Sand Springs Fire Station 2 is officially open, marking the biggest public safety upgrade to the city in decades.
The new bay doors have more space, allowing larger firetrucks to move in and out of the station. There are brand new bedrooms for each firefighter, and the laundry room doubles as a storm shelter. In the kitchen, there are now three fridges instead of one.
Firefighter Stephen Brewer has worked for the department for more than 21 years.
"You would typically have an A shift, B shift, a C shift on a shelf, and try to stay out of each other's stuff,” Brewer said. “It seems to be overkill sometimes, but when you live here 24 hours a day, it’s something you need,” said Brewer.
One of the biggest improvements is the bunker gear room. The lights only turn on when someone enters the room. Firefighters say this feature will help their gear last longer.
"When it's stored out in just ambient light, just sunlight, it degrades twice as fast,” Fire Chief Mike Wood said.
Wood said keeping the gear stored away from the firefighters instead of out in the open, could also help improve their health.
"Our issues with cancer rates and firefighters and the carcinogens. And to be able to keep that in a well-ventilated space away from the living quarters, it just helps with that cancer rate spread as well,” Wood said.
The new station has been under construction for almost a year. The nearly 40-year-old station was demolished.
"It had a lot of mold issues, water leaks, just all kinds of problems,” Wood said about the old station.
While the new station is only about 640 square feet bigger than the old one, firefighters say there's now a better use of space.
"It's been a tremendous boost to morale,” Wood said.
Wood said the Vision 2025 Sand Springs Public Safety Tax made the nearly $1.7 million projects possible. He said the project came in about $22,000 under budget.