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FIRE STATION on Oak Grove Avenue

Original post made by Jim, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Aug 7, 2014

I've read in the newspaper that the Fire District may have to close their Downtown Fire Station #6 located on Oak Grove Avenue, corner of Hoover Street, that in part, serves the DOWNTOWN AREA. That station is very, very old and is falling apart before our eyes. It was built in 1953, not long after the city was incorporated in 1927. The Downtown Fire Station needs to be modernized to meet current codes and fire safety standards.

If the station closes, what will be left to primarily serve the downtown area is Fire Station #1 on Middlefield Road and the Fire Station #4 on Alameda de las Pulgus. Quite frankly, by the time these firefighters arrive, it could be curtains for many. Old wood structures commonly found in the downtown area, without fire sprinkler systems, could burn very quickly - and take neighboring properties with them.

I'm not sure what the solution is. However, the City Council, as leaders in our community, needs to help find an answer. There is much at stake. I trust that they will spend the time reviewing the options and using their best judgment to find ways to safeguard our community.

For more information on this important matter, please refer to the Fire District Staff Report, dated June 30, 2014 and consisting of 32 pages, shown below.

Web Link

For more information on the Oak Grove Avenue fire station, refer to the web page shown below.

Web Link

This may be a complex issue, but nevertheless an important one that begs for a solution.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Staff Reports correctly states why the Fire Board decided to look for alternative sites to continue to fulfill its responsibility to serve the downtown area:

"In the event that the City makes the determination that the Initiative applies to the Station 6 Project, the District would either have to contest that determination in court or obtain voter approval for the Station 6 Project. This would delay the Project by at least six months to a year and cost the District approximately $95,000 in election costs."

Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Few seem to be concerned about a Fire Station until they have a fire, or a medical emergency. When that happens, time is of the essence and there is no better way to respond then to be located near-by.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is exactly what the Fire Board decided regarding Station 6:

"Upon motion by Director Carpenter, seconded by Director Silano, the Board hereby determines that since the City of Menlo Park is unwilling to proceed expeditiously regarding Station 6 that no additional expenditures will be made to rebuild Station 6 at its current location and the District will consider alternate locations. (Vote: 3-0-1; Abstain: Kiraly; Absent: Bernstein)"

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

This is good example of a non-collaborative working relationship between the FD and City. Woodside FD and Woodside and Portola Valley and Central County FD and Hillsborough and Burlingame don't seem to have these issues. The City needs to get its act together so the FD can manage its station upgrades.

Most cities the size of MP have a fire station that can adequately serve and is located in the downtown area. Station 6 needs to be updated and "George" reflects what some people believe. History has proven that one is needed in this area.

Also, having a fire station in the downtown area attracts 'visitors' as they walk by, especially children who want to see the big red fire trucks.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

As a comparison go look at the new Station 2 being built on University Ave in East Palo Alto.
The planning for the East Palo Alto station and its 100 ft antenna started at the same time as the planning for the Menlo Park Station 6 replacement. The 100 ft antenna, which allows the Fire District to have line of sight communications with most of the bay area, was completed a year ago - and would never have been allowed in Menlo Park. And the East Palo Alto station will be completed by the end of this year.

In the meantime the Fire District is still looking for an acceptable site in Menlo Park that the city is willing to approve.

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