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Representatives from 11 Sandy Springs neighborhoods stopped by the nearly completed Fire Station No. 2 to present a large gas barbecue grill they funded for firefighters who will be stationed there.
Fire Chief Keith Sanders gave a tour to the neighbors and explained how the Fire Department works and what new tools have been installed at the new fire station to safeguard the firefighters’ health and better serve the city’s residents.
The Mountaire Springs Neighborhood Association invited other neighborhoods to join in funding the present for the firefighters at the station closest to their homes.
Twelve firefighters will be stationed out of the building in a single shift, Sanders said. Shifts are 24 hours on, and 48 hours off.
The fire chief had equipment installed in the new fire station to help clean and decontaminate the equipment – and the firefighters. He said science shows that once firefighters have cleaned themselves and gone through decontamination, they still have carcinogens from fire scenes on their bodies. A one-person sauna with an exercise bicycle inside can help with that.
“It’s not mandatory, but if you get in here for 10 minutes, get it to the temperature and break a sweat, you can disperse 90% of that toxicity out of your skin,” Sanders said.
He said he took these measures for one reason: he didn’t want to look a firefighter’s family in the eye without being able to say he did everything he could do to give them a chance to minimize the risk for cancer.
Training features prominently throughout the building, with one area able to use movable “walls” to create layouts like the homes and businesses firefighters may find themselves in, areas to practice rappelling, a fitness center and a rock wall to help with hand strength.
A three-day open house will be scheduled soon to enable the public to take a tour of the new station, located at the corner of Johnson Ferry Road and Sandy Springs Circle.
Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers. More by Bob Pepalis