By Jennifer Marshall
This summer was an exciting one for Scottsdale Fire Station 613 as they moved into their new firehouse. From development to building, the process was a long time coming, and they’re thrilled to be at home in their new digs.
For the past 25 plus years, Fire Station 613’s base of operations has consisted of a single-wide trailer near Jomax Road and Pima Road, which is also the site of a water campus. The 613 and its first responders needed a safe and permanent home—not just a temporary structure.
Commenting on the safety and effectiveness of this single-wide trailer, Ryan Freeburg Assistant Fire Chief said:
“From a fire department standpoint, the facility where we housed our firefighters and employees didn’t meet the contemporary standards and recommendations of our industry.”
In 2015, the City of Scottsdale bought a section of land at the corner of Jomax Road and Hayden Road. Freeburg explained that the placement of fire stations is determined by using polygons. Polygons are like districts, and they take into consideration legal speed limits as they relate to how long it takes to drive from place to place. This is how officials and planners determine how many fire stations to place in a given area.
“Four minute polygons,” said Freeburg, “show how far and where we can get to in four minutes, because that’s when heart tissue will die, and when fire is impinging on a structure, you’ll start to see failure in the building.”
According to Freeburg, the current polygon for Fire Station 613 will roughly run from Scottsdale to 100th Street Desert Highlands area and as far north as the tip of Lone Mountain and then all the way down to Pinnacle Peak.
“We needed to get the 613 out on what would be easier access to the thoroughfares to get us east to west and north to south quicker,” said Freeburg. “This new station will serve more residents in more incidences than the previous location, and we’re continuing to evaluate data to see how we can best serve the City of Scottsdale.”
Once the land purchase for the new station was finalized, a bond election was held in November 2015. Voters wholeheartedly approved and supported this bond measure, and construction crews broke ground on Fire Station 613 in 2017. And in July 2018, the firefighters of the 613 moved into their brand new home.
Freeburg refers to Fire Station 613 as an “All Hazards” company, which means they train and are prepared for anything and everything. These first responders can do more than just battle fires and provide emergency medical care; they can deal with hazardous materials, swift water rescues and building collapses just a name a few.
Four firefighters, who are also professionally licensed EMTs and paramedics, staff the station around the clock. Also present is a Shift Commander Team, which is a Chief Officer and his Battalion Safety Officer. All total, six individuals are posted there 24 hours a day.
In terms of equipment, Fire Station 613 has a fire engine, a tanker and a ATV (all-terrain vehicle), which is used, for example, in hiking rescues and other spots that are unreachable by a regular fire truck.
Fire Station 613 has a forever home, and that’s good for them and all the residents of their coverage area.
“Thank you,” said Freeburg, “for voting the bond to allow us to build a fire station that, in essence, is your fire station and serves the community and your neighborhoods. We want to be amazing partners and a beacon of public safety.”