09/28/15 404 W, 1 I - + 7 - 4 Fire Station Design Symposium in Raleigh This Week

Did you know that there's a fire station design symposium underway in Raleigh this week? The event is presented by FIERO, which is the Fire Industry Education Resource Organization. They're based in southeastern United States, and are modeled after an organization in Southern California called the Southern Area Fire Equipment Research or SAFER. (The original name of FIERO was Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization.)

FIERO were founded in 1990 as a way to connect fire service personnel with fire equipment (and facility) manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. And as they started talking to each other, they realized they had common equipment and safety problems. Both FIERO and SAFER helped open lines of communication between dealers, manufacturers, and the users of their products and services.

Remember, this was the 1990s. Before the Internet and web sites and blogs. Back when networking was primarily face-to-face. As communications within the fire service improved, FIERO realized a need for sharing information about fire station design and construction. In 2000, they offered their first Fire Station Symposium. The response was overwhelming and the event has become an annual affair. (They also expanded their scope in 2007, realizing the need for a PPE Symposium. The first one was offered in 2009, and is a biennial event.)

This year's Fire Station Design Symposium is this week at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. The event runs from Sunday September 27 to Wednesday September 30. Visit the web site to see the schedule and learn more, both about the event and the organization. (They're a non-profit organization, and the event is staffed with volunteers.) Or follow them on Twitter @FIEROFire.

One of the event's neat features are the design awards, for fire stations either (a.) in the design phase but not yet approved for construction or (b.) placed in service within the last six years. This year, thirty-nine entries were submitted from across the United States and Canada. (How far and wide are the event's visitors, you ask? This year they have attendees from Hawaii, Newfoundland, and New Zealand.)

You can view design award winners from recent years on this page. They include local and regional winners Cary Station 8 (ADW Architects, shown left), Charleston Station 9 (Rosenblum Coe Architects, shown right), Henricho County, VA, Station 13 (Moseley Architects and Stewart Cooper Newell Architects), Dale City, VA, Station 10 (Hughes Group Architects), and Charlottesville, VA, Station 10 (LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects).

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