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Informed Infrastructure: Bothell Fire Stations 42 and 45
8-21-2023 | News
By Parul Dubey
In addition to firefighting equipment and apparatus bays, Bothell Fire Stations 42 and 45 include living quarters, equipment pressurization and decontamination spaces, and maintenance facilities. Station 45 also houses a satellite police office so Bothell Police Department can better serve its north-end residents. The City of Bothell chose to use a progressive design-build because of the complexity of the scope, anticipated sequencing and phasing challenges, cost predictability, and the ability to maintain critical operations during construction.
One of the most serious concerns for firefighters is the frequent exposure to carcinogens that lead to higher rates of cancer for those in the profession than the general population. Accordingly, Miller Hull designs all of its stations to support the operational best practices codified in the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters’ “Healthy In, Healthy Out” manual. By carefully arranging dedicated areas for decontamination (“red zones”), areas for gear storage (“yellow zones”), and areas for daily crew living and working (“green zones”), the facilities reinforce the importance of taking every measure possible to maintain a clean working environment and limit exposure to carcinogens. Dedicated hand and boot wash stations, specialty ventilation and dehumidification systems, and nonporous, nontoxic materials were used throughout.
Firefighters also face a variety of other psychological and physiological stressors in the line of duty. Repeated night-time wake-ups, caring for traumatically injured patients, and becoming overheated while fighting a fire or even just wearing protective bunker gear for extended periods of time can all take a toll. Miller Hull embraces the potential for good design to help mitigate some of these issues. For example, designing sleeping rooms to provide a high degree of sound isolation and providing switchable alerting to ensure waking only those personnel needed for a call rather than the whole on-duty crew. Other features, including dedicated areas for physical training, extra cooling capacity, appropriate lighting systems, and visually calming palettes of interior materials all help to support firefighter wellbeing.
The Fire Stations Replacement Project is almost entirely funded by the 2018 voter-approved Safe and Secure Bond, worth $35.5 million. In 2021, City Council approved an amended Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) and a total project cost of $38 million.