SAN FRANCISCO—On May 1, Mayor London Breed and Board of Supervisor Vallie Brown participated with other city officials and neighborhood leaders to celebrate the completion of the new seismically safe Fire Station No. 5 in the Western Addition.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the $21.1 million replacement facility was built to sustain operations for at least 72 hours immediately following an earthquake or other major disaster—a standard to better safeguard San Francisco. The building was funded by the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response (ESER) Bond Program, an initiative backed by voters to strengthen earthquake safety and emergency response resiliency through capital improvements on essential infrastructure, including fire, police and ambulance facilities, and the emergency firefighting water system.
Breed revealed that she would be introducing a new $628.5 million ESER Bond to the Board of Supervisors for the March 2020 ballot to continue the progress San Francisco is making in planning critical infrastructure for the next major earthquake. The Bond is co-sponsored by Board of Supervisors Sandra Fewer and Catherine Stefani.
“This Fire Station will serve our community every day and allow our first responders to keep our residents safe when the next major earthquake hits,” said Mayor Breed. “Projects like this one are why we need to continue investing in critical public safety infrastructure, which is why I am introducing a new Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond so we can continue the progress we have made.”
Fire Station No. 5 is located at 1301 Turk St. and replaces the 1950s-era firehouse at the same location that no longer meets the demands of a modern-day San Francisco. The new facility was created to exceed national accreditation standards for the first responders, with resilient life-safety systems, improved ADA accessibility, a new fuel dispensing system, an enhanced communications room and upgraded living quarters.
“As it has for over six decades, this new seismically safe fire station will serve a vital role in protecting the public safety of this community,” said Supervisor Vallie Brown. “I am thrilled to welcome and thank the 57 brave men and women from the San Francisco Fire Department who will live in this house and will serve as members of this community.”
The fire station is one of the San Francisco’s largest, at 21, 193 square feet, and serves as the flagship station for the San Francisco Fire Department’s Division 2, which consists of 20 fire stations located in the downtown Financial District and northwestern neighborhoods.
The fire station has a rotating crew of 57 first responders, with 11 firefighters on duty at any given time. The new three-story structure has five apparatus bay doors, allowing space for an engine truck, a ladder truck, backup fire engines and Light Rescue 5 – an emergency-response vehicle that is dispatched when crews respond to building collapses and trench rescues.
“We are very excited to open Station 5,” said Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. “With this new state-of-the-art facility, the dedicated men and women of the San Francisco Fire Department will be better equipped to serve the surrounding communities during crisis and times of emergency.”
San Francisco voters approved the $412.3 million ESER Bond in 2010 and the second $400 million ESER Bond in 2014. A third phase of the ESER program was proposed for the March 2020 ballot to build upon the progress already made.
“San Francisco residents, businesses and visitors rely on our firefighters, emergency medical personnel and police officers to be ready to respond not just when there’s an earthquake or other catastrophic disaster, but every day,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “The strategic investments we’re making in first-response infrastructure through voter support and sound planning help ensure that the City will be ready.”
In collaboration with the CityBuild program led by the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Station No. 5 surpassed local hiring expectations. San Francisco residents provided over 30 percent of the projected 61,000 working hours estimated to complete the project. San Francisco Public Works designed and managed construction of the new facility, which is expected to receive LEED Gold certification for energy and water efficiency. Alten Construction served as the primary contractor.
“Public Works is proud to have helped deliver this important project on behalf of the San Francisco Fire Department and the people of San Francisco,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “This new fire station showcases the City’s continued commitment to preparedness and resilience.”
For additional information on the ESER Bond Program can be found at www.sfearthquakesafety.org.
Written By Casey Jacobs