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Bow residents to take up plans to overhaul out-of-code fire station

  • The fire department’s newest ambulance, from 2013, can barely fit into the station said Harrington. “We literally have to have the snow completely cleared in front of this bay so the top of the ambulance doesn’t hit the door jam,” he said. “If we had two inches of snow we would literally tear antennas off.” As the truck backs in, the antenna scrapes against the garage door above. The department has to replace three to four antennas annually on each ambulance, said Harrington, because they bang on the door. <br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The fire department’s newest ambulance, from 2013, can barely fit into the station said Harrington. “We literally have to have the snow completely cleared in front of this bay so the top of the ambulance doesn’t hit the door jam,” he said. “If we had two inches of snow we would literally tear antennas off.” As the truck backs in, the antenna scrapes against the garage door above. The department has to replace three to four antennas annually on each ambulance, said Harrington, because they bang on the door.
    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The cinder block wall separates the fire station from the community center. According to fire code, the wall needs to be two-hour rating, meaning in a fire it could withstand for two hours, said Stack. To meet that code, the holes would need to be sealed and extra sheet rock added. The drips at the top of the wall, said Harrington, are from water run off. “The roof makes a big valley,” he said “At the time they only put in one drain. During heavy rainfall the drain is overwhelmed and the water backs up and leaks down the interior walls.”<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    The cinder block wall separates the fire station from the community center. According to fire code, the wall needs to be two-hour rating, meaning in a fire it could withstand for two hours, said Stack. To meet that code, the holes would need to be sealed and extra sheet rock added. The drips at the top of the wall, said Harrington, are from water run off. “The roof makes a big valley,” he said “At the time they only put in one drain. During heavy rainfall the drain is overwhelmed and the water backs up and leaks down the interior walls.”
    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Firefighters on overnight duty stay at the newly renovated Rescue Center, a separate building located behind the fire station. At least two people are on duty at all times. If they get a call and need a fire truck, firefighters need to go from the Rescue Center to the fire station. Harrington said they drive between the buildings in the ambulance, housed at the Rescue Center, to avoid safety concerns. He said it takes at least one-and-a-half minutes.<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Firefighters on overnight duty stay at the newly renovated Rescue Center, a separate building located behind the fire station. At least two people are on duty at all times. If they get a call and need a fire truck, firefighters need to go from the Rescue Center to the fire station. Harrington said they drive between the buildings in the ambulance, housed at the Rescue Center, to avoid safety concerns. He said it takes at least one-and-a-half minutes.
    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • Called the parks and rec, police, fire storage building, by Harrington, it holds a rescue truck and ambulance for the fire department. It also stores police bikes and is where officers wash their cruisers, said Harrington.<br/>A storage facility connected to the community center is built into one corner. Since it houses fire equipment, said Stack, the walls would need to be updated to meet the two-hour fire rating. “This building has given the town everything and more for a number of years,” said Stack. “But it’s tired, it’s very, very, very tired.”<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    Called the parks and rec, police, fire storage building, by Harrington, it holds a rescue truck and ambulance for the fire department. It also stores police bikes and is where officers wash their cruisers, said Harrington.
    A storage facility connected to the community center is built into one corner. Since it houses fire equipment, said Stack, the walls would need to be updated to meet the two-hour fire rating. “This building has given the town everything and more for a number of years,” said Stack. “But it’s tired, it’s very, very, very tired.”
    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

    A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

  • The fire department’s newest ambulance, from 2013, can barely fit into the station said Harrington. “We literally have to have the snow completely cleared in front of this bay so the top of the ambulance doesn’t hit the door jam,” he said. “If we had two inches of snow we would literally tear antennas off.” As the truck backs in, the antenna scrapes against the garage door above. The department has to replace three to four antennas annually on each ambulance, said Harrington, because they bang on the door. <br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • The cinder block wall separates the fire station from the community center. According to fire code, the wall needs to be two-hour rating, meaning in a fire it could withstand for two hours, said Stack. To meet that code, the holes would need to be sealed and extra sheet rock added. The drips at the top of the wall, said Harrington, are from water run off. “The roof makes a big valley,” he said “At the time they only put in one drain. During heavy rainfall the drain is overwhelmed and the water backs up and leaks down the interior walls.”<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Firefighters on overnight duty stay at the newly renovated Rescue Center, a separate building located behind the fire station. At least two people are on duty at all times. If they get a call and need a fire truck, firefighters need to go from the Rescue Center to the fire station. Harrington said they drive between the buildings in the ambulance, housed at the Rescue Center, to avoid safety concerns. He said it takes at least one-and-a-half minutes.<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • Called the parks and rec, police, fire storage building, by Harrington, it holds a rescue truck and ambulance for the fire department. It also stores police bikes and is where officers wash their cruisers, said Harrington.<br/>A storage facility connected to the community center is built into one corner. Since it houses fire equipment, said Stack, the walls would need to be updated to meet the two-hour fire rating. “This building has given the town everything and more for a number of years,” said Stack. “But it’s tired, it’s very, very, very tired.”<br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
  • A tour of the fire station and community space in Bow on Tuesday, February 24, 2014.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

At town meeting on March 12, Bow residents will consider several plans to confront what the state fire marshal deemed a non-code-compliant fire station and community center building.

The option recommended by selectmen includes constructing a new public safety building that will house the fire, police and emergency management departments. Costing roughly $6.8 million, the building would replace the town’s current fire station, which is connected to the community center.

Another option includes renovating the current structure to bring it up to code. The third, put on the warrant by petition, proposes repairing only the fire station’s electrical wiring and kitchen vent system.

The fire station needs to be brought up to code by 2016, a mandate set by the state fire marshal. Already, the firefighters have moved their overnight quarters from the building to the neighboring rescue building to comply.

The Monitor toured the existing buildings this week with Town Manager David Stack and fire Capt. Mitchell Harrington. Residents can do the same at an open house hosted by the town Wednesday, between 6 and 7:30 p.m. There will be tours at the police station at 12 Robinson Road and the fire station/community center at 2 Knox Road.

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

So, the Fire Dept. doesn't want to feel left out. The schools get what all they want, so the Fire Dept. is pulling out all the stops by getting the Fire Marshall involved. How come in last years meeting there was no mention of the Fire Marshall ?....and the new ambulance is to big, I would like to know who is checking the specs on these vehicles, HE SHOULD BE FIRED !!!........and the Town Manager should be FIRED for bringing this up again, especially since we have to pay back Public Service $ 51 million......THE OUT OF CONTROL SPENDING needs to STOP !!

The problem with codes is that pressure groups like the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA) a bunch of zealots, that never did any real world work, sit there dreaming up this crap, in an effort to justify their existence. Then bureaucrats like the Fire Marshall's office, who are also trying to justify their existence, drink this kool-aide by the gallon, and we get stuck paying the price.

From the-only-difference-between-men-and-boys-is-the-price-of-their -toys dept: So, to save a couple hundred bucks a year for new antennae, you want to spend $7 million on a new police/fire station? How about relocating these antennae on the vehicle or spend maybe a couple of thousand dollars on reconfiguring the doors?

Maybe they should move the antenna to the roof of the cab, instead of the roof of the box. Just saying.

I know that before I'd buy a new vehicle, I'd make sure it would fit in my garage, first.

One of the problems in society in general, not just this example, is compliance with new codes. There are public and private buildings everywhere that are old and have served well for decades. Churches, schools, houses, many more. They passed codes for a long time. Now they don't. Does this mean they should all be demolished and/or renovated? While I get the need of fire and building codes in general, I think often times these codes are too expensive to implement and unnecessary in general. Maybe the fire marshall, maybe local building code inspectors, have too much authority. I am familiar with the Bow FD and Rec building quite well, and yes something needs fixing there. Likely a new building is the best solution. But I don't agree with the unbending stance taken by the State fire marshall, the condemning of a building that has served well for decades suddenly is no longer safe; and IMO the national fire safety code adopted by NH and many other States oversteps the bounds and gives fire safety inspectors far too much power and control over what a town must do, or what the owner of a house must comply with. Common sense went out the window with the adoption of this code, which I have read entirely. The added expenses of compliance with these codes often enough are rather absurd and serve no demonstratable purpose, other than solving numerous "what if" questions. We can't regulate all dangers out of our lives with codes and ordinances. The truth of this story is a mix of a fire service much busier than they were 20 years ago, the growing pains Bow faces associated with the increased burdens placed on the Bow FD, and a State fire code that is too rigid and unbending.

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