Loudoun County’s Combined Fire-Rescue Service celebrated of its newest and long-delayed fire station off Northstar Boulevard near Braddock Road.
The Kirkpatrick Farms fire station is on land proffered by the developers of Kirkpatrick West. Construction began August 2016, and was originally scheduled to be finished in winter 2017. The work on the project lagged behind schedule, and eventually the county government fired the contractor in summer of last year with the station mostly finished—but according to the county, not with an acceptable quality of work.
The station was finally finished and turned over to the fire-rescue system in April, and began operation on May 30. System Chief Keith H. Johnson said within 27 minutes of going live, the station crews were out on a call, and as of early this week had already responded to 104 calls.
“Today’s a milestone in the history of our Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue,” Johnson said. “For me, it’s quite the honor to be a chief and opening a new fire station. I don’t know how many chiefs around the country get to say that.” He said while some fire-rescue departments are shrinking and laying off staff members, with taxpayer funding from the county Board of Supervisors, Loudoun’s department continues to grow.
He credited County Administrator Tim Hemstreet with getting the delayed station project back on track—“When things weren’t going quite right, it was his guidance and his leadership that got this project back on track.”
County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) and district Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) also spoke during the ceremony, and Randall read a letter from Sen. Mark Warner (D). She pointed out the station sits near the intersection of Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax counties and will answer calls in all three jurisdictions.
“You all are the front lines, saving lives in Loudoun County, and we just cannot thank you enough,” Buffington said. “There are so many in our county, and especially around this particular station, that rely on you to provide first responder service. You will be their best friend on their worst day.”
“We owe a great deal of gratitude to our elected leaders, county leadership, and all of our fire and rescue staff for all of their efforts,” Johnson said.
The station, Number 27, houses a fire engine, tanker, and Advanced Life Support ambulance in a quickly-growing part of Loudoun. It has a daily staffing of at least seven people, LED lighting, geothermal heating and cooling, a commercial kitchen, and is designed for maximum sunlight and views inside.