Construction may have taken only a year and a half, but the quest for a fire station in the Crosspointe area stretches back 20 years.
The brand new Crosspointe Fire and Rescue Station 41 celebrated its grand opening Saturday, July 21 with fanfare, guided tours and a traditional "uncoupling of the hose" ceremony, similar to a ribbon-cutting.
"One of the great responsibilities of local government is public safety," said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D-At-large) at Saturday's opening. "We've got to make sure everybody has got access to protection that is the best in the country." Introducing the soon-to-retire Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield), Connolly credited her with leading the 20-year effort to have a station built that would provide quality protection to the area.
"This is a very special day for me," said McConnell, noting that 13 locations had been examined for the station, "and none of seemed to be suitable until this piece of land became available." She also expressed her gratitude to the men and women who would man the station, asserting, "I know we have the best fire department in the country."
Following the ceremony, McConnell said she had pushed for the station because Fairfax County has a goal of a six-minute response time for emergency life-support services. "This area was not in the six-minute response time as often as it should be," she said.
Planning Commissioner Peter Murphy (Springfield) said residents had shared McConnell’s interest in opening station. "I would be remiss if I didn't thank the people from this community," he said, noting that citizens had "loudly, vocally" supported the station's construction. "That's not always the case," said Murphy.
Fire Department Capt. James Hendrick announced that the Crosspointe Fire Station applied for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and may be the first Fairfax County-owned building to be certified. He said the station's "green" features would allow it to use less energy and provide a healthier environment for the firefighters, as well as making it more environmentally friendly. Hendrick said one other county building is also applying for LEED certification, and the two are locked in a bit of a race.
McConnell said she had asked the Board of Supervisors for an economic study on the effectiveness of green building practices. "I want to be sure they're economically sound," she said.
AMONG THE STATION’S environmentally friendly features are natural lighting, energy-efficient climate control, recycled and nontoxic materials, reflective roofing materials, cork and bamboo floors, and wheatboard cabinets.
Illustrating the need for the station, Fire Chief Ronald Mastin noted that since it became operational on May 7, it has responded to over 100 emergencies in the area. "I want to remind the citizens, we're here to serve you," Mastin said. "Feel free to stop in." He added that the station will host an open house in the fall.
The station is a 14,800-square-foot building on almost six acres of land near the intersection of Ox and Hampton roads. It houses 39 personnel on three separate shifts and serves the communities of Hampton Woods, Crosspointe, Virginia Estates, Southpointe, Lorfax Heights and Lorton.