SOUTH PORTLAND – The Cash Corner Fire Station was recently featured in Fire station magazine. The Firehouse Station Design Awards recognized the department for its new building.
The new fire station on Route 1 replaced the one-story structure from the 1970s. When Deputy Chief Chris Copp was promoted to captain of this building, he was given the project from a vantage point that they would simply renovate. building.
The building had large amounts of mold. Copp said they were going to fix this and then renovate, but after meeting with engineering firm Grant Hays, Inc. Architecture and Design, Copp, who has a background in construction, saw the cost of repairing the new building. and decided to meet. with the fire chief, council and general manager to explain his thoughts.
The renovation was a bad investment and they were already $ 1 million to fix the mold problem. The building was too small and not efficient enough to meet the needs of increasing demands. After being approved for a bail application, Mike Hays of Grant Hays, Inc. Architecture and Design, set to work designing the new building.
âHe was instrumental in designing all of the building features we were looking for,â Copp said. The building measures 17,119 square feet and is designed to meet the current and future needs of the community.
âOne of the main things we wanted was a training center and an education center that would allow the team that was working that day to come together in a central location that would have good audiovisual equipment so that we could having a good training facility there, that was one of the components we wanted to put in there, âCopp said. âThe second part that I had a lot of influence on was the redesign of one of the stair towers in the building so that it became a function not only for an emergency exit stair tower, but also as a training prop where we could perform high angle rope rescue. training, we could do pipe advancement training, ladder training, window rescue from ladders to the ground.
“In bad weather in winter, inside the building attached to this staircase tower, there are built-in fire hose fittings, sand pipe fittings and attachment points for rope rescue, we can therefore also perform repellent and high angle rescues. as a ladder saving victims inside the building so that we can do this training safely in bad weather. A hazardous materials decontamination unit is also integrated into this area. There is a feature where we can bring people back to the station, they can decontaminate themselves and their equipment without actually going into the clean side of the building. The building is laid out with a clean side of the building and a dirty side is on the dirty side of the building, and you have to go through that to get to the clean side. You can shower, change your clothes and wash your equipment.
Copp said the decisions were made with the future in mind. âOverall, we were just trying to predict what the city’s needs will be over the next 30 to 40 years,â he said.
The fire station is prepared for the future and is more environmentally friendly with underground pipelines for electric vehicles. âWhen we see an influx of electric vehicles, they can add charging stations without having to dig into the ground,â Copp said. âThey also added solar panels to the roof of the building. “
In 2020 the old building was demolished and while little can be saved, the new building has some of the old signs. Copp wanted the building to have a more residential feel. It is also equipped with 10 rooms to accommodate call firefighters.
âThe colors were chosen by a designer to be calming colors,â Copp said. âWe tried to stay away from the red; everyone thinks fire trucks and fire stations should all be red, but red is actually a color that keeps you psychologically high at all times. In the living spaces, we’ve gone for more residential designs and decor like wood, carpeting, and softer colors that lean towards the psychology of letting guys and girls chill out when they’re around.
âThere is also a nice kitchen and living room, we also have a nice gym. Fitness among firefighters has become an important thing. We have become very aware that many firefighters die from heart disease and heart attacks which has become a very important part of our day and our way of life. “
On May 11, 2021, the $ 6 million station was unveiled with a ribbon cut. During the construction process, the pandemic arrived in Maine. It could have stopped the process, but Great Falls Construction was able to complete the building earlier while following COVID protocols.
For more information and a link to the story in Fire station magazine, visit the Cash Corner Fire Station Facebook page.
A Window to the Past – Helena H. Dyer, Second-Grade South Portland Teacher and Principal