On June 2, hundreds attended the grand opening celebration of the Central Fire Station, located at 8641 80th Street S. After remarks, there was a ceremonial hose uncoupling—the Fire Department’s twist on a ribbon cutting.
The new station is built on the site of Fire Station 2, which had been built 45 years ago and was beyond its ability to serve the needs of this community. It is designed to function with the Fire Department’s Firefighter/Paramedic model, which operates with 24-hour shifts. Two ambulances are staffed and ready to respond at all times. Full-time Firefighter/Paramedics and paid-on-call Firefighters are always on duty, with their apparatus and equipment now located in one place. This allows for response times of around 6 minutes, one of the best in the Twin Cities area.
The 10-bay, 31,000 square-foot facility, with a total project cost of $9 million, is designed to function today and well into the future.
With the opening of the station on this busy road, a new Emergency Beacon has also been installed to better control traffic during emergencies. While motorists should always stop and move over for emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on, the Emergency Beacon gives motorists prior warning that they will need to stop, and a safe place for them to come to a complete stop without blocking the intersection or obstructing lines of sight.
Here’s how it works:
- When the lights of the Emergency Beacon are not illuminated and are dark, vehicles should proceed as if they were at a green traffic signal.
- When emergency vehicles are about to leave the station on a call, the Emergency Beacon illuminates and flashes yellow. This means that the Emergency Beacon is activated, and an emergency vehicle is about to leave the station.
- Shortly after, the light will turn to a solid yellow and motorists should stop if they are safely able to.
- Finally, the signal switches to two solid red lights, this means that all vehicles must stop and remain stopped as the emergency vehicles are turning onto 80th Street.
- Once all emergency vehicles are clear of the area, the Beacon will switch to flashing red lights. Vehicles can then procced with caution under the flashing red lights.
- After a short time, the Beacon will go dark and traffic should proceed as usual.
Watch a short video on the Emergency Beacon