BELGRADE — According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, 70 percent of line-of-duty deaths among firefighters were caused by cancer in 2016.
Central Valley Fire Chief, Ron Lindroth says their newest fire hall in Belgrade, near the airport, is receiving national attention for its cutting-edge design to help reduce exposure to carcinogens.
“This particular fire station will most likely receive several national awards for the progressive thought on firefighter health and safety,” said Lindroth.
One innovative step the station took in creating the design was to build a separate decontamination unit.
“So we have a whole separate building where the trucks are washed, decontaminated with all the equipment so when the trucks actually come in here, we are not bring those carcinogens into their workspace,” said Lindroth.
And negative air pressure in different parts of the station vents contaminants outdoors and away from the firefighters.
“You’re never 100 percent clean. So what we’ve done is design these special storage room for all their gear that is very negative pressure.”
“It’s constantly pulling fresh air from the outside and pulling potentially contaminated air out.”
The Central Valley Fire Department’s new station also stands for its time-saving design.
“These particular doors were designed to open up quickly, but they open up to the side. So they open up in 4 seconds compared to about 12 or 14 seconds of the traditional roll-up door,” said the fire chief.
Lindroth says implementing healthy and efficient practices over time is good for the station, firefighters and the community.