BRIDGEWATER — Town Manager Michael Dutton and the Fire Station Building Committee announce that Bridgewater residents will have the opportunity to approve funding for a new state-of-the-art fire station next month.
The Bridgewater Fire Headquarters, located at 22 School St., has stood since the late 1850s. Today, the fire station serves as headquarters and accommodates over 50 personnel.
However, the existing station has outlived its useful life and does not allow for growth in both fire personnel and apparatus. It lacks proper space and accommodations for a modern fire and emergency medical services department, as well as appropriate ventilation, adequate office and training space, handicap accessible areas and suitable bathroom facilities. Water leaks have also caused significant damage throughout the station and under equipment bays.
In 2019, an ad hoc committee was convened to review the existing station, determine the needs of a modern department, find a potential new station location, and determine how the town can best address the existing station’s deficiencies.
A site assessment conducted in April 2021 noted that the current headquarters facility and site does not meet the space needs of the department and is no longer a consideration for continued use as a municipal fire location. A new station is proposed to be built at 1185 Pleasant St. This location is approximately 2.7 miles from the existing headquarters station and provides better, more accessible fire and EMS coverage for the western area of Bridgewater.
The proposed station is designed to have two floors and will feature administrative offices, a training classroom, physical training room, living quarters, storage space for gear and equipment, and appropriately-sized apparatus bays.
The station will also have space for expansion to accommodate future needs and added personnel. A September 2020 space needs assessment notes 4,711 calls for service in 2019, and projects 6,000 calls for service in 2030 and 7,500 in 2040. The assessment also projects a growth in fire personnel at both stations, from 53 total department personnel in 2020, to 76 in 2030 and 85 in 2040.
“The current fire headquarters building has outlived its intended lifespan and no longer provides the space needed to efficiently provide services to the community, nor is it the type of modern facility that our firefighters deserve,” Town Manager Dutton said. “The work that has gone into the project thus far and the work that will continue prioritizes providing the best service possible to our growing community, as well as meeting the needs of our fire department.”
Voters will be asked to approve a $23 million debt exclusion to fund fire facilities projects at the 2022 Annual Town Election on Saturday, April 23. Approximately $2 million of this funding would go toward mechanical and other necessary upgrades at Station 2 (Prattown), which was built in 2000.
For additional information, visit the town’s New Fire Headquarters website. The page features current station photos and reports on the existing headquarters building, documents on the proposed station and design, budget documents, and past presentations and meeting recordings.