New Fire Station in Katy, TX to Include Phoenix G2 Station Alerting SystemNovember 29, 2017 in News & Updates
To meet growing demands for fire protection in Katy, city officials anticipate a December ground breaking for fire station No. 2 near Katy Mills at 25420 Bell Patna Drive.
The construction contract with Bass Construction of Rosenberg calls for completion of the project in 300 days, said Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner, which would put the opening in October, also known as Fire Prevention Month. The contract totals more than $3.65 million.
The 12,999-square-foot station includes pods for each company within the fire department, explained David Slattery, of Slattery Tackett Architects, LLP, the architectural firm that designed the building. For example, emergency medical responders and the ladder company each would have a pod.
Brawner compared it to a college dorm room with a sitting area and then bedrooms in a suite. That will provide individual privacy, he added, noting the responders include men and women.
“With our alerting system, we need to go only to the area that will be notified and not have to wake up everyone else – only the one that’s needed,” said Brawner.
The concept is based on a design that the architects used for the Baytown Fire Department station, but Katy is using a smaller version, explained Slattery.
The Katy station will have three drive-through apparatus bays, dormitory facilities, kitchen, exercise room and partial mezzanine. The structure is wood framed with masonry stone veneer and fiber cement siding.
“The overriding goal is to meet the growing demands for fire protection in the city of Katy, said Slattery. Katy is servicing everything out of one station and has had a lot of growth on the south side of Interstate 10, he said.
Katy’s fire station is located at 1417 Ave. D and includes department administrative offices.
Katy Fire Chief Russell Wilson said the new fire station will result in “quicker response times and better service.”
Both Wilson and Brawner mentioned the possibility of a third station based further west to serve growth, which includes Willow Creek Farms and Jordan Ranch subdivisions as well as commercial additions with Buc-ee’s and the Amazon warehouse near Woods Road and Highway 90.
In addition to the base bid, City Council also accepted an alternate bid of $65,571 for a vehicle exhaust system, which Slattery said reflects a trend.
There is a growing awareness of the health effects that firefighters face from the smoke engine exhaust from fire department vehicles, he explained. The special exhaust system will carry vehicle smoke out of the building so that it never gets into the station’s environment, Slattery said.
“The health and safety of firefighters becomes key component of what we do,” said the architect, adding that fortunately the bids were successful enough to add the alternate and maintain the city’s budget.
In 2014, voters approved a $5 million bond issue to pay for the second fire station including $1 million for a truck to be based at the new station.
Bass Construction served as the construction manager for the project which involved the general contractor taking all the subcontractor bids. “We had a pretty good response,” Slattery said. The widespread post Harvey rebuilding – primarily of residential structures – didn’t cause any problems in obtaining station bids, he said.
“We’re all glad to see it underway. It’s been in the works for quite a while,” said Slattery. “The site selection process was pretty grueling. It’s a great site by the mall that pretty well serves their needs.”
The city spent $1 million to buy the two acres near Katy Mills after its initial site on Kingsland Boulevard, west of Pin Oak Road flooded during Tax Day floods in 2016. City officials said the department wouldn’t have been able to dispatch emergency vehicles from the Kingsland site.
Wilson is interviewing people to fill firefighting positions at the new station.
In August, the city received a $2.2 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response – or SAFER – grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
To man the Quint 2, the ladder/pumper combination that will be based at the station, will require three shifts with four people per shift, he said. The department has had the $1 million truck for a year.
“To make sure we have the 12 positions covered all the time, we’re hiring 16,” said Wilson, adding that will take care of when people are sick, on personal leave or take vacation.
An ambulance manned by a two-person crew also will be moved from the Avenue D station to the new station. People already are in place for this move.
The second station will help the city maintain its Insurance Services Office rating of 2, with 1 being the highest and 10 the lowest, according to Brawner and Wilson. The ISO ratings are based on department safety and operational figures and affect residential property insurance premiums.
Brawner said the city has a couple of years before a new audit is conducted and as long as the city had the second station on the drawing boards and was working on contracts, its ISO rating didn’t change.
Fire station rendering prepared by Slattery Tackett Architects, LLP. of Katy Fire Station No. 2.