The opening of a $10.2 million fire station located off Route 1 near the Route 32 interchange in Savage should result in faster response times, according to county officials.
"We are committed to lowering response times and bringing the best possible emergency services to every part of the county, and this new station helps us accomplish those objectives," said County Executive Ken Ulman, who led a media tour of the facility before a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 14.
The 33,000 square-foot station, which replaces the previous Station 6 location on Lincoln Street, has six vehicle bays and will operate two fire engines, one rescue engine, two paramedic ambulances and one brush truck. The station will be staffed by 21 career personnel from Howard County's Department of Fire Rescue Services and approximately 80 volunteer personnel.
"It's an important addition not only to the department but also to the community. It provides access to the community in a more timely fashion," said HCDFRS Chief Bill Goddard, noting the location's quick access to Route 1 and Route 32.
Goddard said the department is committed to keeping response times, which are measured from when units leave the station to when they arrive at a location, below six minutes.
Goddard added that the new station will help the department stay up to speed with the growing development along the Route 1 corridor. So will a replacement station in Elkridge, located off Bowman Road and Montgomery Road, which Goddard said should break ground this fall. The department also is in the process of acquiring land for a new station located at the intersection of Route 1 and Port Capital Drive, Goddard said. The station, which will be the department's 13th, will be called Waterloo Station.
"We are staying ahead of the curve," he said. "We are making sure we have the assets in place so when the build out takes place, we have the ability to expand."
The two-story structure in Savage has sleeping quarters, a fitness training room, kitchen, dining room, general use rooms, a large training room and an all-purpose community room.
"I've always said if you build a nice facility volunteers will come, which is very important to what we do as a combination system," Goddard said.