ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors have removed the ash and debris from Santa Rosa Fire Department’s old Station 5 location on Parker Hill Road in the city’s Fountaingrove neighborhood.
The old station and the one that replaced it on Newgate Court in 2016 were both destroyed in the October wildfires. The debris removal from Parker Hill Road will allow for construction of a temporary facility there, bringing critical fire response back to the area until a new, permanent facility on Newgate Court can be rebuilt.
“Currently, we have an increased response time of a couple minutes due to our trucks having to respond from alternate stations,” said Keith Flood, Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief. “The temporary station will have one vehicle and a crew of three people to man the fire engine until the new Station 5 can be rebuilt.”
According to Flood, response time for the department is measured for two different scenarios -- how quickly firefighters can get an engine to an emergency call, or if the incident is more serious, how long it would take for a ladder truck, three fire engines and a battalion chief to arrive on scene.
Both response measurements are negatively affected by the absence of a fire station in the Fountaingrove area. Knowing this, Corps contractors made quick work of the ash and debris removal.
Once the site is returned to the county, the fire department can begin installing a temporary building – donated by another fire district – that will serve as the station’s home until the new, permanent facility can be rebuilt.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the removal of non-hazardous fire-related debris in Mendocino, Napa, Lake and Sonoma counties under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As of Dec. 12, crews have removed debris from 1,534 properties across all four counties since work began on Nov. 2. Work is expected to wrap up in early 2018.