Virginia Beach fire officials hope new Town Center fire station equipment will decrease response times

Virginia Beach Fire Department truck
Virginia Beach Fire Department truck

Fire crews are now operating from a new station near Town Center [in Virginia Beach, Virgina].

Located next door to the post office on Columbus Street, the two-story, 24,500-square-foot Town Center Fire Station, now the city’s largest, replaces an aged facility in the nearby Thalia neighborhood.

That Thalia station served the area for more than 60 years, but as the city’s population expanded, crews outgrew the building, said Battalion Chief Amy Valdez, a Fire Department spokeswoman.

“The old station was just too small for the response needs of the area,” she said.

The new building is nearly five times the size of the old one and also houses the department’s administration office on its second floor.

Firefighters have been working from the new building since April, and administrators moved in this month. The fire marshal now occupies the department’s old administrative offices in the Municipal Center.

The $9.4 million station is home to the city’s newest ladder truck, which the department acquired last year. A minimum of 12 responders will be on duty at a time, working, eating and sleeping there. The department’s safety officer, who responds to all fires, also will operate from the station.

The facility features an electronic message board alert system that scrolls pertinent information – such as address and response times – as firefighters get ready in the apparatus bays.

The Town Center and Chesapeake Beach stations are the only two that have the new alert system, although the department plans to install them in all of its stations, Valdez said.

The immediate response area covers nearly 6 square miles where more than 14,300 people live, according to the department.

For more information, read the full article “Town Center fire house up and running” by Margaret Matray in The Virginian-Pilot

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