Caldwell’s newest fire station aims to cut response times in half

CALDWELL — Caldwell’s new fire station, completed last month, is up and running, with a mission to improve the fire department’s emergency response times. The station will also house future equipment as the area continues to grow.

The 3,000-square-foot station houses the department’s 103rd Engine company and battalion chief. Station #3, at 11945 Skyway St., will serve everything east of Interstate 84 in Caldwell and includes a monitor in each area of the station where crews are able to see the number and severity of the 911 responses in the county, according to a fire department press release.

“We are very lucky to have the support of the community and elected officials on the building of this station,” said the department, adding that the rapid growth in Caldwell will more than likely lead to the planning of Station #4 within the next four years.

Prior to the opening of the station on Feb. 11, response time was in excess of 10 minutes for the first arriving unit, and Caldwell Fire Department said that with the new station ready to go, response times are expected to be cut in half.

Fire crews working from the station will now have access to a workout room, designed by the fire department’s physician, and the entire station is outfitted with UV-C lighting which kills viruses, bacteria, and mold.

A negative pressure room is designed to house gear so that “off-gassing” of firefighters’ uniforms after responding to an emergency flows outside the station and not into the space where crews operate. “The number one killer of firefighters is cancer,” the department said.

The station features two specially designed washers and a dryer for used gear, and a self-contained breathing apparatus washer. The washer is a new technology designed to clean the devices after a fire or hazmat event and is one of only 100 available in the United States, according to the news release.

Fire stations by state law are safe havens for new babies, in which a baby “can be surrendered with no questions asked,” wrote the fire department, adding that its concern has always been someone dropping off a newborn, ringing the doorbell, and leaving when nobody is in the station.

A phone which allows a person to talk with dispatch and receive law enforcement assistance will allow anyone to walk in, place the infant inside, pick up the phone to dispatch and notify them of the baby.

In addition to the phone, the front entrance is designed to act as a panic room in which a person can enter and press a button that locks the doors behind them.