EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, California – Edwards Air Force Base officials cut the ribbon on an award-winning airfield fire station Dec. 8 during an intimate, socially distanced ceremony at the base in California.
The Flightline Fire Station, designed by I.E. Pacific, Inc., recently won the Facility Design Honor Award – the highest achievement – in the 2020 U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center Design Award Program. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District was the design agent for the facility.
“The design of the Flightline Airfield Fire Station demonstrates the strong commitment the Corps and its partners – base officials, fire and emergency responders, the Corps’ contractor and the many others involved in this project – have in ensuring life and safety is always a priority for the pilots as well as first responders and the base community,” said Maj. Jeffrey Beeman, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “We couldn’t be prouder that this facility will now be the Air Force’s standard design for its fire stations.”
The new $44-million, 41,000-square-foot-facility replaces the old fire station, which has been in service for more than 50 years.
The old facility was cramped, said Air Force Col. Randel Gordon, and the equipment had to be guided out of the bay doors whenever there was a call, which took away needed response times.
“Now we have proper facilities for these trucks to get in and out,” Gordon said.
The facility’s roof, walls and triple-glazed assemblies also ensure they meet target sound levels due to ongoing missions.
Gordon compared the base’s fire department to a catcher’s mitt, ready to assist aircraft in distress.
The new station provides two separate dedicated bays for structural and aircraft response. Both can be accessed quickly from the centrally located living and administration areas inside the facility. Additionally, new high-speed opening four-fold bay doors support a more rapid emergency response.
The Dec. 8 ribbon-cutting ceremony, 22 years in the making, was downsized and live-streamed to share with a virtual audience after the spike in California’s coronavirus levels.
Officials broke ground on the new facility Dec. 14, 2018, which Gordon described as “universally, the most beautiful building on Edwards Air Force Base.”
Edwards AFB Fire and Emergency Services Chief Timothy Johnson thanked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for making the dream a reality.
“The award-winning project sets the benchmark of design excellence that the Air Force expects for all its facilities and installations,” said Col. David Norton, director of Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Facility Engineering Directorate, at the time of the announcement. “They demonstrate the Air Force’s commitment to delivering quality, mission ready and resilient infrastructure.”
An awards presentation was Dec. 16 to 17 during the annual AFCED Design and Construction Partnering Symposium.
(Some information for this article was provided by Edwards Air Force Base Public Affairs; see the link here.)