NEW FIRE STATION FAQ's

New Fire Station FAQs

What is the Fire Station Feasibility Working Group?
In 2021, the Fire Station Feasibility Working Group was created to analyze the necessity of new fire stations and to identify the optimal locations. In preparation for a future referendum, the key findings are as follows:
  • An independent professional analysis showed that moving to a 2 station model will lower long-term costs to taxpayers and increase responsiveness.
  • Our current stations are not in the optimal locations- Our present-day locations could increase our ISO ratings, increasing homeowners insurance rates. Our current properties are too small to fit even newly-constructed modern stations.
  • Our current stations are not compliant - The buildings are past their intended life span, there are no separate decontamination zones, and present a higher risk to our Staff.
  • Our current stations can not be further renovated- An engineering analysis showed that the Sanford and Springvale stations cannot be cost-effectively renovated to meet the future needs of the City.
  • Our current stations are inequitable- There are not proper facilities for female firefighters at any of the three stations. Plus, the stations are severely deficient in ADA accessibility for employees and the public.
 
I thought we voted NO on a new fire station?
In 2019, Sanford and Springvale residents voted against a $1 Million bond to purchase an undisclosed piece of land for a new fire station. The 2019 vote was not for the construction of a new fire station. 

The recent purchase of the Springvale Nursery property was paid for with COVID “ARPA” federal funds. The bonding process for the new fire stations investment will go before the community on a future ballot.
What's wrong with the current stations? 
  • At 50 and 100 years old, both stations are past their intended lifespans.
  • Our current stations are not in the optimal locations- potentially impacting insurance rates and response times.
  • Our current stations were built when equipment was smaller; some modern vehicles will not fit in the current bays.
  • Our current stations were built at a time when we did not understand modern safety standards, codes, and practices.
  • Our current stations are too small to be fully functional; even if renovated they cannot fit facilities that would meet modern requirements.
  • Our current stations do not have space for separate decontamination zones or wash-down areas, posing a health risk to our firefighters.
  • Firefighter PPE is currently bagged at the fire scene after use and sent for decontamination because there are no facilities to do so at the current stations; new facilities will have space for decontamination, eliminating that cost.
Why can't we just retrofit the stations we have now? 
  • The existing stations, at close to 50 and 100 years old respectively, are near the end of their useful lives.
  • Retrofitting alone cannot bring the stations up to a standard that would make them safe for our firefighters or meet all of the current requirements for stations.
  • Our stations are too small to be fully functional even if retrofitted. They do not have room for facilities that would meet a modern fire department’s needs.
  • The cost of retrofitting would be significant. Given the age of the buildings, that money could be better invested in new facilities that are built to modern standards.
  • Both stations occupy properties that are too small to fit a newly-constructed modern station that could adequately serve the community.
  • The Sanford and Springvale stations are not in the proper location to keep our ISO ratings and homeowners insurance low.
Why can't the South Sanford Station be opened back up?
  • At over 30 years the station is past it’s intended lifespan.
  • An independent professional analysis showed that moving to a 2 station model will lower long-term costs to taxpayers and increase responsiveness.
  • To reopen the South Station and transition back to a 3 station model the Sanford Fire Department would need to hire at least TWENTY new firefighters and EMS.
  • The size of South Station only allows for 2 on-duty firefighters but 3 firefighters/EMs are required for a call. A truck from Central Station was required at EVERY South Station call. 
What's happening to the Springvale Station? 
  • The plan is to have two new modern facilities constructed at well-placed locations to best serve the community as economically, efficiently, and effectively as possible. This means the Springvale Station must relocate.
  • Due to the unusual nature of our real estate market right now, we have not yet been able to find a suitable piece of the land for the Springvale Station.
  • We are working to find the best solution but we are not ready to release communications about this station yet.