The Encinitas Fire Department invites members of the public to attend a Grand Opening of Fire Station #2 in Cardiff-by-the-Sea at 2 p.m. Feb. 22. The station opened on January 7, 2013, with crews moving in and responding to calls from their new home.
As the second fire station built in what is now the City of Encinitas, the original, 1,600-square-foot Fire Station #2, constructed in 1960, was greatly in need of replacement to better serve the safety needs of the community. In 2011, the City Council approved construction of a more spacious (6,330-square-foot), modern and environmentally-friendly facility at 618 Birmingham Drive, just east of the old station’s location at 1867 McKinnon Avenue. Construction costs totaled $4.6 million.
Fire Department Deputy Chief Mike Daigle says the Grand Opening will be an exciting event. He reveals, “We plan to incorporate many time-honored ‘firehouse’ traditions dating back to the 19th-century days of horse-drawn engines. Instead of a ribbon-cutting, the event will feature a unique ‘hose-uncoupling’ followed by a very special activity in which the sparkling fire engine, newly ‘wetted down,’ is actually pushed by Fire Department staff into the confines of the station.”
Deputy Chief Daigle explains, “The pushing of the rig celebrates the days when the horse-drawn apparatus had to be physically pushed by humans into the station.”
The antiquated and cramped Fire Station #2 needed expensive and extensive repairs, which made replacement of the facility the most viable option. The new station, in addition to housing one fire engine (with a crew of three firefighters) and one ambulance (with a crew of two emergency medical personnel) offers the capacity to house three additional firefighters in times of need. It also offers abundant space for public interaction, maintenance, training and fulfillment of daily living and working needs.
The station meets U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards for Silver certification. Environmental features include best management practices for trash disposal, recycling, erosion control and storm water management, energy-efficient lighting and low-water-use landscaping.
Fire Chief Scott Henry, who has served the Encinitas Fire Department since 1980, believes the Grand Opening of Fire Station #2 symbolizes a new era and the continuing dedication of his department and staff to the community. Chief Henry states, “We are pleased and proud to be able to offer the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the entire City of Encinitas this gleaming new station that is able to meet the requirements of the vicinity, City and region; today and into the future.”
—City News Service