CROTON FALLS, N.Y. – Minutes make a big difference when responding to a fire, which is why the Croton Falls Fire District is happy that construction of its new, larger, centrally located firehouse is nearing completion.
An opening ceremony is scheduled for the first week of November, exactly one year after construction began on the $4.5 million firehouse at 1 Sun Valley Drive (across from the Shell gas station).
Angelo D’Agastino, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Croton Falls Fire District, said the proximity to Interstate 684 will allow them to more quickly respond to highway accidents and cut down its average response time to all of the calls they receive.
“If you’ve ever driven along here in rush hour [Route] 22 backs up in either direction," he said of the current firehouse on 1 Front St. “So, for us to get in the firehouse or get out of the firehouse we had to deal with that traffic. We’re more centrally located here so we don’t have to deal with that.”
The new 10,000-square-foot building is more than double the size and has room to spare inside the six-door apparatus bay, which will house the department's four trucks now stationed in Croton Falls.
D’Agostino said the 1 Front St. firehouse had been maxed out. Its 10-foot-tall ceilings can’t fit trucks with ladders or other extensions, and forced the department to move the light bar on the top of their apparatuses to the front just to make them fit in the building.
The new building’s ceilings are 12 feet tall and can fit all of their trucks.
The tanker truck – which holds about 2,700 gallons of water and is crucial since there are no fire hydrants in Croton Falls – is kept at the North Salem firehouse because it doesn’t fit in Croton Falls.
D’Agostino, a 27-year member of the fire district, said they plan to purchase a new tanker truck to replace the 35-year-old truck currently in use. The fire district plans to purchase it using money from its capital reserve fund.
“The new one would have been too tall for the old building,” he said. “But, now I don’t have to worry about it.”
The new building will also house a fitness room for its volunteers, which total just less than 100, D’Agostino said.
“Right now the district pays for fireman to join a local gym because we want them to stay in shape,” he said. “We’ll save significant money by putting a fitness room in here.”
The opening ceremony is still in the planning stages, but will likely involve a procession of the trucks from the old to the new firehouse when it is ready to open later this year.