Fire Station 7 was designed to improve a few things for the City of Abilene. As a three-bay station, it now has the ability to house an engine company, a ladder company and an EMS company, whereas the previous station was only a two-bay station. The intent is for each station to have an EMS within five years of this station’s construction. With the bay constructed, no additional construction will be necessary for the crew of two, their apparatus or the medical supplies.

Time Lapse: Abilene Fire Station 7 from Parkhill, Smith & Cooper on Vimeo.

This station also uses a four-fold door system on the apparatus bay and has dual egress paths from the occupied part of the station to the apparatus bays. These both save seconds in response time. While saving seconds for us in our daily jobs would not mean much, to anyone working as a first responder, it could mean the difference between life and death. These improvements to the facility help the department respond faster, which potentially saves lives.

Lastly, the entry vestibule has a 911 emergency phone, which is accessible 24-7 and keeps the station secure. This allows anyone who needs assistance in the neighborhood the opportunity to get help, even when the company may be away on a call. It dials directly to the 911 call center, who can then dispatch any of the first responders to assist.

“I honestly really like being in a position as an architect of saving lives simply by how we design a fire station.” Bill Noonan, AIA