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TFD Station 8 set to move, crews starting construction this week

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:41 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 23, 2021 at 10:44 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Tucson Fire Department’s Station 8 is the busiest station in the city, and it’s getting an upgrade.

“It’s one of the busiest stations in the nation,” said assistant chief Joe Gulotta.

Station 8 responds to thousands of calls a year being just off Prince. Not every firefighter and paramedic is sent out on every call, and those not, have to work out just behind a diesel truck, ripe with fumes and gear hanging gets drenched in fumes too.

“Diesel exhaust is just impregnating, as you can see, we have turnout gear that is getting saturated with diesel exhaust and medical supplies,” said Gulotta.

Billy Eyrich, a paramedic at station 8, walk through the station, pointing out an older kitchen, old walls and little privacy in the dorms. Only curtains separate the tiny dorm rooms from the rest of the facility.

“The walls don’t go all the way up, we use Styrofoam to try to create a little more sound proofing,” said Eyrich. “All of us get woken up every time any truck goes out, so at the new station we will have zone dispatching.”

The new station, just a five minute drive away from the current one, will have dispatch systems that only wake up certain crew members who are being sent out. It’ll cost about $7.8 million dollars, all funds paid through Prop 101.

It’s one of five new stations and nine remodels the voter-approved proposition is funding. Moving station 8 will allow station 20 to take some of their load, and save precious seconds being on a main street. It’ll also have decontamination zones, so carcinogens won’t be all over gear, workout equipment and where firefighters live.

Crews are working to get water lines and old asphalt moved at the new location. The station should be up and running in about a year.

“We will be able to provide emergency services during the entire time that we’re transitioning,” said Gulotta.

Station 10 and the south side sub-station will be the next to be built. The 50,000 square foot building will have preliminary designs in just a few weeks.

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