FGM Architects provides industry-leading design services in the areas of safety, security and emergency response. With 7 locations across the United States and with over 160 experts, FGM Architects is recognized in the U.S. and internationally as a leader in disaster preparedness services.
LEWA is firmly rooted in the design of public safety facilities with more than 35 years of experience while FGMA brings more than 75 years of experience. We collaborate closely with law enforcement officers, firefighters, volunteers, training officers, and municipal administrators to address the latest trends and challenges in preparedness, and have participated in numerous training sessions and field exercises to gain first-hand knowledge of this uniquely demanding realm of civic service. Our principals and staff are recognized as thought leaders in the industry and popular speakers at national station design conferences. We serve as respected judges for national design awards programs and have written numerous articles over the last 15 years. We are dedicated to “serving those who serve others” and have pioneered design strategies for cancer reduction by contaminant control (Hot Zone Design) and improving behavioral health by reducing PTSD and suicide (Immersive Design). Our work is recognizable and distinctive because the safety, health and well-being of the crew is an essential aspect of every project we design. The knowledge and experience has been earned through LEWA and FGMA's combined 500 projects for more than 200+ public safety clients in the past 30 years. Together we offer a national reputation for leadership and design excellence in public safety facilities with more than 50 awards for design excellence.
PUBLIC SAFETY PROJECTS
PUBLIC SAFETY CLIENTS
Decreasing response times, firefighter health and safety and creating a comfortable “home” within each station are key drivers in fire station design. First responders put their lives at risk to protect our communities and FGMA makes sure they have the facilities and tools they need. We offer our clients a unique and tireless understanding of the fire service as it exists today and will become tomorrow. By designing stations that help impact the reduction of response times, provide a safe and healthy environment for firefighters and serve as a “home” for firefighters on duty, FGMA helps you realize your goal of saving lives. Helping you plan for the future is critical to the process. Our participation in fire service goes beyond station design—we are helping you look ahead to what you will need in the future and how fire service facilities and practices will evolve. We view all fire service capital projects from a strategic perspective to evaluate our clients’ needs, desires and goals, so we can take our clients’ departments to the next level of excellence. We believe that project success requires strong partnerships.
FIRE TRAINING FACILITIES
Stations can incorporate indoor and outdoor training activities and areas into the design of the building, if desired. We are often told that the “basic skills” are those needing the most attention and practice, and the ability to conduct drills in house is desirable. Anticipated call volume for the station should be taken into consideration to determine what type of training could be accomplished while at the station. To that end, on the interior of the building, mezzanines opening to apparatus bays can be outfitted with a variety of windows for ground ladder evolutions.
Stairways in hose towers can be designed for charged hose exercises, even allowing for water to be discharged if desired. Confined space training can be accommodated in specially designed chases connecting two stories of the building or chambers set below the slab. Exterior designs can include balconies for rappelling and ground ladder training drills.
FGMA’s brings a greater depth of knowledge to each new next project by learning something new from each department we work with and each successful station we complete. We not only learn through actual project experience but also by probing chiefs thoughts, studying law enforcement strategies and brainstorming new solutions. Some elements of good police station design are tried and true; like officer safety, making the public feel comfortable by utilizing CPTED design guidelines, understanding the multiple levels of station security, creating a functional path through the building for a patrol officer from the start of his/her shift to the conclusion as well as navigating through Department of Corrections and CALEA standards.
There are other items that are evolving, like the sophistication of evidence processing and handling—including safely and permanently storing the vast array of items connected with a case. The technology used in law enforcement has grown and finding effective ways to transport and store these tools in the vehicles and facility has become increasingly creative.
9-1-1 DISPATCH CENTERS
9-1-1 Dispatch Center Expertise. FGMA has extensive 9-1-1 experience. Our experience includes new construction and renovations. We have worked with many agencies who have built consolidated dispatch centers. We understand applicable codes and standards including NFPA 1221 Standard for the Installation, Maintenance and Use of Emergency Services Communications Systems; Motorola’s Standards and Guidelines for Communication Sites (R56 Standard); National Electrical Code Article 708, Critical Operations Power Systems; ICC 500/FEMA 361 Standards for Design of Storm Shelters; and applicable NENA documents. We know the amount of planning and coordination that is necessary to develop a successful project.
Facility Renovation Expertise. Renovation a 9-1-1 dispatch center requires a great degree of forethought due to the 365/24/7 critical nature of your work. We have experience in a wide variety of renovation projects including replacement of IT infrastructure, dispatch furniture reconfiguration and replacement, and electrical and HVAC system renovations. We know the amount of planning and coordination work that is necessary to ensure uninterrupted operations during the implementation of the renovation work.
Expertise in Designing for Health and Wellness. We fully recognize the impact of stress on telecommunicators and have been studying how we as architects can help promote health and wellness through the built environment. Our research has evolved over the years from the use of more traditional methods of reducing stress, such as the use of comfortable lounge furniture and break areas, to progressively working with brain experts to develop holistic sensory approaches to health and wellness. Furthermore, during this pandemic, we have been actively engaged in designing facilities to help prevent in the spread of viruses.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTERS
FGMA has designed many emergency operations centers (EOC) serving communities and counties. From convertible multi-purpose rooms integrated within a police, fire, or 9-1-1 facility to stand alone purpose built structures. Our designs have included operations centers with extensive audio-visual and communication capabilities, breakout rooms, storage and distribution spaces for PPE and medical supplies, administrative, and support spaces for serve staff for long term events. We believe in the following principles when designing an EOC. EOC events can vary widely, so operations space needs to be flexible and re-configurable to accommodate the scale of the event. The EOC must be able to support operations for extended durations during an emergency without interruption. The EOC must be designed to operate through severe weather events and have redundant critical power and HVAC systems. Ensuring EOC staff are safe and secure during operations is of critical importance. The facility needs to be designed to protect staff, equipment, and supplies guard against potential risks and protect operations from relevant threats and hazards.
FGMA works closely with emergency management agencies (EMA) and emergency management staff to assess needs and identify risks for potential emergency events that may occur. We can assist in identifying facility needs, conducting risk assessments to determine essential facilities criteria, site selection, and facility design.