BEND, OR -- Bend Fire is finalizing plans for a new station on NE 15th, just south of the Bend Police Department. Battalion Chief Dave Howe says the new firehouse is needed to reduce response times. Currently, Bend's fire stations are about four miles apart, which Howe says is farther than it may seem when navigating the central part of the city, "If one station goes out on a fire, the other station crews come in and help them; and it’s a long way. For some of those places that we go, it’s a long way for help to come. So, with the new Central Station, it kind of fills a hole. It’ll only be a couple of miles from two stations." He tells KBND News, "We moved out of the central city because the traffic was really hard to get through to get out. So, putting this one station kind of right in the center of the city, right by Pilot Butte, it’s going to fill that that we’ve had for a long time."
Station 306 will be predominantly EMS oriented, but will also have full fire response capability. Howe says it’ll look very different from the department’s current facilities, "It’s going to have a very old-time look to it; a very traditional looking fire station. I went back east to Baltimore and I took a picture of an old, old fire station, an old brick fire station, and I showed it to the Chief. And, he said, ‘that’s exactly what I want’." The 9,000-square-foot building will have a brick facade and the overhead doors are designed to look similar to carriage doors used in the early 1900s.
Even with the old feel, Howe says the facility is designed with modern, highly energy efficient features, "That’s a big plus for the whole community, because if we’re highly energy efficient then we’re going to be saving taxpayer money on the mundane utility costs."