Kirkland City Council Unveils New Fire Station 24 with Ribbon Cutting
Published on December 17, 2021
Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City Council celebrated the opening of the new Fire Station 24 with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on December 16, 2021. The new fire station, located on Northeast 132nd Street, just north of Juanita Elementary School, is the culmination of an ambitious effort to improve emergency response that began before Finn Hill and North Juanita became a part of Kirkland and that persevered through annexation, the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a City, our goal is to protect our community and to protect those who risk it all to keep us safe,” said Mayor Penny Sweet in prepared remarks. “We could not be doing this without the support of our communities and the sacrifice of our emergency responders.”
A new fire station helps emergency responders reach Finn Hill and Juanita community members in need before fires become too hot for human survival and before cardiac arrests become fatal. Firefighter/EMTs will begin responding out of the fire station on Jan. 5, 2022.
“The station is designed to protect the health of those who are responding and to empower them to be even more efficient than they already are,” said Councilmember Toby Nixon in prepared remarks. “It provides quick access to the apparatus bay from every location within the station. Responding to the lessons learned with the COVID-19 early pandemic response, it provides a decontamination room with exterior access. And it’s designed to be operational even after a significant earthquake, so our firefighters can get out of the station and respond when the community needs them most.”
Among other design elements, Fire Station 24 features a decontamination bay, an extractor that sucks contaminants out of their gear, and a sealed locker room. Airlocks prevent engine bay fumes from entering the fire station’s work and living spaces. All of these features became fundamental to modern fire station’s designs more than a decade ago when research showed that cancer had eclipsed fires as emergency responders’ most prolific killer.
“At the beginning, we only considered sites on Finn Hill, since the original vision was to consolidate both Fire Stations 24 and 25 into a centrally located station,” said Councilmember Jon Pascal in prepared remarks. “Kirkland’s leaders insisted on taking a broader view of response times, so we evaluated sites in Juanita, as well. This is how we identified the new permanent site of Fire Station 24. This was a trying process, hampered at times by a lack of money, a lack of space and a lack of political consensus. But we overcame all of those obstacles.”
Completing construction of Fire Station 24 is one of the City’s 2021-2022 Work Program items and is one of several significant investments the City is making in its fire stations. Early in 2022, the City will demolish a Totem Lake medical building just off Northeast 132nd Street near Hazen Hills Park and then will begin building a new Fire Station 27 in its place. In the spring, the City will renovate Fire Station 22, as well. And later, it will renovate Forbes Creek’s Fire Station 21 and North Rose Hill’s Fire Station 26. The City renovated Fire Station 25, off Juanita Drive, in 2018.
These renovations and relocations are some of the most ambitious tasks outlined in the 2012 Fire Strategic Plan, which prescribed 95 individual efforts for the City to better protect its communities and its emergency responders.