$11 million going to LFR to replace and renovate outdated fire stations

Lincoln's most outdated fire station will be taken down and replaced due to structural and safety concerns.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The city of Lincoln is committing $11 million dollars to repairing and replacing old fire stations.

This includes Fire Station 8, off of Van Dorn Street, which is considered to be the most outdated fire station in town.

“Fire Station 8, it is the the worst facility that we have, and is in dire need of replacement,” LFR Chief Dave Engler said.

Engler explains that the fire station was built in the 1950s on top of a cistern, or a water storage tank. Over time, that concrete has degraded. In fact, Engler says that due to the degradation of the cistern, the parking lot directly above it is unusable, as it would be at risk of collapsing.

Other issues include cracks in the walls, cabinets that are falling apart, a narrow staircase that makes it challenging for emergency personnel to respond quickly to a fire, and only one small upstairs bathroom for female employees.

“We all work together as a team but at times it would be nice to have a little privacy to yourself,” Desiree Lutes, who works at Fire Station 8, said.

“All those things combined shows that that it’s really time to replace this station and have a nicer facility for our people,” Engler said.

Station 8 will be taken down and replaced, with remaining money going towards modernizing other stations.

“We want safe facilities, we want to focus on rapid responses,” Engler said. “A lot of the older fire stations like this one really weren’t built with that in mind.”

The hope is these changes can help to quicken emergency response times and create a safer working environment for employees.

“We want to make sure we’re addressing the the gender equity, the safety and just the modern-day fire station amenities that are that are necessary to provide a comfortable working environment,” Engler said.

Engler says while the city and LFR are still in preliminary planning stages for the project, the goal is for a new station to be built within three years.

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