The fire station in Tysons is at the top of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s list of old fire stations that need updates.
During the Planning Commission’s hearing on the Capital Improvements Program for fiscal years 2021-2025, Assistant Fire Chief Jason Jenkins said that Tysons Fire Station 29 is one of six stations built in the 1970s and 1980s that the fire department wants to revamp.
“Any of the fire stations built in the 1970s through the 1980s are reaching the end of their life,” Jenkins said. “Their capabilities, their flexibilities, their workforce — it becomes challenging to have to relocate personnel due to the lack of capabilities.”
Fire Station 29 in Tysons (1560 Spring Hill Road) was built in 1978 and is roughly 9,500 square feet, according to the CIP presentation.
Jenkins gave an overview of the plethora of deficiencies at Fire Station 29, which include:
- too few apparatus bays (three)
- inadequate living quarters for women
- limited gym and fitness area
- lack of decontamination area
- lack of fire sprinklers in apparatus bays
As the population boom continues in the county, Jenkins said that the fire facilities need to be able to expand.
In response to Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner’s question “How do we do fire fighting in the high-rise level?” Jenkins said that fire stations need to have double the equipment to cut back their response times, which are increased due to building heights.
“So in lieu of waiting for a neighboring station to respond to a high-rise, you have duplicative resources that can respond simultaneously,” he said, adding that those resources include double the engines and paramedic units.
Now, the fire department is looking to double the size of the fire station, which would have five drive-thru bays, with funding from development proffers.
A proffer for the fire station that was negotiated in 2011 currently covers about 10% of the project’s cost.
More from the proposed CIP:
$1,417,152 has been received to date from negotiated proffer obligations to support the design and construction of a 5-bay replacement Tysons Fire Station. Additional proffer funding for the fire station will be provided as the designated Tysons development occurs.
“We have enough funding to start the design of the project,” a staffer from the Department of Public Works said.
Originally, the fire station was going to be built on the bottom of high-rise, but the plans fell through, Laurie Stone, a planner for the fire department, said. Now, the developer is providing the proffer funding over time.
“It was going to be the first proffered fire station,” Stone said. “We’re going to need the station before we have all of the proffer funding.”
The design process for the fire station begins early this spring, Jenkins said. Elsewhere around Tysons, work is underway to build the new Fire Station 44 near the McLean Metro station.
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