission Valley and City Heights with two more opening soon in Hillcrest and Point Loma.