The Fire Station: Selecting the Site

There are sevearl isues issues regarding site selection for fire stations. According to Ken Newell, Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects, one of the first things firefightrers think about is response time. That involves travel distacnce, mutual aid response, jurisdictional sharing of services, etc. But, it goes further. What do departments do after they identify the area the site will be in?

It is always advisable to bring a designer and arthcitc on board as early as possible–even before the site is selected.

Pay attention to free land. Free land, according to Newell, “is the most expensive land you’ll ever get because it’s normally not given for free for a good reason.” That is always going to provide challenges to departments in the way you address issues that are unfavorable on the site.

As you look at the site, pay attention to suitability. Where is it located, and is it a suitable location? It also includes traffic: how do you access major throrofares from the site? A clear access point is critical.

Grading requirements are another consideration. Is the site extremely sloped, so much so that it will requrie a great deal of grading? If grading is not possible, you may have to build expensive retaining walls.

Ensure utilities are accessible because if they are not brought t the stie already, the department will have to pay to bring them in.

Learn more about site selection in the video above.

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