The Danbury Fire Department has provided a Statement of Conditions to City officials. Chief TJ Wiedl says the conventional operations of the Department are sound.
Fire Headquarters is nearly half a century old and is too small. Some equipment continues to be stored at Danbury Airport, which is subject to FAA restrictions. Wiedl cautioned that the space may be lost. An engineering study of 19 New Street was completed in 2012.
The site and structure can be modified, according to the report, but Wiedl says they still believe the best option is to build a new structure at a new location. The current site straddles a flood plain and is subject to FEMA and EPA approvals.
A 2010 Task Force Report from the Mayor recommended construction of a new engine house in the south end of the city, now served by Engine 22 from Fire Headquarters. While the station would be ideally situated in the area of Main and South streets to Shelter Rock, Wiedl says the station may be best considered as desired rather than necessary.
He says the rapid expansion of residential and commercial properties on the westside places more demand there. Wield says the need for a station hosting an engine company and an ambulance is more obvious than even a couple of years ago. Wiedl called on City officials to consider a plan for this now, as the growth will continue and eventually overextend current staffing and response capabilities.
Wiedl continues to recommend that Padanram Hose Company, Wooster Hose Company and Citizens Hose Company be moved to a new, modern station housing all three. The North Street structure was built in 1950, is in a poor location and has inadequate parking. It's in need of roof repairs, new windows and the fire escape needs replacing. The roof of Citizen Hose on Jefferson Avenue was replaced a few years ago, but is now leaking. A new HVAC, boiler and insulation are needed. The structure is over 120 years old. Wooster Hose on Coal Pit Hill was built in 1883. Though quaint in appearance, he says they are not suited for use by modern fire departments. Wiedl suggests selling two of the properties.