Ok, this is something I've wanted to do for quite a while. I love to travel, and when I do, my eyes are always open for anything fire service related. Throughout the world, there are thousands and thousands of fire stations. Once in a while, you find one that is just a bit unusual, not your typical municipal or community building, but one with a little character. These are the buildings I'm looking for! Send me pictures of the most unusual fire station you've ever seen. Include as much information about it as you can, and I'll post pictures of the best ones as I can. And don't forget to identify the photographer!!
To start this off, I'm posting the picture below. I took this while on vacation in my favorite state, Colorado. The Drake Fire Station is on Route 34 between Estes Park and Loveland. This road is a lot of fun to drive. It follows the Big Thompson River down from Estes Park, through a canyon with walls towering above you until it opens up onto the plateau at the eastern edge of the Rockies. Not sure what's inside the "station", but I'm guessing it's "home response" only!
Summer is almost over, so get the dust off the digital camera and start snapping pictures! Send them to me
After less than a day I've already got my first picture! This one was sent by Co. 1's Ray Mereish. While it is not the most unusual fire station, it is somewhat different than we're used to on the East Coast. The White's City Fire Department is outside Carlsbad, New Mexico. The building has that adobe look to it, making it fit in with the area. Thanks, Ray!
The pictures just keep rolling in, mostly from Co. 1 members. This entry comes from Chip Mullen. It is the home of Ladder 15 and Engine 33 in Boston, Massachusetts. Reportedly, the configuration of this station has required some creative apparatus construction over the years to allow newer and bigger vehicles inside. (Maybe this is what the new Station 1 will look like?) Thanks Chip for submitting this picture!
Our newest entry comes from LVFC Captain Pete Comanduras. This one was taken in Fish Camp, California, at the southern gateway to Yosemite National Park. Pete stayed at the inn where they had their very own privately owned fire station with a beautifully maintained antique fire engine. Thanks Pete!
Okay, so Pete Comanduras is our world traveler. He's got two more submissions for us....first, this fire hall in Calico, California in the Mojave Desert. Calico once was a mining town but is now a tourist attraction as a well-preserved ghost town. There are two hand-pump engines in the station.
Pete's second entry of the day is the Tangier Volunteer Fire Department's fire house on Tangier Island, in the the Chesapeake Bay. The island is only accessible by ferry. (Must make for interesting mutual aid responses!!)
Since we don't want Pete getting all the credit, I've got my own contribution. This combination Fire Station and Jail makes for an interesting dual occupancy! I took this picture on my honeymoon on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.
The next two pictures come to us from John Whittaker of Middleburg Volunteer Fire and Rescue (Co. 3). These photos of the Glasgow Life Saving and Rescue Crew's quarters in Rockbridge County, Virginia, near Natural Bridge, show a very creative re-use of a structure. Looks like the gas station moved out and the ambulances moved in! Must make vehicle maintenance a lot easier!!
Thanks for sending these pictures to us!!
Our next entry comes from Mike Sanders of the Ashburn, Virginia Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (Co.'s 6 and 23). This one is from Carova Beach, North Carolina – located on the Outer Banks. This area is about 2 miles south of the Virginia/North Carolina border. No roads in Carova Beach. All sand and in fact, Route 12 is the beach. The few paved areas in town include the fire station apron and the helipad next to it. Wild horses also run around this area. Absolutely beautiful. Obviously, the apparatus are all wheel drive.
Pictured are a 1986 International S/Grumman 1000/1000 (right), 1992 International 4800/Boardman 1000/1000 (middle), and one of two Ford pick up brush trucks.
Thanks, Mike for your contribution. (Mike sent a bunch of stations, and I'll get them added as time allows.)
Our own FF Chris Patton just got back in from Punta Cana in The Dominican Republic. While he was there he went hunting for Fire Stations. Believe it or not there were none to be found except the one at the 'International Airport'. The terminal was a group of open air huts. The Crash Trucks and Ambulances were new though. There is one with a group of firemen standing around if you look close you will see the pole they use to get down from the sleeping quarters. It looks like they have 2 older GMC Structural Trucks, 2 Crash Trucks and 2 Ambulances (that have lights and sirens but no markings). Chris tried to talk to them but was stopped by the “federalies” and valued his freedom so he shot what he could from where he was.
The next entry is one of several I got from Mike Sanders of Ashburn, VA. It should really serve as a good lesson for anyone in this area who thinks we've got it bad when it comes to facilities or apparatus. As Mike said in his email, "we've got a lot to be thankful for here in Northern Virginia".
Through the efforts of Charlie Kerns, who now lives in Tennessee and once was a paid and volunteer firefighter in Fairfax City and Frederick County, used Northern Virginia fire apparatus has been donated to struggling FD’s in Tennessee. This is the Moodyville, Tennessee Fire Station. You will note that the American LaFrance does not fit into the garage. By the way, if the American LaFrance looks familiar, it once ran at Boyce, Virginia in Clarke County. It is a 1979 American LaFrance 1500/750 that had a 4 door conversion added in 1992.
I really like this entry, which comes to us from PFF Anthony Miske of the Purcellville VFD (Co. 2). Taken on his trip to Tokyo, Japan, this "floating" station appears to house several fireboats. I wonder what the GPM capabilities of the boat in the second picture are? With six rather large monitors visible, my guess is that this monster can deliver lots of wet stuff!
Thanks, Anthony, for one of my favorite entries thus far!!
Notice, this doesn't say "THE" North Pole, but it is from North Pole, Alaska, a town in east-central Alaska. My brother David claims to have driven 300 hundred miles out of his way to visit this station, just so he could send me a picture. You draw your own conclusion about the veracity of that claim....
Anyway, it is pretty cool having a station with North Pole in the name on the web site! Another interesting thing to note is that this picture was taken at around 2300 hours! Now you know where the term "land of the midnight sun" came from. As my brother says, it makes being a tourist a whole lot easier when you've got more than 20 hours of light to work with.
This entry comes from LVFC Capt. Chris Dempsey, who writes:
"My Christmas vacation included a weeks stay in Cimarron, CO and in the small community of Arrowhead. During the winter months, homes in the Arrowhead community are only accessible by snowmobile or snowcat. Residents drive to a general parking lot where they load their snowmobiles and sleds with the days groceries, or in our case suitcases full of winter clothes, and head to their homes."
"The Arrowhead Volunteer Fire Company protects this small community of approximately 280 homes. The fire company relies on its members receiving the emergency call through a common fire phone and responding directly to the fire house or the emergency scene via their snowmobiles. Residents can dial a '911' number during an emergency which will generate a special ring tone at all company members homes. Fire company members answer the call on the conference line, get all pertinent information from the caller, then have a quick opportunity to preplan the emergency if necessary (who responds to the fire house for apparatus, who responds directly to the call, and so on). The fire company members are then racing through the snow to handle the emergency call."
"As you can see in the pictures, responding units during the winter months include an F-350 brush truck equipped with Mattracks, and various snowmobiles and sleds with a portable water pump, hose line and rescue equipment. And we thought we had it tough responding to and fighting fires in the winter!"
This entry comes from Ann Ferraro of Leesburg. Her three sons are nuts about anything and everything related to fire equipment. On one of their visits to Wisconsin, they found this museum in Superior. Looking at the exterior, it seems there might be a few design ideas we could borrow for our new Station 1!!! (You listening, Pete?)
Anyway, thanks to Ann and her boys for sending us these pictures. If you happen to be in Superior, Wisconsin, drop by the museum. You can visit the museum's website by clicking here.
The building is constructed mostly of wood and is painted red and black. The architecture shows a strong Moorish influence, indicitive of the Spanish influences present in Puerto Rico at the time. For a bit more history on this very unusual and interesting building, check out Wikipedia's article. Maybe our Station 1 building committee should consider bay doors like these?
(Submitted by Mrs. Chief 1, who received the picture from the Gelabert family of Leesburg.)
Quite a large building, with the "fire appliances" kept underneath.
The other station he sent shouldn't need any introduction, at least not to anyone who knows Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto. Known as Station 51 on the hit show "Emergency" in the 1970's, it is actually Station 127 in the City of Carson in Los Angeles County, California. In 1985, it was dedicated to Robert A. Cinader, who was the creator of "Emergency". Well deserved recognition, in my opinion.
The show that centered around this building in the 1970's inspired many careers in fire and rescue for the show's fans.
Slightly more modern apparatus inhabit the building today.
Thanks to Jeff for submitting these, and my apologies for the delay in getting them posted.
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