County leaders on Nov. 4 celebrated the opening of the new Lucketts Fire and Rescue Station, which was constructed to replace the 60-year-old volunteer-built station next door.
The $14 million, 18,000-square-foot building is located on a 14-acre lot along Lucketts Road. The station, designed to LEED Gold energy conservation standards, includes four pull-through apparatus bays, seven two-person bunk rooms, a training room, restrooms, showers, kitchen and dining areas, supply storage, a gear and hose drying area, fitness room, offices, and a repair shop.
The combined career and volunteer staff serves a 40-square-mile first due area in northeastern Loudoun.
Chief of the Combined Fire and Rescue System Keith Johnson noted that the previous volunteer-owned station opened in 1960 with crews working with a 1949 International pumper.
A fourth-generation firefighter, Johnson said he understands the importance of volunteers in building the emergency response system and continuing today working alongside career staff members.
“We owe it to the history and dedication of all the volunteers of Loudoun County. There was no paid service back then. It all started with volunteers serving their community. And whether you are career or volunteer you are serving the community—it doesn’t matter. We all work together each and every day,” Johnson said.
While much has changed in the fire service during the six decades, he said the need for the new station isn’t simply to provide bigger bays for modern equipment. He said there now is a greater focus on crew safety, with decontamination systems and other health measures.
“They don’t have the lifesaving things we need to protect ourselves and that’s the reason we’re building new fire stations,” he said. “Not because they look old or are too small, that’s not the reason. It’s for the health and safety or our members.”
County Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) and Supervisor Caleb Kershner (R-Catoctin) praised both the work of fire-rescue crews and the Lucketts community for working on the design and location of the new station.
“It was truly a community effort,” Kershner said.
“Your station is incredible. Everyone who works here is incredible,” Randall said.
Johnson noted that the opening of a new fire station is a rarity in most communities; not so in Loudoun. Just a week earlier, the original Sterling Fire-Rescue Station was razed as construction began on a replacement.
“There are fire chiefs who never get to open a fire station with a grand opening,” Johnson said. “I’m blessed. I think this is my third one since my time in Loudoun and we’ve got nine more [construction] projects—whether it is the training academy or new fire stations.”
In addition to Sterling Park, the county is working to build new stations in Aldie and Philomont. Voters last week authorized bond financing to support construction of a new station in southern Leesburg