Photos by Nicholas Noell

The first new fire station to be constructed in decades opened for its first day Tuesday and the state-of-the-art facility is already a North Long Beach triumph.

Built on an acre of land owned by the Long Beach Redevlopment Agency, Fire Station 12 on the corner of Artesia Blvd. and Orange Ave. almost didn’t happen. The project has been ongoing through three 9th District councilmembers, it pushed through the dissolution of the RDA and even overcame a contractor dispute that cost the city an additional $1.5 million.

But its completion marks a new chapter for public safety and service in the north, as it replaces the outdated previous Station 12, a Spanish-style structure on Gundry Ave. built in 1929. Designed to house eight Long Beach Fire Department personnel per shift, the new 10,000 square-foot station not only upgrades living and work quarters for the firefighters, but it also includes a 5,200 square-foot disaster services building and a 100-foot tall communications tower that will enhance dispatch capabilties. 

According to LBFD officials, the station has three vehicles–a fire engine, a rescue engine and a paramedic van–and its location along a main street will also decrease response times.

“With the completion of new Fire Station 12, our ability to respond to the needs of the community will be greatly enhanced,” said Fire Chief Mike DuRee. “Not only does this new facility provide a much better working environment for the firefighters that will call it home, but it does so in a very economical and efficient way. This new facility will greatly enhance our ability to respond, at a moments notice, to incidents throughout the City and provide a number of enhancements that the community will benefit from.”

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Construction began on Station 12 in late 2009 using redevlopment funds and was originally slated for completion in November 2011. When that date came and went, the City filed for damages against the general contractor and broke its contract with them in late 2012. By then, however, the state had voted to dissolve all of the RDAs, putting many in-progres projects, like Station 12, in limbo. 

Earlier this year, the City, acting as the RDA’s successor agency, received approval of funds to continue and hired a new contractor who followed through on a September completion. 

The new Station 12, which is LEED certified, is the most technologically advanced fire station on the west coast, according to DuRee who spoke at the grand opening Tuesday morning.

“This new state-of-the-art facility showcases our commitment to find a way to overcome challenging economical times and continue to improve our communities–creating a more healthier, stable environment where families can thrive,” said Mayor Bob Foster.


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