Washougal needs a new station to ensure our residents continue to receive adequate fire and emergency medical services as we continue to grow. The current Fire Station 43 facility has outlived its useful life and cannot be modified to accommodate the needs required of a modern fire station. Ongoing maintenance costs in the long-term will exceed the short-term costs of a new building.
More specifically, the current building:
- Frequently floods with stormwater, so firefighters use sandbags year-round to block some of it. Structural damage has occurred from flooding over the years.
- Intermittently has sewage backups.
- Doesn’t have a dedicated space for decontaminating clothing and gear after responding to a fire — which risks firefighters’ health and safety due to carcinogen exposure.
- Lacks an exhaust system for fire engines to maintain healthy air quality.
- Would not withstand a significant earthquake.
- Lacks space for additional firefighters/EMS personnel to meet growing demands.
- Lacks mandated safety clearances around equipment.
- Lacks facilities for a diverse workforce (male/female changing rooms) to be consistent with diversity, equity and inclusion guidelines.
- Lacks private medical screening and treatment area for walk-ins and drive-ins.
The building also doesn’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for public access and lacks a public restroom.