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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fire Station 31 in downtown Davis receives approval for critical structural improvements

Approval comes following years of stagnant living conditions for firefighters


By HANNAH SCHRADER —  city@theaggie.org


Item 6 on the City Council’s agenda for their Sept. 5 meeting discussed an improvement project for Fire Station 31, located on the corner of 5th and E Street. The council approved the resolution and the station will be improved in the coming years.

Kevin Fong, the principal civil engineer for the city of Davis, presented the firehouse renovation project at the council meeting.

“Currently, it’s anticipated that the fire department will respond to 7,000 calls for the city with more than half of them handled by Fire Station 31,” Fond said when discussing the importance of the station. “Fire Station 31 has quite a few deficiencies; some of those being not meeting the building code requirements for critical facilities such as emergency power and seismic needs.”

In response to these concerns, council member Bapu Vaitla questioned how much longer operations could continue out of the station without “serious concerns.”

Joseph Tenney, the division chief of the Davis Fire Department, replied to concern, stating that the design process will range from a year to a year and a half. According to Tenney, once the design process is finished, construction may take three to five years. 

According to the Davis Fire Department (DFD) website, the department is staffed with 36 shift personnel consisting of 9 captains and 27 firefighters. 

“The shift personnel are divided into three shifts, with each shift working a 24 hour day,” the DFD website reads. “The department’s facilities include three fire stations located in Central, West, and South Davis.”

Council member Gloria Partida expressed concern about the living conditions for personnel.

 “It is without a doubt [needing] to be replaced, it’s been there for a while and it has issues that are going to cost a lot of money to fix so it does make sense to start this process,” Partida said. “We don’t notice because the service is there but the conditions that the firefighters are living under in that station are challenging.”

Council member Donna Neville echoed support of the project shortly after Partida’s comments.

“All I have to say is that you do really important work and you deserve to have a safe, modern, state-of-the-art facility so I’m just really supportive of the staff recommendation here,” Neville said. 

Mayor Will Arnold then wrapped up the discussion of the firehouse reconstruction project and expressed how essential improvements would be for the Davis community.

“If anyone is curious, go by the fire station, see those attractive windows that are holding the roof and ask yourself what happens if we have a major earthquake to that roof,” Arnold said. “And by the way, we’ll definitely be needing our firefighters if we have that earthquake.”


Written by: Hannah Schrader  city@theaggie.org