Onset Fire Chief hopes new station will be 'part of the heart of the community'
The new Onset Fire Station — located at 8 Sand Pond Rd. behind the old Salvation Army — is nearing the final stages of construction.
The project likely won’t be complete until the end of May, but enough of the building was finished to allow members of the Onset Fire Station Building Committee and the Onset Fire District Prudential Committee to take a brief tour on April 6.
The new station will replace the station currently located at 5 East Central Ave. Acting Fire Chief Jeffrey Osswald said he believed that station was built in the 1960s — and he noted that it was outdated in terms of health and safety.
That’s certainly not the case at the new fire station, however. When asked what he was most looking forward to about moving to the new station, Osswald said he would appreciate having “a safer building.”
He said the new station has a few key safety features, including scrubbers to clean the air in the apparatus bay where the emergency response vehicles are housed and a designated storage area for protective firefighting gear, which he said can off-gas, or release, contaminants that get picked up during the firefighting process.
Osswald emphasized the significance of having a space totally separate from the apparatus bay and firefighting gear for firefighters to use during their down time.
“We have a separated living environment that’s clean,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing, you know, with cancer being very prevalent now in the fire service.”
Osswald also said it will be nice to have a fire station that’s all on one level for accessibility purposes.
“There’s no stairs to be concerned about being trip and fall hazards,” he said.
The new location of the station should also allow for faster response times to all parts of the Onset Fire District, he said.
Although he was excited about the new station, Osswald spoke fondly of the old station.
“It’ll be sad to see the current building go,” Osswald said. “I grew up in that building, [...] so that’s home. And we want people to know that just because we’re moving from the center of the village, that we still want to be part of the heart of the community.”