WILMINGTON — Finishing touches are being made to the new public safety facility on Beaver Street.
“Most of the technical stuff is what we’re waiting on right now,” Fire Chief Scott Moore said during a tour of the fire station Monday, citing equipment related to information technology, security and communications.
Moore said the department is starting to move into the new state-of-the-art facility little by little.
“Just waiting for things,” he said. “You know, slow deliveries these days and high cost shipping.”
The hope is to completely relocate by the first week of June. Construction began last April after residents approved taking out a $5.5 million bond to finance the project.
Moore anticipates the facility will outlast the 50-year estimate attached to the project being overseen by Bread Loaf Corporation of Middlebury.
“This is as modern as you can get,” he said.
The bay area is at least twice as big as the current station’s and will be able to accommodate larger trucks if needed in the future.
A computer application used by the fire department shows the names and certifications of those who will be responding to incidents on television screens in the bay area. Moore said the app “makes a world of difference” with efficiency.
A room for gear is “a little fancier” than the old space, Moore said. Roll-away racks allow the room to be more thoroughly cleaned.
Much of the facility is designed to create a healthier environment for firefighters. Moore said firefighters are getting cancer, especially because of the chemicals in materials being used to construct newer homes.
“So we should try to keep this as clean as we can in here,” he said, showing an industrial washing machine and shower where gear can be cleaned, and a heavy-duty drying system.
Gear must be taken off before entering certain rooms within the facility. An exhaust fan system will be triggered to run when certain gas levels are detected in the air.
Other rooms will hold self-contained breathing apparatuses, tools, and gas, oils and gear for responding to incidents involving hazardous materials. Offices are being set up for the chief and assistant chief.
The station has a conference room, a kitchen with dining area, four bunk rooms for firefighters to sleep in during emergencies, a laundry room for regular clothing, a training room, and bathrooms.
A dispatch room faces the front of the building. Moore said he had a window put up to protect against COVID-19 or other illnesses.
Special windows were put up in a loft in the bay area near where the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units are sited. They can be used for firefighter training.
“You can see it’s quite an operation,” Moore said toward the end of the tour.
The police and fire stations are separated from each other. Both spaces are made to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.
An opening ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for June 25 at 10 a.m.