Wallops Island Getting New Fire Station - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wallops Island Getting New Fire Station

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - Construction on a brand new fire station on Wallops Island will begin this summer that will make responding to emergencies a little bit easier for firefighters.

The current location of the Wallops Flight Facility Fire Department was supposed to just be a temporary location.  The fire department took up residency there in 1986 and almost thirty years later, the department will finally get its permanent home.  Plans for a new fire station have been in the works for about half a decade now, but the Antares failure in October had NASA speed up the process.

"Yeah I think it did.  It obviously brought to light the need to get the guys out of the hazard arc, you know we have a pretty good size hazard arc for the area.," said Randy Stanley, the Projects Manager for NASA at Wallops.

The new facility will be built about a mile and a half to two miles away from the current location.  Currently, the fire department is close enough to the launch pad that the building needs to be evacuated prior to the launch of rockets like Antares.  The location of the new fire station will mean firefighters can stay on Wallops Island.

"This is going to allow us to stay on the island. And it's also putting us where most of the people on the island work," said Jim Atkins, the Wallops Flight Facility Fire Chief.  "Right now, the station is right down near the pad area, most of the people actually work a little bit farther north. So, it's going to put us where most people are and it's going to allow us to stay fixed for these launches."

Remaining on the island will cut down on response times for the fire department for big emergencies like Antares, and for what other calls the firefighters need to respond too.  Construction on the nearly $6 million scheduled to begin in mid-July and take about a year to complete.


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