TOMS RIVER FIRE COMPANY # 1
The proposed Toms River Fire Department Headquarters has been projected to cost between 10 and14 million dollars. The overall mission of the proposed Fire Department Headquarters is to provide a permanent home for both Toms River Fire Company No. 1 and No. 2 while removing Toms River Fire Company No. 2 out of the FEMA Flood Plain. Additionally, Toms River Fire Company No. 1 has occupied its current location since 1913 and Toms River Fire Company No. 2 has occupied its current location since 1922. The 10 to 14 million dollars will be contributed to not only the construction of the Headquarters, but the required planning, design, and permitting of the building as well. The building itself is slated to be a three story, masonry structure totaling 32,965 square feet. The ground floor will be utilized as the apparatus bay, storing the Toms River Fire Company No. 1 and No. 2 fire engine fleet, as well as additional storage space for daily fire operations tasks. The second floor will have dedicated office space for the Fire Department Administration and a kitchen and day room for first responder personnel, and a community meeting room will be included as well. The third floor has been established as an open flex space, which has been designed around the anticipated future needs of the fire district. Last but not least, the site itself is to undergo a large transformation, being arranged to not only accommodate the large turning radiuses the fire engines require but parking for both the general public and fire department personnel. The fire district is also seeking supplemental grants to offset the cost of this project. On an average, depending on interest rate at the time of the bond award and the term of the bond, it will cost the average household between 25 - 45 dollars per year for the term of the bond.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why does Company One and Two need to merge into one building?
The relevance of having two companies’ at two different locations is an outdated solution to resolving response time and management. With today’s CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system in place, a local, centralized station that carries the singular comprehensive fleet of first responder personnel and vehicles is a much more effective and organized way to serve the community. Additionally the consolidation of building operations and maintenance from two buildings into one building will help save on monthly overhead cost.
2. What is wrong with the two existing fire stations?
There are a multitude of issues that Company One and Two stations suffer from. Issues range from the following; deterioration of outside façade, roof deterioration, noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, overcrowding of personnel living space, inadequate vehicle exhaust systems, building layout does not promote safe responder circulation, and outdated thermal and energy compliance. In addition to the general issues listed above Company One is unable to fit the current Ladder Truck within the engine bay. Company Two on the other hand has limited mobility to respond and return from the station due to the non-existent apparatus apron in the front of the building. Further Company Two has to deal with the hazards of Water Street traffic when departing and returning to the station. Additionally, the financial cost of maintaining operational and maintenance budgets for two buildings instead of one is less than desirable.
3. Why not renovate the existing buildings instead of building new?
Both of the existing fire stations have well exceeded the typical building life expectancy for a building from their perspective time periods. It was determined that the amount of work required to bring these structures up to contemporary code compliance would far outweigh the cost of constructing a new single station. Additionally the sites that the two stations occupy confine the ability of the stations to grow holistically if they were to renovate. Last but not least, if the existing buildings were to be renovated the logistics of finding a temporary location for the Companies to operate out of during construction would be both costly and threaten response time.
4. Where will the new station be located?
The new station will be located at the intersection of Irons St. and Snyder St. This location provides excellent access to the main township arterial roadways - Waters St., Main St., and Hooper Ave. Further, it allows safe response and return to the station off of Irons St. An existing township owned parking lot resides there. The proposed design will provide space for the fire station, department personnel parking, as well as additional public parking. Further the new site will alleviate Company Two from its current location with the 100 year floor zone.
5. What are the benefits of a new station?
The new station will provide a single, central, and cohesive location for both Companies to operate out of. The station will be designed to house even the largest pieces of apparatus and provide enough space for both Companies to operate safely in, while providing enough room to maintain a flexible program for what the future may hold. A new station can be constructed while Company One and Two reside at their existing locations, thus saving the added cost of operating out of a temporary facility. Last but not least a singular station will cut back on monthly maintenance and operational cost that is currently delegated for two buildings.