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Longboat Key Monday, Sep. 20, 2021 9 months ago

Longboat's north-end fire station renovations get completed

Many of the same features that went into the rebuilding of the south-end station were part of $800,000 project.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

The renovations to  Longboat Key’s north-end fire station are not as elaborate as the complete rebuild of the southside fire station, but $807,000 renovations transformed Station 91 with many of the same up to date features as the new building. 

The Longboat Observer got a tour of the upgraded facilities.

Public entrance
Fire Station 91's entrance has a waiting area for the public. Here Fire Chief Paul Dezzi is pictured next to Fire Rescue liaison Raymond Burger.

The public entrance on the southwest corner of the fire station has a doorbell and a waiting room.

“We have a lot of people, citizens that will come in, and so we wanted to make sure we separated the office staff,” said Fire Chief Paul Dezzi. 

There are also photos on the wall of the department's men and women.

Treatment room
Fire Station 91's treatment room helps evaluate whether a patient needs simple medical care or needs to go to the hospital.

“This was our report room and treatment room,” Dezzi said. “Now it is our EMS medication area as well as a treatment room.”

The room also features a machine where firefighters can enter their work identification number to access medications they might need to administer to patients such as Benadryl or epinephrine. It also includes heart and respiratory medication.

Garage doors and ventilation system
Fire Station 91 painted its roof blue to keep bugs out. The station also got new garage doors.

The reason the renovations at Fire Station 91weren’t done sooner is the town experienced a delay in the delivery of garage doors because of a manufacturing disruption at a plant in Texas. It’s what prompted the later opening of Fire Station 92 at 2162 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

The ventilation system is one of several ways the fire station is designed to combat carcinogens.

Also, the ceiling of the garage is now blue to help keep bugs out. It’s a change the north-end fire station made several months ago.

Fire Station 91's classroom received a new coat of paint. The room can seat 25 people.

The classroom fits up to 25 people for training, meetings, public announcements and interviews.

“We’ve always had this classroom here,” Fire Chief Paul Dezzi said. “We have chairs, a desk, podium and TV.”

The room got a new coat of paint.

Locker-room style storage for individual fire equipment
Each firefighter has an area marked with a nameplate to store individual equipment.

Firefighters store their individual equipment in a locker-room style, air-conditioned room. Members of Fire Station 91 have a nameplate marking the area where they can put their equipment.

This room also features the same drying machinery as Fire Station 92 to dry firefighters’ equipment.

Red, yellow and green system for returning firefighters to re-enter the station
Fire Station 91 requires firefighters and paramedics to wash their gear when returning from a call to remove possible carcinogens.

Like the south-end fire station, Fire Station 91 also has a new system as part of an initiative of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

The decontamination area allows firefighters returning from a call to clean and shower to do their best to remove possible carcinogens.

However, the north-end station does not have an exterior shower. It requires firefighters to take a longer shower once they’re inside after stripping their gear and putting it into the wash.

Five bedrooms and three bathrooms for firefighters
Firefighter-paramedic William Lewis and firefighter-parameic Ron Koper sit inside one of Fire Station 91's bedrooms.

Each bedroom has a desk, a twin bed and a locker for each of the department’s three shifts. 

Dezzi mentioned the importance of being able to separate the men and women of the department, which the town didn’t do before the renovations.

“Plus, it gives each firefighter an area to study,” Dezzi said.

Lieutenant’s office with bedroom and en-suite bathroom
While the lieutenant’s room is similar to the five bedrooms for firefighters, it has an en-suite bathroom.

The lieutenant’s room is similar to the five bedrooms for firefighters. It features a bed, desk, lockers and a en-suite bathroom.

Extra gear storage room
Longboat Key Fire Rescue stores extra uniforms, jackets and gear in an air-conditioned room.

While firefighters’ equipment and gear dries, the Fire Rescue Department has an air-conditioned room with spare uniforms, jackets, pants and gear.

“This turned out really, really well,” Dezzi said. “A big accomplishment for us here.”

The clothing is organized by size, and it feels like a pro sports team store.

Kitchen and TV room
The Fire Station 91 kitchen has an island, a stovetop, a microwave, a dishwasher and two ovens.

The kitchen features three refrigerators and three pantries, one for each shift. It also has two ovens, a stovetop, a microwave and a dishwasher.

The room also has a wall-mounted big-screen TV with comfy red reclining chairs.

Fire Station 91's gym has plenty of machinery.

Fire Station 91’s fitness facility has a full squat rack with an Olympic bar, dumbbells, a treadmill, a stairclimber and plenty of other machinery.

However, perhaps the most competitive part of the gym might not even be which firefighter is most fit. The gym is also where the department stores its ping pong table. Fire Rescue personnel often set up the ping pong table in the garage area for bragging rights.

“That is their afternoon activity,” said Fire Rescue liaison and public information officer Tina Adams.

Report room 
Longboat Key Fire Rescue personnel use different kinds of equipment to communicate and receive information.

Longboat Key Fire Rescue personnel are required to file a report with the state after responding to a fire or an EMS call.

The area gives personnel a quiet area for their work.

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Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

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