Zionsville Fire Dept. began construction in January on the expansion of Fire Station 92, 998 U.S. 421. It is one of four fire stations that serve the town.
The station originally was built in 2009 and is undergoing a 1,400 square-foot addition that will provide additional storage and exercise space. The new areas are comprised of a 707-square-foot exercise room, a 273-square-foot locker room and a 420-square-foot fire gear storage room.
Additionally, 300 square feet of existing hallways, restrooms and locker rooms will be renovated.
“We take fitness extremely seriously,” Fire Chief James VanGorder said, adding that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among firefighters. “(The exercise) room will provide ample (space) for all six firefighters working each day at the fire station to exercise.”
With three shifts at the station and six firefighters on duty per shift, the locker room expansion was necessary to accommodate all 18 of the station’s firefighters.
“The fire gear storage is a new room that will limit the amount of (ultraviolet) light,” VanGorder said.
Sunlight is a large factor in the weathering of turnout gear, which protects firefighters from biological hazards while also minimizing heat exposure. According to firehouse.com, harmful chemicals such as arsenic, phthalate plasticizers and flame retardants have been shown to accumulate on turnout gear.
“The (fire gear storage) room also keeps the gear farther away from the living space when not in use,” he said. “This is part of our healthier initiative.”
The updates to Fire Station 92 are expected to be completed in late May.
ZFD has tentative plans to build an additional facility on land it owns at the southeast corner of 875 E. and 400 S., though no set timeline has been made. Two existing facilities also will need updates in the future.
“We are also looking at ways to address an aging Fire Station 91, which has seen multiple maintenance issues over the years,” VanGorder said. “We are currently in the planning phase for a new Fire Station 81 for the future.”