Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, Senator Patty Murray and local officials raised the flag Tuesday at the new Paine Field fire station during a welcoming ceremony attended by more than 100 fire fighters, family members and the community.
The $6 million facility – with $4 million in federal funding and $2 million in county money – will replace a 60-year-old fire station that fails seismic standards, has no internal fire-protection system and is too small for today’s more modern equipment. To accommodate services, staff has been working from a trailer since September 2005.
Instead, the new station provides better protection to all airfield operations, structures and facilities located at Snohomish County’s Paine Field. The airport has more than 615 base aircraft – the most of any in the state – and has 150,000 flight operations per year. It also is used by Boeing to test aircraft built at its Everett facility.
“This is a state-of-the-art fire station that is deserving of the fire fighters that will call it home,” Reardon said. “We could not have made today happen without a concerted local and federal effort. I thank Senator Murray for her support in acquiring funds.”
Said Murray, “I am very excited to be here today as we open up the new Paine Field Fire Station and start a new chapter in public safety at the airport. As chairman of the Senate committee that oversees transportation funding, I fought to secure $4 million dollars in federal funding for this project, and from what I see here today, it is worth every penny.”
Murray carried the flag from the old station to the new station, which is located about 700 feet north. Fire fighters from the station then raised the flag, officially opening the new facility.
The station, more than 12,000 square feet plus a 1,300-square-foot mezzanine, will house two aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles, a structural firefighting engine and a rescue vehicle. It will provide living quarters for staff, which includes a training and exercise room, and will offer storage and work space for equipment maintenance.
The Paine Field Fire Department provides fire and rescue protection for all airfield operations and facilities at the airport, and the new location provides quicker access to runways. The fire department also offers off-site assistance for major fires and mass-casualty incidents.