Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department To Show Off New Headquarters
photo by: Photo by Derek Redd
It’s hard for Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jacob Howard to put into words how nice it has been for the department to work out of its new headquarters. You have to see the new building to appreciate it.
Howard and the rest of the department want the public to see it for themselves from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, as the Bethlehem VFD will hold an open house at its new headquarters at 27 Chapel Road in Bethlehem.
“It gives them a chance to come meet us, get familiar with us and with what the new fire station in their neighborhood has to offer,” Howard said.
The department moved into the new facility in January, but wants to take advantage of the nicer weather to introduce the rest of the community to the building.
“It’s a whole different ballgame with what we have here,” Howard said.
The new facility is a big change from the department’s old headquarters, which had been its home since the 1930s. The new facility is one story, as opposed to the three-story former headquarters. That, Howard said, has multiple benefits.
First, it gives firefighters more room to get vehicles in and out of the garage. At the old firehouse, they had a matter of inches to squeeze in fire trucks and ambulances. Howard also said the one-story facility shaves several seconds from firefighters and EMT personnel getting to their vehicles once they receive a call. And they work in a job where seconds can make a life-or-death difference.
Among the new features in the new station is a backup generator that will power the entire facility. That way, Howard said, it can be used as a warming shelter during bad winter storms. Firefighters also have new lockers, a shower facility, and full live-in quarters that include places for firefighters to sleep.
The department will offer guided tours of the facility Saturday afternoon following a short ceremony at 1 p.m., and Howard said there also will be activities for children.