An annual statement of conditions of the Danbury Fire Department has been provided to the City Council.
Chief Richard Thode said in his report that they are undertaking a location study for a new headquarters building and for a west side fire station, closer to the New York border. The closest career department is on Kenosia Avenue. There are space constraints and other issues with the New Street headquarters, in addition to an out of date HVAC system and asbestos insulation that needs abatement. The site straddles a flood plain and the potential for rebuilding it is dependent on FEMA, EPA and local approvals.
Thode noted that there's an addition being constructed at Station 26 for four double apparatus bays.
The Danbury Fire Department has 117 of 120 positions filled on the career side, with 70 certified suppression responders on the volunteer side. With modern equipment and current facilities, Thode says the Department will deliver quality emergency services and the conventional operations of the Department are sound.
With a new fire headquarters, Thode says Battalion 19 could move into that building and dispose of their firehouses, which are all city-owned properties. Danbury has 16 fire stations in the city and his goal is to get to at least single digits. Thode says 7 of the 12 volunteer fire companies are in the final phases of consolidating. Volunteer companies 3, 7, 10 and 11 formed Battalion 31 and want to relocate into one building. Volunteer companies 5, 6 and 8 joined to create Battalion 19 and aim to do the same.
The report suggests demolishing the North Street volunteer fire station because it's in a “poor location” at a curve on a busy street, with inadequate parking. The station needs “costly” repairs, including to the roof, windows, gutters and fire escape. He then proposed selling the land.