CASPER, Wyo. — Following their discussion of the possibility of building a new police headquarters, the Casper City Council listened to a presentation on possible new Fire-EMS headquarters and Station No. 1 space.
Station No. 1 is the largest station in terms of personnel and houses the ladder truck. Battalion Chief Dan Griswold explained that it houses between 6-10 firefighters at any given time.
Police Facility Design Group, PA was contracted to conduct a feasibility study and space needs assessments for both the Police and Fire-EMS Departments.
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Rick Kuhl with WSFG Architects partners with Police Facility Design Group to provide fire department facility studies. He presented such a study to the Casper City Council.
He said that co-locating Casper Fire-EMS headquarters with Station No. 1 would be the most efficient use of space, which saves money.
Councilman Mike Huber asked whether a new Station No. 1 could be built and utilize the existing space to house administration had been considered.
Kuhl said he did not have specific cost estimates of what that kind of renovation might look like.
Station No. 1 was built in 1976 and has about 11,000 square feet of space, Kuhl explained.
He said that one deficiency of the current facility is the lack of “Health and Wellness Protocols for personnel.”
He pointed out that cancer may be more prevalent among firefighters. The lack of decontamination processes in place at Station No. 1 are a concern.
Another concern with the station is “insufficient quality of living space.”
He said that a quality living space is important to ensure that firefighters get a good amount of rest. Adding more fitness space would also benefit firefighters.
The dormitory style at Station No. 1 doesn’t “support a diverse workforce” since male and female firefighters don’t have separate space, Kuhl added.
He recommended private sleep spaces be incorporated into a new design.
Councilman Bob Hopkins said that this could lead to difficulties recruiting firefighters to work at this station.
Other problems include building code deficiencies such as ADA compliance issues and a lack of fire separation protection at the facility.
A lack of training space at the station was another deficiency identified in the assessment. Kuhl said this referred to classroom space.
The current Casper Fire-EMS administration shares space with the police department in the City Center Building.
Kuhl said the study found that the fire department administration requires 14,000 square feet of space to meet current and future demands. The administrative space is currently about 7,000 square feet.
Station No. 1 is utilized by about 6-10 personnel and currently has about 11,300 square feet of space. The study says about 24,200 square feet is needed to allow up to 16 personnel to operate out of that station.
Using 2020 building cost numbers, the consultant estimates the cost of replacing both the administrative space as well as the Station No. 1 space as follows:
Should the city wish to develop a new facility to house both the fire headquarters and Station No. 1 at one site, the study says they should expect such a project to take 2-3 years.
If the city wants to do it in phases, the study says that would take between 3-5 years.
It also provides two possible development options.
The first option is to house both the fire headquarters and Station No. 1 in a single story facility:
The second option is for a two-story facility. This option is similar to the first option, with the exception that some bunk space would be provided on the second floor of the Station No. 1 half of the design: