BOSTON – Monday, September 16, 2019 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph E. Finn, and members of the community gathered today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the first new firehouse built in Boston in over 30 years. The groundbreaking of Engine 42, Rescue 2, District 9 Firehouse, represents a $23.5 million investment for the City of Boston and Roxbury. The City of Boston Public Facilities Department (PFD) in collaboration with the Boston Fire Department (BFD) worked closely with Dore & Whittier Architects to design a 21st century firehouse that provides the best emergency response services to Roxbury, with a focus on the health and wellness of Boston’s firefighters.
“Boston’s first responders work each and every day to protect Boston’s residents, and as a City, we want to support the health, wellness and safety of those who do the same for us,” said Mayor Walsh. “Through its innovative design, this new firehouse will make a significant difference in the health and vitality of our firefighters, and I want to thank Commissioner Finn and all our firefighters for their dedication to our city. I look forward to this new investment in Roxbury serving as a point of pride for many years to come.”
Mayor Walsh at the groundbreaking celebration of the Engine 42 firehouse.
The existing firehouse opened in 1952, and has seen limited capital investment since it was built. The design of the building incorporates the latest methods in protecting Boston firefighters, focusing on health, safety and wellness. The layout of the new building minimizes particulate contaminants from traveling to the living quarters of the building. The new building will be broken into three zones (hot, warm and cold) to keep carcinogens from circulating throughout the house.
“The City of Boston Fire Department is one of the best in the country, and Mayor Walsh is investing in the lifesaving work my firefighters do every day,” said Commissioner Finn. “The investments Mayor Walsh is making in our firehouses, along with purchasing new apparatus, and providing additional training will not only support our firefighters, but give them the tools to better protect the residents of the City of Boston. Cases of occupational related cancer are occurring on an almost weekly basis, the measures taken in the design of this building will help protect the firefighters who put their lives on the line for this City.”
The future Engine 42, Rescue 2, District 9 fire house will include:
- Three extended apparatus bays, allowing more BFD tactical rescue equipment to be housed at the location
- 25 seat training room, allowing BFD to keep tactical rescue companies up to date on latest training, and keeping them closer to their houses, instead of training on Moon Island
- Training deck on the roof, confined space training prop, and training stair tower to allow for simulated training exercises onsite
- Fitness room to promote wellness
- 14 bunk rooms to house two companies
- Energy efficient building designed to LEED Silver requirements
- White roof that will be solar ready
- High efficiency mechanical systems, LED lighting
In addition, the City of Boston is commissioning an artist to create a piece of permanent public art to complement the construction of the Engine 42 fire station. This project has a budget of $300,000, and is funded by the City’s Percent for Art program, which commissions one percent of the City’s capital borrowing for the creation of public art. $13.4 million has been allocated to this program over the next five years. The artwork at Engine 42 will be a site-specific, impactful, focal design feature that aims to enrich the connection between the Boston Fire Department and the surrounding Egleston and Roxbury communities. The City is currently in the contracting phase with the artist, and will announce who was selected soon.
In addition to the Engine 42 investment, Mayor Walsh’s fiscal year 2020 (FY20) budget includes a significant technology investment in new equipment for the fire department, including the replacement of eight fire trucks for a total of 48 over five years, the replacement of bio packs for tunnel rescue and a brush truck which enables the Boston Fire Department to respond to woodland fires. These investments will help ensure BFD has the tools it needs to respond when called upon. The budget provides another year of funding for a $500,000 program to enable industrial-level cleaning of firehouses. Reducing cancer risk for firefighters and supporting firefighter health and safety continues to be one of Mayor Walsh and the Fire Department’s top priorities.
Mayor Walsh’s FY20-24 Capital Plan will include other health and safety improvements to firehouse projects as a result of recent programming. Starting in FY16, the Fire Department, in conjunction with the Public Facilities Department, studied best practices for firehouse design. Key design changes include defined zones within the firehouse to prevent contamination of living areas, along with improved personal and gear cleaning facilities. The results of this planning are reflected in the replacement of firehouses for Engine 42 in Roxbury and Engine 17 in Dorchester, at a total investment of $48 million. In FY20, the study and design phase will start for replacing Engine 3 in the South End and Engine 37 on Huntington Avenue.
Earlier this month, the City of Boston was named a recipient of an Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Through this grant, Boston received one of 166 Assistance to Firefighters Grants that were awarded to cities and towns nationwide. The grant in the amount of $704,510 will assist the Boston Fire Department with wellness and fitness activities.
Construction on Engine 42 will start in the coming weeks. During construction, fire operations will relocate to 121 Amory Street, .2 miles from the existing fire station.
Rendering of the Engine 42 fire station. For additional renderings, please click here.