After more than thirty years, the Culver City Fire department formally opened its brand new Fire Station 3 in Fox Hills last Saturday, Dec. 19. The new station, located on 6030 Bristol Parkway, is set to replace the old Fire Station 3 on Segrell Way.
“This is a big day.” said Mark Scott, City Manager. “A day where we are not talking about budgets, we are talking about accomplishments.”
Members of the Culver City Council, and the Fox Hills Homeowners Association presided over the dedication ceremony.
“This fire station is a testament to the old adage, that quality can’t be rushed.” said Culver City Mayor, Andrew Weissman. “This is a site and project that is at least four decades in the making.”
The public was invited to the formal ribbon cutting ceremony at the new station, where light refreshments and tours of the new facilities were provided by the firefighters.
“I love it; I think it’s really cool.” said Michael Landau M.D., the District Three manager of Culver City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). “I drove by here months ago, and it was just a concrete slab. They had delays, delays. All of a sudden, before you know it, it’s up.”
The new fire station boasts brand new offices, larger facilities including a game and TV lounge, a first class kitchen complete with granite counter-tops, and its own backyard barbecue.
The new station was also built to better accommodate female firefighters, which the old station, built in 1954, was not equipped to do.
“Firefighters are excited about moving in.” said William T. Heins, Culver City Fire Captain, and head of telecommunications. “We look forward to put finishing touches to the station and moving in and living here, making it a home.”
The dedication of the new fire station and the transfer of the District 3 firefighters is just one of the major changes currently underway at the Culver City Fire Department.
“This is actually my last official act as fire chief.” said Culver City Fire Chief, Jeff Eastman as he presided over the dedication ceremony, adding that his retirement was at midnight the following day. “That’s calling it a hair close.”
Eastman fondly recalled the time three decades ago when he first visited the empty lot as a rookie fireman.
“This was a 32 year dream of this department.” said Eastman. “There were many ups and downs in the building of this station, especially in the funding, the design, and the construction of this station. 32 years later, we really did it.”
Part of the dedication ceremony included a special acknowledgement to the family of Paul Douglas Bilodeau, the station project manager who died during construction. A plaque dedicated to Bilodeu has been placed inside the fire station, and another plaque was presented to the station by the Fox Hills Homeowners association.
“This has been a long, long time coming.” said Lezlie Brazil, head of the homeowners association. Brazil feels safer knowing that emergency personnel will have easier access to the community at their new location.
The dedication concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Instead of using scissors, the police tape was cut by the “Jaws of Life”, a piece of rescue equipment.
The Fire department will slowly move in to the new building over the next few months as minor construction is completed. Although the department is excited about their new location, they will miss their old station on Segrell.
“For them it’s something of a bittersweet experience.” said Scott “They have so long been a part of the neighborhood over on Segrell. I know that they will do just as good in this location as they were there.”
Brazil agrees, saying with confidence : “We are very confident that they will be great neighbors.”