Construction begins on Mission Valley fire station

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SAN DIEGO — A ground breaking ceremony was held Thursday morning for the first permanent fire station in Mission Valley, which firefighters said would help improve lagging response times in the area.

Mission Valley Fire Station

Mission Valley Fire Station 45 (architect’s rendition)

Fire Station 45 will be located on Friars Road across from Qualcomm Stadium

“I love it.  It’s easy access in and out for them,” said neighbor Betty Herron.

The new fire station will be two stories, 16,290 square feet, with five engine bays, and 16 dormitory rooms.  A new signal will be put along Friars Road to allow for fast exits for the fire engines.  For the past seven years, firefighters have been in a temporary facility at the back of the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot.   San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar said that hinders fast responses.

“We really can`t go efficiently in both directions down Friars Road,” he said. “When there are events, it takes us a lot of time to get out of the stadium.”

Mainar said the new station will be good for the entire city.

“You’ll see a benefit in other parts of the city, because right now when we have an incident, we throw out fire engines from surrounding communities,” said Mainar.

City officials said the living conditions for firefighters at the temporary location aren’t up to par.

“The current circumstance is that we have firefighters basically living in a tent on the backside of Qualcomm Stadium,” said San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. “What this will now be is a legitimate, full-fledged, real fire station.”

He said his hope is that the better working conditions will help firefighters do their jobs better.

“Which means better fire protection, better medical emergency response for the people of San Diego,” said Mayor Gloria.

The $11.1 million project is scheduled to be completed in June of 2015

Another fire station groundbreaking took place in the East County community of Boulevard.  That station will serve 78 square miles of San Diego’s fire- prone backcountry. The 7,866-square-foot structure will house both county volunteer firefighters and staff from Cal Fire, according to county officials.

“This is not only a big step for our community, it’s an important step for the broader region,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents the area. “This project is the latest demonstration of the county’s commitment to beefing up fire protection and emergency medical response in our rural areas.”

The current Cal Fire facility in Boulevard is scheduled to be shuttered when the new station is completed, according to the county.

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