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Station 3 is now official

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By The Staff

Appreciation marked the faces of Los Alamos firefighters as officials and members of the public joined them Wednesday for the grand opening of White Rock Fire Station 3. Local, state and federal representatives took part in the late afternoon event.“This is just a wonderful occasion and I want to say thank you very much because we needed this facility,” Fire Chief Douglas MacDonald told the large crowd gathered in front of the state-of-the-art station. “This station is a reality thanks to County Administrator Max Baker and the firefighters, and thanks to Jeannette Wallace and the firefightersee and thanks to the county councilors and the firefightersee”The idea for a new fire station had been turned down several times, Baker said, adding he was glad it finally passed and is completed. He thanked the folks at Los Alamos National Laboratory, DOE, NNSA and the county councilors for their efforts on the project. “There’s been some criticism of the size of this fire station and I don’t think I’m going to apologize for that – this is built for the future, not for today.”On behalf of Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, Veronica Rodriguez thanked all involved and said the new station is the “perfect way for the community to show support for the firefighters”, adding that Domenici’s land transfer efforts made the project possible.On behalf of Rep. Tom Udall D-N.M., Field Representative Matt Miller said the congressman was delighted with the new facility. “White Rock deserves this and the firefighters deserve this,” he said.Rep. Jeannette Wallace R-Los Alamos, Sandoval County and Santa Fe congratulated and thanked all involved. Public Regulation Commission Chair Ben Lujan also expressed his support of the project.County councilors, Jim West, Fran Berting, Robert Gibson, Jim Hall and Ken Milder joined in the ceremony.Tours of the 33,000 square-foot facility revealed a comfortable kitchen and living area, a study room and library. There also is a conference and training room, which can accommodate up to 50 people, including hands-on demonstration space.A command center adjacent to the conference room is designed to function as an alternative emergency operations center. The design of the station incorporates many aspects for a “green building”, including low water use landscaping and other energy efficient features such as in-floor radiant heating. Other special features include an infection control room, SCBA room, and advanced communications and alert systems.The mission of the White Rock Fire Station project is to provide paramedic and fire services for White Rock neighborhoods and LANL.The previous White Rock Fire Station was more than 40 years old and became decrepit. It was never designed to support the functions required of a modern public safety and emergency facility.The new site is located on five acres of land transferred from DOE to Los Alamos County, near the intersection of Rover Blvd. and N.M. 4.The station is designed to last 50 years and house 16 firefighters and four officers, with five apparatus bays. The $11,050,986 project came in under schedule and under budget. The project began in May 2006 and was completed in October.