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New Richmond Fire Station open for business

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 19:02

The Richmond Fire Department’s new first station, located at 200 Houston St. Richmond, is open for business. “The formal opening recognized the efforts of many people who helped get the department where it is today,” said Fire Chief Michael Youngblood. The day began with Youngblood welcoming the attendees with a formal opening of the new fire station. Fire Marshal Albert Cantu orchestrated the “posting of the colors,” a term meaning the raising of the new flags — of the United States of America, the state of Texas and the Richmond Fire Department — by the B.F. Terry JROTC. And Lamar Consolidated High School student Miguel Portillo trumpeted “The Star Spangled Banner.” City Manager Terri Vela offered her gratitude to those who contributed to making the new station a reality. Robert Hodge offered a prayerful dedication to the new building and expressed appreciation for all public servants. Mayor Evalyn Moore concluded by speaking on behalf of the City by thanking the collaborative effort between the City, Bass Construction and BRW Architects, as well as those who have served in the past and those who continue to serve. The opening offered an opportunity for people to meet the fire department staff and tour the new facility. Fire Chief Ray Freshour from the Thompson Fire Department remarked on how nice the facility was constructed and the integration of technology throughout the building. “We very are proud of our past,” noted Youngblood. “Leaving the old building behind was difficult, so many memories [are] attached to the old structure that stood like a Centurion at the entrance of Richmond for so many years. “However, we look forward to the future of the department and serving our citizens using the resources of the new facility.” The building was constructed by Bass Construction and the architectural design by BRW Architects. Youngblood noted the significance of the new department opening and that a new fire department hasn’t been built in 60 years. “The collaboration between the architect, contractor and city was seamless and the results are the proof,” said Youngblood. “A few delays due to some really bad weather and flooding, was the only true issue we had. We experienced a really good working relationship and utilized the Richmond Fire Marshal Albert Cantu, to help oversee the project in the city’s interest. “Having that single point of contact served as a benefit for addressing issues promptly.” Si Mendoza with Il Primo Pizza partnered with Kroger to provide refreshments for the event. City Secretary and professional photographer Laura Scarlato chronicled the experience with photos including department pictures to be displayed throughout the facility marking the occasion. The department is planning an “Open House” in early May to allow those to come by for a tour and meet the firefighters. For more about the Richmond Fire Department visit the website www.richmondtx.gov.

This article originally appeared in the April 19, 2016 issue of the Fort Bend Herald

New fire station, EMS facility to help lower response times

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 18:11

The official ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 15 marked the opening of Northeast Fort Bend Fire Station #2 with an adjoining facility for Fort Bend County EMS (Emergency Medical Service). The new building is located at 11000 Clodine Road, Richmond.

 

“We’ve been working on this for about eight years,” said Robert Shindler, President of Kingsbridge MUD (Municipal Utility District). “The last three years were intense. We finally got it done.”

“With the growth going westward, we had to have another station,” Shindler said. “For them [residents] to get decent homeowner’s insurance, they need to have a station within five miles.”

Funding for the fire station was provided by Emergency Service District (ESD) #5 and a MUD agreement with Aliana subdivision. County Assistance District #2 funded 15 percent of the construction cost to provide the additional county EMS location at the site.

“We’re really excited to have them here,” said Lynn Craven, Aliana Community Council Coordinator.

The $2.5 million facility is 10,000 square feet with four double-length bays for fire trucks plus a separate ambulance bay. Pumper E-12, Brush Truck 31, and Tanker 20 are housed in the fire station bays, and the EMS M-7 ambulance is housed in the ambulance bay.

“I believe it will improve the response time to the folks in the district,” said Fire Chief Rick Duplant.

Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Galloy said, “This is good for the community. We are one of the largest growing counties in the nation. We’re just trying to stay ahead of the growth.”

Galloy said the Brush Truck and Tanker are about three years old. According to Galloy, the Tanker carries 2,000 gallons of water and is important because “some areas are not covered by a fire hydrant.” He said the Pumper is brand new. “We bought it just for this station. It will live here all the time.”

The new facility accommodates firefighters from ESD #5 with a connected, but separate, facility for EMS personnel.

The fire station portion has a watch office, day room, training-conference room, lobby, showers, laundry area, and a kitchen. There are three, single bunk rooms for the chief and assistants. Across from that, there are five bunk rooms, with three lockers each, to accommodate three shifts of firefighters.

“I’m glad we’re in the station and finally going to start running calls out of this,” Galloy said. “Now the real work begins.”

Fort Bend County EMS Director Graig Temple said, “This is a wonderful location with quick access to a growing area. It is hugely beneficial to us and our crews.”

“We’re two organizations under one roof,” Temple said. “It is fiscally responsible to build something like this.”

The EMS side sleeps two EMS staff. The quarters include a common area, kitchen, bathrooms, shower, two rooms with a bunk, and a washer-dryer. “For bio hazards, we wash out our clothes with hot water so as not to take it home,” Temple said.

“All of my crews work 24-48. That’s one on, two days off. Some crews could be up 24 hours,” he said. According to Temple, the bunk rooms provide a place to rest so crews will “be fresh and ready to go.” The quarters provide a place for catching up on reports, meals, and down time. “It is our home away from home.”

According to Temple, the EMS crew had operated out of a temporary construction trailer while the new location was built. “There was no garage at the temporary facilities,” he said, pointing out it exposed the ambulance to inclement weather. “We plan to move here Tuesday, Jan. 19.”

 

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Patterson thanked the builder, Bass Construction, and acknowledged stakeholders and partners. He urged those assembled to shop at businesses in County Assistance District 2, mentioning “Kroger, Paladium, and Gallery Furniture.” Patterson said a portion of the sales tax goes toward building out the ambulance portion.

 

Shelter Dome Construction

Monday, 30 November 2015 19:15

Construction on the shelter dome at Matagorda Regional Medical Center is well under way. Once it opens in September 2016, the structure will provide protection for first responders during a major storm and will double as a wellness and rehabilitative center. Sentinel photo/Mike Reddell.

This article originally appeared in the November 30, 2015 issue of the Bay City Sentinel.

 

Fort Bend County Pedestrian Plaza Receives State Public Works Award

Thursday, 30 July 2015 13:59

The Fort Bend County Pedestrian Plaza located between the Historic Courthouse and the Travis Building in Richmond has been selected as an American Public Works Association (APWA) Texas Chapter Project of the Year for 2015. The award recognizes innovations in technology and management, special efforts to protect the environment during construction, safety performance, and efforts to minimize public inconvenience and adherence to completion date.

The Pedestrian Plaza was designed to enhance the visual appeal of the area while creating an inviting environment for pedestrian and community activities in a park-like setting in downtown Richmond. The plaza includes picnic areas with benches and provides an attractive walkway between the two buildings enhancing the existing landscape. Plants native to the Houston Gulf Coast were incorporated for longevity and drought tolerance while an underground water collection system was designed to capture rainwater for use in the irrigation system for both the Travis Building and the Historic Courthouse reducing the need to rely on City utilities. Numerous utility lines were relocated underground to create a more natural setting, and significant improvements to storm drainage were included.

The project was a Fort Bend County collaboration with the Design Firm Huitt-Zollars, Inc. and General Contractor Bass Construction. Jamie Knight, Fort Bend County Facilities Director and the project’s consultant, accepted the award on behalf of Fort Bend County at the TPWA Annual Conference in Austin on June 25, 2015. “It’s a rare opportunity to transform a street into a nice space for the public’s use, and to soften the landscape in an established downtown setting. We’re very pleased with the result.” said Jamie Knight.

This article originally appeared in the July 16, 2015 issue of the Fort Bend Herald

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