ROSELAND — The finishing touches are being added to the brand new $2.1 million Sebastian Fire Station — even though the station is not located in Sebastian — as county officials work to complete the inspections and obtain their certificate of occupancy.
The station has been moved one mile north of the city into Roseland and is located on Roseland Boulevard. Yet, the station’s location does not seem to cause concern for Sebastian Mayor Richard Gillmor.
In fact, he said that the station’s location would probably serve the city better than had it been located on U.S. 1 in the city.
Fire Station No. 9 had to be rebuilt after the hurricanes of 2004, according to Ed Prime, assistant chief in support services for Indian River County Fire Rescue. In the last six months, the station has responded to 1,026 calls for service, according to Fire Rescue.
“The hurricanes were a mixed blessing,” Prime said, noting that many of the stations were two decades old or older and had been built for fewer firefighters and smaller engines.
“It was time to start replacing some of these stations,” he said.
Fire Rescue officials found nine potential sites in and around the city to replace Station No. 9. Prime said that unlike the four other stations the department replaced, the Sebastian station’s property was too small for the new prototype station.
The department tried to site the station near Sebastian City Hall but the council at the time chose not to approve the location. According to Prime, the council did not want the station located west of the railroad tracks for fear of delayed response times due to train traffic.
Since the 2004 hurricanes, Station No. 9 has been operating out of a doublewide FEMA trailer.
“I’m glad it’s almost ready,” Mayor Gillmor said of the new station.
Prime said that the new station will continue to serve the same area it had served at its U.S. 1 location. The response time to the south end of the city might be extended by a minute or two, depending on traffic conditions, the chief said.
The station, once complete, will be able to withstand wind speeds up to 150 mph — which are associated with Category 4 hurricanes — and will be self-sufficient for a week to 10 days with a gas-powered generator.
The original station was the Sebastian Volunteer Station and had been a 2-story structure on a sand ridge along U.S. 1. The county purchased the building from the volunteers and retrofitted it to accommodate 24-7 staffing.
The new station will have a 5-member crew at all times rotating on three shifts – for a total of 15 firefighters, paramedics and lieutenants.