The City of Boston, along with the Boston Fire Department, celebrated a beam raising on September 25 for the new Engine 42, Rescue 2, District 9 firehouse that is expected to open in early fall of next year.
Firefighters and others looked on as construction crews lifted the final beam into place.
The $23.5 million firehouse will have state-of-the art facilities and a “design that has the health and safety of the firefighters as a top priority,” according to Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey.
The firehouse, which is located at 1870 Columbus Ave. in Roxbury, is being transformed from a one story, 10,600 square foot building to a two story one with more than 23,000 square feet of space. It will be energy efficient, and offer separation between equipment and living space for the firefighters, as well as a “pressure positive air flow that compartmentalizes the building into sections, reducing the time that firefighters are exposed to occupational cancers,” Dempsey said at the event.
“The fire department is anxiously awaiting the opening of this building,” Dempsey said. “We look forward to our projected opening date of September of next year, or hopefully sooner.”
Retired Fire Commissioner Joe Finn expressed his thanks to the entire Boston Fire Department for their work throughout the COVID crisis, working to keep the city safe.
“The planning of this new firehouse, quite honestly, started probably about seven years ago, when I became the mayor,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. He said that Finn came to him and talked about the “poor conditions” and how occupational cancer affects firefighters in the City.
“This pandemic has shown us how important it is to invest in community health and safety,” Walsh said.
This firehouse will be the first new one built in more than 30 years in Boston. Walsh said that the investment in this firehouse “will provide positive implications on the entire city. This is a state of the art firehouse, a modern firehouse [with] best practices inside. Our firehouses are second homes to our firefighters.”
The firehouse will also include a training room to keep firefighters up to date on their training without having to travel far.
The station will also feature public art funded by the City’s Percent for Art program, which comes from one percent of the City’s capital borrowing for the creation of art.
“This fire station is one of many that’s going to follow that represents our commitment to protecting firefighters’ health and safety,” Walsh said. Though constriction was halted for two months in March and April, the crew are well on their way to getting the building up for next fall.
Walsh thanked all who are involved in this project, and gave a special thanks to the City’s first responders for their hard work during the COVID crisis.
“To be quite honest with you, Boston Dire Department, Boston Police Department, EMS; didn’t pick sides,” he said. “You all worked together and you’ve been able to keep the people of Boston safe and comforted in their time of need.”