VALLEY LEE, Md. – The Second District Volunteer Fire Department (SDVFD) and Rescue team held a ribbon cutting on April 24 to celebrate the opening of their new station.
This new station will serve the citizens in the Second and Ninth districts and the surrounding areas for the next 50 years, Blair Swann, President of the Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue team, said. The event featured a tour of the new facility, food trucks, face painting, fire trucks, and ambulances for the children see in-person.
“Today is the culmination of seven years of planning and hard work.” Vice President Mike Roberts said. “The sweat, tears, and swearing from time to time was worth it.”
On March 8, 2022, the department announced they officially moved into their new Fire/Emergency Medical Services station at 19330 Piney Point Road, directly behind the old station.
The department has been in its old station at 25245 Drayden Road since 1961. The old station provided service to the Second and Ninth Districts and surrounding areas for over 61 years.
The old station was too small. The number and complexity of emergency vehicles, so improvements to protect the health and safety of their firefighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members, were a driving force for the station layout according to a news release. More administrative functions require more office spaces.
“Over the years, we continued to grow. Even back in the early 70s, our leadership knew that one day we would have to expand,” Roberts said. “About 20 years ago, we realized we were all jammed up, and we were going to have to think about something bigger.”
Since 2013, the New Building Committee, comprising Cathy Caulder as Chair, Greg Adams, Dan Browne, J.P. Caulder, Stephanie Boyd, Georgia Wheeler, Mike Roberts, and the late Fuzzy Knott ensued spent hundreds of hours attending meetings, public hearings, planning sessions, interview panels, and financial inquiries, as well as other administrative details, with construction finally beginning on July 30, 2020, according to a news release.
The new station is about 30,000 square feet of floor space containing the latest technology available for Fire/EMS stations including:
- A full, automatic fire detection and suppression system.
- Controlled access and full camera coverage for most areas of the station.
- The latest response alerting system devices with audio/visual capabilities.
- Complete internet and IT capabilities for officers and members.
- An Emergency Notification Alarm, in the main entrance vestibule, for citizens to activate when help is needed.
- seven drive-through bays, four for fire apparatus, and three for emergency medical services.
- Complete vehicle exhaust capture system in the apparatus bays.
- Separate fire and EMS turnout gear storage areas.
- Decontamination management area, including turnout gear washer, and dryer.
- Apparatus maintenance tool shop.
- Self-contained breathing apparatus maintenance shop and fill station.
- Breathing air compressor with a storage system and oxygen storage room.
- Fire equipment storage room.
- EMS equipment storage room.
- A training room, with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and internet access for students.
- Administrative office spaces for executive and Line officers.
- Computer and internet access for members to study and complete required fire and emergency medical services training.
- A conference/workroom for smaller meetings and workgroups.
- Dedicated areas for members to sleep, eat, relax, as well as perform physical training.
- They also incorporated several training props for rescue and ladder training scenarios into the structure
- Storage, laundry area, HVAC, and machinery spaces.
“When the architects started working, their main focus on the design of the new station centered on the health, the safety, and the wellbeing of the first responders who would be here while they are in response mode,” Roberts said.
The building would end up costing $13.5 million and was funded by covered by loans from St. Mary’s County, Community Bank of the Chesapeake, SDVFD&RS New Building Fund, and additional fundraising efforts like Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dances, Auctions, T-Shirt Sales, Car Washes, Golf Cart, Shotgun, quilt raffles and the ongoing “Buy a Brick” Memorial Brick Program.
The Fundraising Committee comprised DeeDee Johnson as chair, Stephanie Boyd, Cathy Caulder, Dan Browne, Georgia Wheeler, Darlene Johnson, Jim Rodriguez, and the late Fuzzy Knott and Mike Johnson.
For more information, visit https://www.sdvfdrs.org/.
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