Last Thursday, the Chattanooga Fire Department (CFD) marked a significant milestone as they broke ground on a state-of-the-art fire station in the Eastdale community. The long-awaited project, known as Station 15, will replace the outdated facility and ensure firefighters have the resources they need to serve the growing population effectively. This development comes under the leadership of Mayor Tim Kelly, highlighting his commitment to progress and public safety.
The existing Station 15, constructed in 1960, has become obsolete and no longer meets the needs of the CFD. The new fire station, built by Robert Roberts LLC at a cost of $4.3 million, will be constructed on the same footprint after the old station is demolished.
District 9 Councilwoman Demetrius Coonrod, representing portions of the Eastdale community, expressed her excitement about the project, stating, “This new fire station will have more space and better technology to ensure firefighters have the resources to do their job to the maximum ability. It’s a sign of progress, resilience, and hope for the future.”
The upgraded Station 15 will feature a two-bay, 9,500 square foot building, replacing the current single-bay setup. This expansion will accommodate additional personnel and apparatus, enabling further growth of the fire department to meet the city’s increasing population demands. The new facility will include essential amenities such as a kitchen, living area, sleeping rooms, showers, locker rooms and a gym, providing firefighters with a more comfortable and functional working environment.
The CFD command staff has been advocating for a new Station 15 for several years, and their efforts have finally paid off with the support of the City Council and Mayor Kelly’s administration. The department secured the necessary capital funding for the project, demonstrating a commitment to enhancing public safety.
During the construction period, Engine 15 and the personnel from Fire Station 15 will be temporarily relocated to Station 6 on Bonny Oaks Drive. This measure ensures uninterrupted service to the community while the new fire station is being built.
Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing its significance for the department’s future. He stated, “We are thrilled to see the Station 15 project moving forward, and we are so grateful for the support from our city leaders. It will create a much better working environment for our firefighters and is what the CFD needs as we look to the future of our department and our city.”
Recognizing the importance of maintaining fast response times during the construction phase, Chattanooga city leaders have taken steps to facilitate efficient emergency services in Station 15’s response area. Stop lights have been installed in the Wilcox Tunnel, allowing fire trucks to pass through and reducing travel time to emergencies. This collaborative effort between the CFD, the Chattanooga Department of Transportation (CDOT), and the Department of Technology Services will significantly enhance the department’s ability to reach incidents promptly. The new Fire Station 15 will serve as a model for future fire station designs as the CFD continues to address the city’s growing service needs. Plans are already underway for a new location in Black Creek, and nine new firefighter positions have been added to the department to ensure sufficient coverage and fire protection in that area. Additional personnel are expected to be allocated in future budget years.