SALISBURY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The City of Salisbury is moving forward with plans to build a new fire station, replacing one that was built in the 1950s and doesn’t meet the needs of the city’s fire department.
Salisbury Fire Chief Robert Parnell gave Queen City News a walkthrough of Fire Station 3, located on W. Innes St. He highlighted clear electrical hazards (for example, a sink is directly next to an electrical box), a sinking foundation, non-ADA compliant bathrooms, no space for a ladder truck, and no decontamination area for firefighters once they return from calls.
“The fire station was built in 1957, and it didn’t address things that a modern fire service would expect and would need,” Parnell said.
As it stands, firefighters need to stop at a different station to decontaminate themselves before they head back to Station 3.
“It takes everybody out of place, which can prolong the response times, and everything that we do is based on response times,” Deputy Fire Chief David Morris said.
Another issue at the station is a lack of female bathrooms. Though the sole bathroom on the premises contains multiple stalls and showers, the department has had to adopt a ‘one in, one out’ policy to accommodate privacy needs.
“The department is much more diverse than it was in 1957 when it was first built,” Morris said.
The city has already reviewed plans to build a new station at 150 Mahaley Avenue, just around the corner from the current one.
Currently, they’re in the process of obtaining engineering and code approvals for the new development plan. Then, they’ll put out a call for construction bids.
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“Updated, modern facilities would not only make it better for the firefighters but better for the community when they’re visiting firefighters,” Morris said.