For the first time in over 30 years, the City of Boston will have a brand new fire station. On September 16, Mayor Walsh and Boston Fire Department Commissioner Joseph Finn celebrated the groundbreaking of Engine 42 Fire House in Egleston Square along with neighbors and firefighters.
“This is an exciting day in Roxbury and it’s an exciting day in the City of Boston,” Mayor Walsh said at the groundbreaking. “In some ways, it’s a celebration, and in other ways it’s a real big problem that this hasn’t happened before today.”
Once complete, the $23.5 million fire station will house two companies and a district chief, Walsh said. It will also include a new fitness center, a kitchen, and other amenities “to help improve the quality of life” of firefighters. Additionally, the station will have a training room for technical rescue companies which will allow them to say up-to-date on their training without having to travel to a different location.
“As a city, when we think about firefighting, 100 years ago, it was putting a burning building out. It was saving somebody’s life,” Walsh said. “Today it’s changed. As a city we want to make sure and we’re doing it here today, support the health and wellness and safety of those who do the sam for us every single day.”
The station will also feature a piece of permanent public art outside, funded by the Percent for Art Program, in which one percent of the city’s capital borrowing is dedicated to permanent public art. Walsh said the artist would be announced soon.
“A lot of hard work went into planning and designing this fire house,” said Commissioner Finn. “Nothing would have gotten done if we didn’t have the full support of the Mayor.”
Finn said that the average age of a firehouse in the city of Boston is 76 years old—“that’s almost criminal,” he said. He added that the last time a new firehouse was built but he city was 1984.
“Our firefighters and citizens deserve a firehouse that is modern and updated to manage and meet the needs and demands of today’s fire service and the global environment we now work in,” he said.
“It’s astonishing how many firefighters have succumbed to occupational cancer in the last 30 years,” he continued. In order to address that problem, the design of this firehouse will incorporate “the latest methods” of protecting firefighters from the carcinogens their job exposes them to. Finn said there will be a decontamination zone on the main floor, and no gear will go upstairs. That floor will have its own separate heating and ventilation systems, and there will be three different mechanical systems in the building to make sure toxins and carcinogens are kept from traveling into the living space. The station will also feature storage for all of the technical rescue equipment for the Technical Rescue Component, which will allow the component to be “much more efficient on response and execution,” Finn said. “Our firefighters and the city deserve no less,” he said. “For the community, I think you’ll be very proud of this firehouse and the members who work here