Abilene Fire Station 3 Abilene, Texas

2018 AIA Abilene Awards - Award of Merit

Built between 1954 and 1962, Fire Stations 3, 4 & 7 had reached their life expectancy of 50 years, plus some, and were in need of replacement prior to the 2015 Bond. Needs for modern equipment and apparatus, the introduction of female staff to the stations, as well as deferred maintenance were all factors considered.

PSC's number one objective with any fire station is to reduce the companies' turnout time. This unit of time is the interval that begins when the ERFs and ERUs notifications begin by either an audible or visual annunciation or both and end at the beginning point of travel time to the incident. In the design of these three stations, including Fire Station 3, several methods of design were used with the goal to reduce turnout time.

4-Fold Doors | 2 Direct Paths to Apparatus Bay | SCBA Station

The first feature is the use of four-fold doors on the apparatus bays on the egress side of the drive-through bays. These doors have a few benefits greater than the use of a sectional overhead door. They open more rapidly, which will save time waiting on the door to completely open before an emergency vehicle is en route to an incident. The doors also allow the driver to easily see that the door is completely clear before moving forward since the doors fold open to the sides of the bay rather than overhead. With sectional overhead doors, the driver loses visibility of them as they raise up and could possibly roll forward before the door is completely open, possibly hitting the door with the light bar or other equipment on the apparatus.

These stations also have two direct paths of travel from the station interior spaces to the apparatus bay. These routes allow quick access to the bay area from any point in the station, thus reducing the response time.

Station 3's prototype design is similar to Station 4 and 7, but each station has unique features. Station 4, for example, is responsible for small tool repair, while Station 7 has a large area parallel to the apparatus bay which serves as a department PT training area. Station 3 has a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) fill station, unique to this facility where empty air tanks can be refilled.

“I honestly really like being in a position as an architect of saving lives simply by how we design a fire station.” Firm Principal Bill Noonan, AIA, RAS


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