Coastside fire district eyes new stations.
A team of consultants last month reported that the Coastside Fire Protection District was well served by its current three fire stations, but it suggested the agency could stand to benefit from relocating to new sites.
The fire district board of directors commissioned the report from Citygate [Associates] Consultants as it considers plans to rebuild the Moss Beach and El Granada fire stations. Both stations were built more than 50 years ago, and fire district officials say the time has come to replace them with newer facilities.
Building new fire stations is not a new idea, explained Board President Gary Burke. In fact, the district has listed it as a strategic priority for years.
“We’ve been putting Band-Aids on these facilities,” Burke said. “They’re pretty shabby-looking.”
Despite the poor condition of the buildings, the fire stations have provided excellent service, noted Citygate Consultants. Over the last three years, fire crews have maintained fast response times that are among the best in the Bay Area. Over the course of the study period, the first engine crew could be expected to arrive at an emergency in about six minutes.
Moving the El Granada and Moss Beach stations to new sites could possibly lower this response time further, the report suggested. The team tested various locations along the Coastside, and considered combining the two Midcoast stations into a single building. In the end, the consultants recommended against merging the stations because it would increase response times to areas farther from the centralized station.
Instead, they suggested keeping three stations and trying to locate the stations as close as possible to Highway 1. The consultants examined 11 alternative locations that were described as “possibilities.”
Upgrading the old fire stations was also a possibility, Burke said. He pointed out the district has $6 million in reserves specifically set aside for new facilities. The district had previously estimated that a new station could cost between $3.5 million and $6 million.
The district would consider its options in the coming months as it revised its strategic plan, Burke said. In the meantime, he expected the board would look further at real estate possibilities for new stations on the Midcoast.
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