Proposed New Rehoboth
Public Safety Building
ON THE CRITICAL LIST . . .
The following provides an overview of the current working conditions, restricted space, and safety concerns in RFD headquarters and Fire Station 1 located at the Public Safety Building on Anawan Street. The building, constructed over 50 years ago, also houses the Rehoboth Police Department, Rehoboth Ambulance and REMA (Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency).
This building has been a concern for the past 18 years and the fire department outgrew our space long ago. In fact, it has become counter productive to our mission. We are required to meet all Federal, State, NFPA and EMS standards and operate within a budget of less than $400K per year to serve a geographically large town of nearly 12,000 residents.
Our firefighters protect the lives and property of Rehoboth citizens along with all those who visit our town. Over the last twenty years, with an ever-growing population, the RFD mission has changed dramatically. Existing conditions make is extremely difficult and we have reached a point of no return. This building is an embarrassment to our community and the time has long past to give first responders a decent facility.
Fortunately, a cost-effective solution has been proposed after three years of work by the Rehoboth Public Safety Building Committee -- a single, conveniently located municipal complex on the site of the existing PSB to include Fire, Police, EMS, REMA, and the Town Offices.
To go forward, a special town meeting will be held in January 2017 so residents can vote to put the proposed plan on the ballot for spring election.
Apparatus and Bay Storage
Over the course of the last 22 years, all of the apparatus housed in the old building has been replaced with much larger and more sophisticated trucks and equipment.
Tanker 1 has to be driven out of the front station door because there is not enough room in the rear of the property to back it out safety, or for it to make the turn out of the bay to get onto Anawan Street. In cases where only the tanker is needed, Ladder Truck 1 has to be pulled out of the way DELAYING RESPONSE.
The same situation exists with Brush Truck 1. When a call for a brush fire is received, we need to first move other vehicles (either Engine 1 or the Special Hazards vehicle) to get the brush truck out of the station.
When apparatus is parked in the PSB building, access to hose, supplies and storage is IMPOSSIBLE. Trucks must be constantly moved to access these areas throughout the station. This means apparatus must be put outside in extreme weather conditions so mission critical duties and readiness procedures can be performed. In cold weather, trucks need to be kept running so water tanks and pumps don’t freeze.
Everything from fluid absorbents, foam, spare bottles, etc. has to be stored around the perimeter of the apparatus floor. Tripping hazards abound. Self contained breathing apparatus cannot be accessed or used when the trucks are in quarters.
No more excuses.
The Town of Rehoboth
has run out of time.
We must do something to replace our 50+ year Public Safety Building and
50+ year town office.
Brush Truck 1 must be parked between
Fitting two trucks in single file is no
Supplies must be stored inside around wherever there is any space.
Not much room for people to even walk between trucks and equipment.
Trucks have to be moved to access breathing and other equipment.
When you need a ladder to get to your overhead storage area.
There is no room to park Forestry 1 inside leading to unnecessary maintenance issues and costs.
Without a flashlight, checking gauges or fluid levels, or reading anything, is impossible in the old building. This old lighting also wastes copious amounts of energy.
There is an ever growing need for more and more pipes, conduits and cables to support utilities.
Our old storage trailers are constantly developing leaks when it rains or snows. They are also loaded with bees in the summer and home to various rodents and mice.
First impression of RFD headquarters.
Watch out for falling water at the entrance when it rains or snow thaw!
To say the existing lighting in the apparatus bay is poor could be a compliment. We cannot check fluids, read gauges, or do any type of minor repair, or even read directions without using a flashlight.
Fire apparatus is very expensive. There is no room for Forestry Truck 1 to be parked inside. We are forced to leave it outdoors year round which forces us to take it out of service during the winter months. It has to be drained every fall and put back into service in the spring.
The Department is forced to utilize two old storage trailers, parked in back, to keep surplus equipment, and also our extra tables and chairs. Imagine all the loading and unloading for every training, event, or town emergency.
Trucks must first be moved to access hose, equipment, and supplies.
In a town where residents take great pride in appearance, there is little about the main entrance to the Rehoboth Fire Department that is aesthetically pleasing.
Located in the rear of the building, most first-time visitors can’t find it. The single access road is one-way and located 100 feet north of the east facing bay doors. Visitors make the mistake of parking in front of bay doors and leave driving in the wrong direction. How ironic there have been near miss collisions at the existing building. At least public safety personnel are nearby.
Visitor parking consists of three spaces, one partially on the pavement, the other two in the dirt which always gets muddy in the rain and difficult to clean after snow. We receive many complaints. Elderly and mobility impaired visitors who cannot use the single handicapped space have a hard time navigating the area.
The emergency generator for the building was evaluated in 2015 and has reached full capacity. We are in DANGER of total power loss if it fails. The existing unit has only a 20 gallon fuel tank, so during an extended outage, it has to be monitored by someone constantly with diesel fuel trucked in from the Highway Department.
As any business knows, you must have a readable sign so people know where you are. The signage on the PSB is very poor, leading to more confusion among visitors and for deliveries. A readable sign is the first impression of our and a part of our town identity. A simple, but readable sign will reflect the pride we have in our town.
We get many complaints on parking. Only one of three allotted parking spaces for visitors is on pavement, the others are on dirt that becomes muddy in the rain and hard to shovel in snow.
Due to poor original design, this roof drain near the main entrance has been frozen and thawed so many times, it is impossible to hold together. Even after a hard rain, there is constant water run off at our door. In cold weather the water freezes and must be treated repeatedly to prevent slips and falls. Even when water is re-directed away, the grade of the building allows it to run back.
The concrete aprons at the rear bay doors have been deteriorating for years. They’ve been patched over and over, but continue to erode, creating hazardous drainage and
icing issues during the winter.
250 square feet. That’s the total amount of space in the building for command staff and administrative functions. The fire chief has once tiny office. The department’s administrative assistant works in a small office that also has a single desk shared by the deputy chief and three assistant chiefs from the three stations. This space also serves as the office for the maintenance division, training division and fire prevention outreach. Add file cabinets, office machines, and a small table and chair for citizens to fill out permits and forms. Personnel are forced to schedule around each other or forced to work from home.
Anyone who needs to do business with the fire department are forced to stand in the doorway of the office while being served. There is ZERO SECURITY and little privacy within such limited space.
Fire Station 1 operates from RFD headquarters in what can best be described as a closet . Both officers and firefighters work from a tiny “radio room” where the backup public safety dispatch is located. Add the desk, PC, printer and file cabinets. Operation of a fire company from a closet presents problems.
A decontamination room is critical to the health and wellbeing of our firefighters. It is shared by Rehoboth Ambulance. There is an emergency shower and turnout gear extractor located in a 40-square foot room. A gear dryer is desperately needed, but there is no space. Like other rooms in the fire department, this room becomes a catch-all for other items that need to be stored.
Our kitchen area is shared by two other town public safety divisions, police and ambulance. The area was renovated last year with new cabinets donated by a firefighter’s company and he installed them at no charge. The stove and microwave were donated by Rehoboth Ambulance and installed using free firefighter labor. The area was painted by firefighters who volunteered their time.
The common area is shared by fire, police, and ambulance personnel. Rehoboth Ambulance duty crew are on duty 7 AM to 5 PM, seven days a week. All furnishings have been either donated by various agencies or purchased with grant money specific for that purpose. The television was also donated.
The common area is also used for training, events, meetings and workshops. It is not conducive to ANY of those functions. REMA (Rehoboth Emergency Management Agency) also operates from this building.
The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system for the 50+ year building is antiquated. When more offices and rooms were added to the existing facility, the HVAC system remained the same. Depending on the season, some areas are very cold or very hot. The exhausts and air intakes are no longer in the correct locations for the system to produce any kind of true climate control.
The roof of the entire building has been leaking for years, the result of poor original design. Loads of money has been spent on patching, replacing, and repairing the old roof. Ice and snow seem to cause the most problems. For years, firefighters and police officers would go up on the roof to shovel snow and break up ice. This practice was stopped several years ago due to safety concerns.
The diesel fueled emergency generator reached capacity in 2015. A total power loss will result when it fails, as it will according to an evaluation.
The existing sign on the PSB is hard to read and fails to make a good first impression, or stand proudly to identify Rehoboth public safety.
Fire Chief’s office has room for a desk, file cabinet and two chairs. It’s standing room only when he meets with more than one person.
The single, small administrative office is shared by the deputy chief and three assistant chiefs, the department’s administrative assistant, plus maintenance, training and fire prevention community outreach. Add file cabinets, office machines and a single small table and chair for citizens to fill out permits and forms. Crowded is an understatement.
This is the office for Rehoboth’s Fire Station 1 where both officers and firefighters operate from a 108 square foot room.
Our required decontamination room is a 40-foot square room for mandated emergency shower and turnout gear extractor.
The mechanical room is both inadequate and unsafe housing all the 911 circuits, breaker panels, phone and internet systems along with doubling as a storage space.
The kitchen area is shared with both police and ambulance personnel. With generous donations and labor, it was renovated last year.
The building’s single common area is shared by fire, police and ambulance personnel on duty, day and night, 365 days a year.
The antiquated HVAC System no
longer produces ANY kind of true climate control.
With a roof that has been leaking for years, suspended ceiling tiles fall victim to water damage and must be replaced on a regular basis.
No more excuses.
The time in NOW.
Be proud of
Support the New Municipal Complex Plan at Town Meeting in January 2017.