GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) - When you take a look around the Joseph McClusky Fire Station, one can’t help but notice one big difference: there’s more space. A lot more space.
“If you have plenty of room in a fire department, it makes for a happier experience for the fire station because sometimes living on top of each other for 24 hours at a time gets a little old if you don't have enough room to move around,” Deputy Fire Chief Kieth Martin said.
Martin said the new building is a big upgrade from the facilities they had before. With the extra square footage, the station has been able to split up its different functions, separating the office side from the living quarters.
“That has been a very good step forward for us. It also allows us to secure the station better,” Martin said. “We have a lot better control over who enters certain areas where as before the station was basically wide open, whether we wanted it to be or not."
The new building is significantly larger than its predecessor including a twelve vehicle, drive through garage and a second floor.
Beyond just adding square footage to the space, though, the station was also able to improve its technology. That includes an upgraded classroom with souped up speakers and a smart board.
“The learners of today are more advanced. They take more things quickly at tone time. They truly are multi-tasking learners and we're able to provide that now,” Martin said.
One of his favorite changes is the addition of an elevator. He said it will make the building more accessible to disabled individuals.
“It truly is designed for when we bring citizens in for our first aid or CPR or other types of EMA training that we have here,” Martin said. “They can get in that elevator, they can get upstairs, they don't have to worry about where to park or how they're going to get to the classroom facilities. That need has already been met."
He looks forward to sharing the new space with the public at an open house that kicks off on Saturday, September 14 at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.
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