Busiest station gets a voter-approved makeover

click to enlarge Busiest station gets a voter-approved makeover
(Katya Mendoza/Staff)
The city of Tucson and the Tucson Fire Department shared the new Fire Station 8 on Nov. 9 at 1025 W. Prince Road. The new station is the second department rebuild, as part of the Tucson Delivers/Safe City Initiative.

The city of Tucson and the Tucson Fire Department unveiled the new build of Fire Station 8 on Nov. 9 at 1025 W. Prince Road.

The completed project, funded by the voter-approved Tucson Delivers Safer City/Better Streets Initiative, represents a funding investment of $8.2 million. An additional $900,000 were allocated toward turnout and personal protective gear, a new engine and paramedic unit, cardiac monitors, thermal imaging cameras and extrication equipment.

Approved in May 2017, Tucson Proposition 101 dedicated a half-cent sales tax increase to 8.6% between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2022, to provide funding for road improvements and public safety.

“A world class department deserves a world class building,” said Mayor Regina Romero.

The Tucson Fire Department, which maintains 25 facilities, requested the remodeling of nine stations and rebuild of five stations between the ages of 53 and 64 years old, to address health and safety conditions affecting firefighters.

Built in 1968, the original “House of Love” station was at 250 W. King Road and is historically known to be one of the nation’s busiest stations.

Serving the citizens of Ward 3, the new Fire Station 8 is the second department to be completed.

“These brave, well-trained men and women are to help us through some of the most disastrous things that happen to residents,” said Ward 3 Councilmember Kevin Dahl. “We want them to be able to respond as quickly as possible with the best equipment because it saves lives.

Dahl said this project was probably the best expenditure of tax money one could find.

Fire Chief Chuck Ryan said the new 14,000-square-foot station includes four bays that allow for growth to meet additional call loads, decontamination rooms for the crews away from the living quarters in a separate space and zone dispatching, a special feature to allow sleeping firefighters who are not on call to remain asleep, targeting those who are on call.

Fire Station 8 also includes 13 private dorm rooms, gender neutral bathrooms, a training room and workout area, a large kitchen and gathering space, new appliances and more.

“To the men and women who work here, this is for you guys,” said Capt. Josh Campbell.

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