Final fire station to be renovated

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published September 12, 2017

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ROCHESTER HILLS — A $4.2 million renovation and addition is planned for the city’s Fire Station No. 4, located on Walton Boulevard, east of Adams Road.

The station is the last of the city’s five fire stations to be renovated within the last several years.

“It was a challenging site,” Rochester Hills Fire Chief Sean Canto said about Fire Station No. 4. “Walton is a very busy road. There was a grade issue — a downward slope — and a cell tower.”

A construction groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 18, and Canto anticipates the job to be a 12-month project, with completion slated for next fall. 

The renovated station, originally built in 1976, will feature a new, updated apparatus and drive-through area — a 5,600-square-foot addition to the existing 4,055-square-foot structure.

The old apparatus bays are “very tight,” Canto said. “We have to pull the trucks out to open their doors.” 

Separate men’s and women’s sleeping and shower areas, a new fitness facility, and a new kitchen will be constructed.

The Fire Department’s mobile child fire safety house — used for school presentations — is housed at Fire Station No. 4, Canto said, and the new renovations will allow the trailer unit to be stored indoors.

“We are updating for services that we offer today,” he said.

The city has five fire stations, as well as a mutual aid agreement with bordering communities. The fire stations are located on Horizon Court, Walton Boulevard, Tienken Road, and two stations are located on Auburn Road.

By a unanimous vote Aug. 28, the Rochester Hills City Council approved contracts for  construction management with George W. Auch Co. and architectural/engineering services with Sidock Architects for Fire Station No. 4.

Renovations on all the fire stations are similar in nature, said Aaron St. Dennis, project manager for  George W. Auch Co. “The goal is to be consistent throughout the city,” St. Dennis said. 

According to Canto, the Rochester Hills Fire Department responds to nearly 6,700 incidents per year. Department staffing includes full-time firefighter/paramedics, paid on-call firefighters, emergency medical technicians and a full-time administrative staff.

Full-time firefighter/paramedics are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Paid on-call personnel are scheduled for EMS service coverage and provide on-call response to a station for necessary equipment during fire emergencies.

A voter-approved city charter amendment authorizes the city to levy up to 3 mills for Fire Department funding. Canto said the renovation cost is “within the budget that was presented.”

“It is terrific to know that this will be done (within) budget,” City Councilman Dale Hetrick said.

All services from the fire station will continue throughout the renovation process, Canto said.

“Responses out of station will not be impeded, and service to the community will continue,” he said.