Elected officials past and present gather at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Warren Fire Department’s new Station 1 and Station 5 on Dec. 21. They will be the city’s first new fire stations in nearly 70 years.

Elected officials past and present gather at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Warren Fire Department’s new Station 1 and Station 5 on Dec. 21. They will be the city’s first new fire stations in nearly 70 years.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Groundbreaking ceremony held for two Warren fire stations

New stations will be the city’s first in nearly 70 years

By: Gena Johnson | Warren Weekly | Published January 6, 2024

Featured Gallery (Click to view)


WARREN — Local and state politicians joined the Warren Fire Department on Dec. 21 to break ground on two new fire stations that are slated to be completed in early 2025.

Those in attendance gathered at 23211 Van Dyke Ave., just north of Nine Mile Road, where the city’s new Station 1 will be built. According to Warren city officials, this is the final piece of the Civic Center South project.

The event also served as a symbolic groundbreaking for the new Station 5, which will be located at 30619 Schoenherr Road, north of Common Road.

Warren elected officials and appointees — Mayor Lori Stone, City Council members present and past, and Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams, along with county and state officials — donned hard hats and held shovels wrapped in a red bow for the ceremony.

“It was a great day and a very proud moment not only for myself but for the future and past fire departments, “ McAdams said. “I thank all the commissioners past and present and everyone in the department for their hard work.”

The event started with speakers from the Warren Fire Department.  Deputy Chief Scott Halleck served as the emcee, introducing all those who spoke. Lt. Justin Kelly, the department’s chaplain, started the event with prayer, calling for God’s blessing of the ground.

“Turn this desolate land into something beautiful,” Kelly said.

By many accounts, the new fire stations will be “something beautiful.” According to the commissioner, the two fire stations will be identical, each 13,000 square feet, with state-of-the-art technology. Among the many amenities, the stations will have three apparatus bays, each 80 feet in length for future growth of the department. There will also be training space and a workout facility. In addition, the stations will have a decontamination room, individual sleeping quarters for all personnel and Heart-Smart station alerting. First responders using Heart-Smart alerting are awakened without being jolted out of a deep sleep, which is said to reduce stress and improve efficiency.

“The tones start out low and gradually get louder,” McAdams said.

The groundbreakings represent the beginning of a $20 million fire station revitalization project with an approximately $8.1 million budget for each location, according to the commissioner.

Station 1 is the oldest and second busiest fire station in Warren. The current location at 8321 Nine Mile Road was built from the ground up and opened on August 23, 1955, after leaving its original location, a renovated gas station located at 22730 Van Dyke that opened as Station 1 on May 20, 1939, McAdams said.

Station 1 is slated for completion in April 2025, and Station 5 is expected to be completed in February 2025.

According to McAdams, this project will serve the community for at least another 30 to 50 years.

“As such it is important that the fire station is designed to meet the needs of the department today but also designed to meet the needs of the department and the community tomorrow” McAdams said.

Congressman John James, R-Shelby Township, who attended the ceremony, said, “First responders run toward the fire.”

James took a moment during the ceremony to pay tribute to McAdams.

“It is an honor to present to the Warren fire commissioner this tribute on behalf of the U.S. Congress for your excellent leadership and guarding the future of Warren,” James said.

City officials in attendance said Warren residents appear to be pleased with the job the Fire Department is doing.

“When I spend time door-knocking, lots and lots of time door-knocking, I never heard a single complaint about the Fire Department,” said Warren City Council President Angela Rogensues as she spoke about how unusual it is for a department not to receive any complaints given the difficult job Warren first responders have.

“The Warren residents recognize and appreciate the exceptional services provided by the Warren Fire Department,” said the mayor. “When there is an emergency, whether it’s a structural fire or a medical crisis, Warren first responders are just a few miles down the road and capable of responding in minutes.”

Those who spoke thanked all involved in the project, which included the contractors and architects as well as elected officials who moved the project forward, including present and past Warren City Council members. McAdams, Rogensues and Stone specifically acknowledged former City Council members Pat Green and Garry Watts, who were in attendance. Green and Watts last served on council from 2019 to 2023 as the council’s president and vice president, respectively.

“For me, you give recognition and credit,” Stone said. “No project in the city is static. It’s from inception to fruition. I think giving credit where credit is due is proper.”

“It was a refreshing change of pace from the past.” Green said, about being acknowledged and thanked. “It was probably one of the nicest city events that I’ve attended since first being elected.”

Green added, “Councilman Watts and myself were involved in it from day one. The previous council and this council have done a great job in moving the city in the direction where we are providing the tools for our firefighters to have adequate facilities. The facilities are not only going to be great as soon as they’re done but what we need for the next 20, 30 years.”