02/19/10 50 W - + 9 - 8 Fishbowls?

Friday discussion topic.

What are the best/worst stations for the fishbowl effect? With windows and people on all sides? Raleigh, Durham, Wake, anywhere.

And a meta-question. Are high-visibility fire stations better for communities? Is there a sweet spot between "out there" and "tucked back?"

Personal opinion only; Engine 5’s house, and Engine 7/ Rescue 2 can probably be considered “fish bowl” firehouses. I love a firehouse with foot traffic, breaks up the boredom sometimes. Make us high-viz, versus behind a shopping center or in the back of a business park. Really makes you feel appreciated when you’re staring at the back of a grocery store and its’ dumpsters.

Of course cash is king. Get the cheapest land possible. However, it never hurts to improve the morale of the troops as well as giving a more ideal location for efficiency. Engine 20/ Ladder 7 is a pretty bad location and I’d consider them “tucked away”. Terrible run streets with a lot of Bambi’s running around. I’d cringe every night when driving down Trailwood. Gorman and Avent Ferry, or maybe even Gorman and Thistledown would have been a better spot.
Silver - 02/19/10 - 12:07

Apex #1 is a great location for interaction with the public… Not so great for apparatus due to the short ramp and tight quarters though. We enjoy being downtown and talking to the passers-by. We get more comments thanking us for what we do, which gives you a better attitude overall, I feel. When you are out of sight, you are also out of mind! We as a profession already are not at the forefront of most people’s mind as far as a necessity… Stick the firehouse on the main street, make it look nice, and throw some tradition into the station like a pole!
Bob P. - 02/19/10 - 13:19

Cary Firehouse 2 is right up there, tons of vehicle and foot traffic. Sitting on the bumper on the front ramp in the evenings always proved to be entertaining. I’ve watched wrecks, fires, drug busts, traffic stops and DWI checkpoints from that vantage point. Add in that it’s the oldest house in town and busy and it makes for a great assignment.

I also enjoyed my time spent at Apex #1 for the unique downtown firehouse feel it has. It’s what I would envision for a downtown house. Tons of bays, 2 stories and ramp as a sidewalk.
shevais - 02/19/10 - 15:23

The entire day room of Raleigh Station 12 faces a very busy gas station and convenience store. Funny story about that. We were working on the yearbook there, and I came over one night, drove into the back parking lot, and waltzed up and walked in through the back door. Thought they’d seen me driving in. Nope, the blinds were closed, and the TV was loud. There was some surprised firemen when that back door swung open unexpectedly!
Legeros - 02/19/10 - 18:12

Yup, had TONS of good times at AFD #1. I remember the days when the sidewalks were rolled up at 8:30pm and nobody would be walking by. The town has definitely come a long way, and who would have thought that there would be people enjoying cocktails at a restaurant next door, and four other restaurants on the block!!
Silver - 02/19/10 - 20:29

Wake County EMS Station 1 has lots of foot traffic outside! Not only people going to court, but lots of people going to and from various downtown parking areas and restaurants. Lots of cops park on both sides of Davie to go to court, which makes for interesting times too, lots of people pulled over on our apron through the years. Makes operations exciting sometimes.

Now Wake County Fire Marshals, Wake County EMS Admin, and Wake County EM all share the front offices, so we have people coming in and out all the time. Not to mention the 3 stationed ambulances and district chief out of downtown, we have special event trucks and Truck 1. We also have oxygen supplies for the central part of the county and do a lot of repairs and upgrades to the MDTs and InMotion boxes on the county ambulances.

Backing in can be a real maze with ambulances, admin vehicles, public walking, etc.

But there is nothing like sitting in the bay and watching all the excitement. The best is when boyfriends/girlfriends park across the street to say hi to their significant others in the jail above us!
Downtown EMS - 02/20/10 - 08:46

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