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Godfrey Fire Protection District Celebrates Consolidated Engine House and Administrative Headquarters

The new facility brings all firefighters under one roof for improved emergency response


Trustee Gerard Fischer, community members and elected officials led the ribbon cutting and welcomed the public to Godfrey’s new fire station. (Left to right) IL Sen. Erica Harriss, IL Rep. Amy Elik, Village of Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick, GFPD Trustee / President Gerard Fischer, GFPD Trustee / Treasurer Jack Leonard, GFPD Trustee / Vice-President Matthew Horn and GFPD Fire Chief Eric Cranmer.


On Saturday, April 6, Trustee Gerard Fischer and Fire Chief Eric Cranmer led the community and elected officials in celebrating the grand opening of Godfrey Fire Protection District’s (GFPD) consolidated engine house and administrative headquarters. Located in Godfrey, Illinois, GFPD was operating out of two separate fire houses while providing emergency medical services, emergency management, various forms of rescue and public education, and responding to 2,400 calls for service per year. The new facility brings all firefighters under one roof in a central location and responds to the needs of the GFPD with modern and energy-efficient facilities that will reduce the cost of repair and replacement over time.  


Godfrey Fire Protection District’s new consolidated engine house and administrative headquarters brings all firefighters under one roof in a central location for better emergency response.


“We all want to live in safe communities… and to support our first responders who keep us safe,” said State Representative Amy Elik at the ceremony. “…[It] is clear today that the citizens and elected officials of Godfrey support our firefighters with this beautiful building.”  

GFPD Trustee / President Gerard Fischer and Village of Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick (behind podium) look on as Fire Chief Eric Cranmer addresses the audience celebrating the grand opening.


A Flexible, Modern and Sustainable Design Made for Longevity 

The design for the firehouse provides flexible, durable space with a dual-purpose training room that accommodates both District and community use. The facility features drive-through bays large enough for modern fire apparatus and an adjacent living quarters with multiple bunk rooms, a well-appointed kitchen, patio and day room, an exercise facility, administrative and shift offices and ample storage. A branded entryway highlights the public entrance and separates staff access to facilitate wayfinding for the public and visitors while maintaining security. 


The building envelope is designed for high performance, employing thermal doors and insulated glazing on the apparatus bays, while highly energy-efficient HVAC and control systems combined with low-power lighting, appliances and equipment throughout minimize electrical costs. Technology and display systems installed by Feathershark across all areas of the facility deliver real-time data about calls for service and provide opportunities for sharing information and collaborating, which supports enhanced emergency response by GFPD crews and contributes to the situational awareness of firefighters and staff.


A prominent glass corner and a red-framed entry door signal the public face of the facility and the access point for visitors. 


Notable to modern firehouses, FGMA’s design for the facility exemplifies the principles of zoning to affect contaminant control and reduce the risk of cancer to GFPD personnel.  Elements critical to firefighting operations such as bunker gear and lockers, breathing air tanks and filling equipment, and even the ice maker are located next to the apparatus bay for convenience – yet are isolated from ultraviolet light and vehicle exhausted-areas of the facility to ensure that they do not present a secondary health hazard nor degrade prematurely. A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and gear washing room allows crews to follow zoning best practices for decontamination while doubling as a community tornado shelter. Decontamination facilities also include hand-washing, showering and gear-cleaning points for crew returning from a fire or hazardous chemical clean-up and before entering their living quarters.  

 

The new facility’s four drive-through apparatus bays forego the traditional back-in design, allowing GFPD Engineers greater safety and mobility when responding to or returning from a call. Additionally, four and a half double deep apparatus bays allow for all District apparatus – which had previously been kept in two distinct locations – to now be housed in one safe, accessible, modern and energy-efficient consolidated location. This includes not only the large ladder, engine and rescue vehicles, but also command vehicles, trailers and other key rolling stock and equipment such as a mobile gear dryer, training props and hose. A high-performance epoxy resin floor installed by All-American Painting and linear trench drains throughout the bays aid in maintenance and upkeep of the utilitarian apparatus room.   


The new facility’s drive-through apparatus bays forego the traditional back-in design, allowing GFPD Engineers greater safety and efficiency when responding to or returning from a call.


We Build Community: FGMA Hired as Trusted Partner for GFPD and Village Planning 

Faced with the challenge of improving emergency response time and using resources more efficiently, GFPD entrusted FGMA to complete an assessment and planning study to determine the best course of action. The two previous locations were of 1960’s-era construction and in unserviceable condition, representing a maintenance and upkeep liability in the long term. They also could not provide occupancy for firefighter crews and likewise offered insufficient space to properly house all District operations and apparatus. The need for new facilities was soon established, with a particular focus on the multi-faceted value to both GFPD and the Village of Godfrey of consolidating District operations into a single, central location. 


The design team then worked with GFPD to develop a building concept that would provide the greatest service as a robust base of operations for 50-plus years. In parallel, GFPD and the Village of Godfrey collaborated to identify land for potential development as a central location for GFPD to provide timely emergency response services. Once a potential site was identified, FGMA test-fit the building concept and all support structures (including a communications tower, fuel island and a master-planned training tower and storage outbuilding) on the site and advised on its most efficient use. As original funding had been secured prior to COVID-19 and its adverse effects on material, labor and overall construction cost, FGMA also worked with the project team on value engineering and document bid alternates to keep the project within budget while responding to the current market. 


(Left to right) FGMA’s Brennan Hartin, Heather Budwell and Joshua N. Mandell joined GFPD in celebrating the grand opening.


The project benefitted from a very positive partnership between the Village of Godfrey and GFPD, with the Village and the design team working together on behalf of GFPD to streamline the selection, vetting and zoning approval of the pivotal building site. FGMA’s Joshua N. Mandell, Brennan Hartin and Heather Budwell joined project collaborators Northstar Management and S. M. Wilson & Co. to tour and celebrate the completed facility with the GFPD team on the day of the grand opening – and offer a hearty congratulations to all involved. 

 

Learn more: 

  • View FGMA’s full public safety design portfolio here. 

  • Read more coverage on the ribbon cutting here


FGMA's Commitment to Sustainable Design

FGMA’s commitment to sustainable design is long-standing as evidenced by the LEED and WELL Building Standard accredited professionals on staff and the internal Resilient Design Committee established to cross-pollinate these practices firmwide. The firm is an active participant in the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment, a national initiative committed to a transforming the practice of architecture and helping to ensure a sustainable future.


Read more information about sustainable initiatives at FGMA and design for resilient communities here.

 

 

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