New Onset Fire Station on display at Halloween open house
At the end of September, the Onset Fire Department moved its headquarters to its new location, and on Halloween, the department opened its doors to trick-or-treaters and offered tours to those interested in seeing the new station.
The new station, located at 8 Sand Pond Rd. behind the old Salvation Army, is much larger than the old station which was near the center of Onset Village. A few trick-or-treaters and their families came by the station for the open house.
“We’re very thankful that the voters gave us the opportunity to build this building,” said Onset Fire Chief Jeffrey Osswald. “We don’t want them to think that we’re no longer part of the community.”
He said it was a bit bittersweet to leave the old station behind because he’d seen his grandfather and father work out of the old station.
The department can have all of its equipment inside the new station, which Osswald said is one of the biggest differences from the old station.
In addition, he said “having a separation between the apparatus and the gear and the living quarters” was another big change.
“It’s safer,” Osswald explained. “At the old station, we’d actually see exhaust and soot on the walls. [...] But that’s not possible here.”
The living and training space at the new station is fully separate from the apparatus bay and the locker room for gear. Osswald said there is a great ventilation system in the living quarters and there are scrubbers in the apparatus bay to clean the air.
The dispatch room now features the latest and greatest dispatching technology.
Jack Kelly, a firefighter and a graduate of Onset Fire’s Mass Maritime program, explained that one major benefit of the new station is privacy. Now, the shift commander, fire chief and deputy fire chief have their own offices.
The new station has a designated training room — unlike at the old station where the second level acted as a multi-purpose kitchen, living room, office space and training room.
“It was like six rooms in one,” Kelly said, adding that it was nice to have separate space.
The bunks at the new station can sleep 16 a night comfortably, he said, and there are three showers for everyday use. The new station also has a much larger kitchen.
“We have empty cabinets in here that we’re still trying to put things in,” Kelly said, gesturing at the kitchen. “So it’s great to have this.”
Not only does all the equipment fit in the new apparatus bay, but there’s a locker room set aside for all the heavy-duty firefighting gear. This is important, Kelly explained, because gear can off-gas, or release, contaminants that get picked up during the firefighting process. Those contaminants are often known to cause cancer.
Overall, the new station is an upgrade, Kelly said.
“It’s just going to be so much better for us,” he said, adding that it was a “bump into the 21st century.”