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West // West Oahu News
Christina O’Connor

New Fire Station In Ewa Beach Celebrates Grand Opening

Nearly 100 community members visited fire station Ewa Beach – Station 24 Jan. 29 to mark the grand opening of the Kaileolea Drive facility.

Joining in the celebration was Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, City Councilman Ron Menor, acting Fire Chief Emmit Kane, along with fire company Engine 24, which has been operating out of the station since November.

The $6.1-million facility was constructed by Haseko Development Inc. and is located on one acre of land that Haseko donated to the city. At 12,300 square feet, Ewa Beach-Station 24 currently is housing five firefighters.

Ewa Beach-Station 24 has been in the planning stages for several years, and construction began four years ago.

It replaces the station on Pohakupuna Road – a move that Honolulu Fire Department hopes will improve coverage for area residents, as well as increase comfort and safety for workers.

“The (station) on Pohakupuna was built in the 1950s, and it was in need of renovation and repair,” explained HFD public information officer Capt. Terry Seelig. “It was rather small, and it really wasn’t the best location for the density of the area …

Ewa has really developed over the last 25 years, from largely agricultural to mostly residential and some commercial. We needed to have a station in a better position to get to the majority of the population.”

The station also marks a couple of firsts in building design: It is the first city project built to achieve Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification and also is HFD’s first gender-neutral fire station.

LEED certification is a mark of excellence in sustainable building design and operation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility earned its certification through features that include improved water runoff containment, cost-efficient ventilation and lighting, pollutant containment and increased efficiency for water usage.

As HFD’s first gender-neutral fire station, Station 24 will provide each worker with individual sleeping quarters and bathing areas in lieu of barracks-style facilities.

“It is built so that there is privacy for both genders,” Seelig said. “The sleeping areas are separated. You don’t have the traditional dorm arrangement, and you have individual bathing areas instead of a locker room.

“(Gender-neutral stations) are a trend nationwide, and it is a reality that it works best for the workforce to give a higher level of worker privacy and worker comfort,” Seelig said.

The facility also includes an equipment decontami-nation room, a gym, a kitchen, work stations, and a three-story training tower.

This type of sustainable and gender-neutral building design seems to be a sign of what’s to come for HFD.

“As we build, we will continue to use this concept,” Seelig said. “It is a standard for us now, and that is what we are hoping to be able to consistently do.”

HFD also has plans to open a new fire station in East Kapolei early this summer.

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