Nov. 21—For the first time in its 94-year history, the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District is getting a true headquarters of its own.
“The district has grown so much over the last few years, it became really important for us to have a place where we could build more synergy between our various divisions and also have a location that’s easily accessible to the public, where they can have the majority of their needs met in one space,” said Bertral Washington, the fire district’s deputy chief of administration.
In October, much of a 79,679-square-foot, two-story building and basement that once housed federal offices was demolished. On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the county officially began constructing the new building using the remaining structure of the old one. Construction is expected to wrap in late 2023.
The $26 million project, located at 958 S. Tippecanoe Ave. in San Bernardino, will bring multiple divisions of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District under one roof. Currently the district’s administration, fire marshal, and training, safety and EMS divisions operate out of leased offices.
“Whether they’re going to the marshals or the EMS divisions or reports and updates,” the new site will be more accessible to the public, according to Washington.
The project also brings upgraded technology to the department, he said.
“We’ll have more technology in this new facility,” Washington said. “Our goal is that we’ll transition many of our papered functions to paperless functions.”
And the new site will have more accommodations for the fire district’s dogs, with carpeting and other facilities suited to the regular presence of dogs, some of whom will be headquartered at the site.
A firefighters’ memorial is also planned for the new headquarters at some point in the future.
The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District operates 48 fire stations and seven paid-call/volunteer fire stations. It has 1,060 employees, including more than 760 firefighters.
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