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Week in Great Falls

Great Falls Fire Station to Open March 10

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will host a grand opening of Fire and Rescue Station 12, Great Falls, Saturday, March 10, at 11 a.m., 9916 Georgetown Pike. The grand opening ceremony of the new station will culminate with the traditional "hose uncoupling," with the help of Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, John Foust, Dranesville Supervisor, Ronald Mastin, Fire Chief, Franklin Smith III, Volunteer Chief, and Joan Bliss, Volunteer President.

The 18,700 square-foot, drive-through, four-bay station, blends in with the rural Great Falls area and was constructed with the environment and energy savings as a priority, using recycled glass, heated apparatus bay floors, waterless urinals, earth covered roofs with water absorbing ground cover, and using natural light effectively. The unique dark brown, steel bay doors are bi-folding, and can be moved easily manually, a first of its kind in the county. The station is being submitted for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

The previous station was built in 1960, and was undersized for current personnel, apparatus, and did not readily support the functional specialty of swift water rescue operations for the Great Falls area. It also did not meet county and state fire standards, and many of the building systems were rapidly failing. The station now has adequate quarters for women, and boasts a waste septic system instead of a pump and haul operation.

Construction of the $12 million station began in December 2010; the station went operational on Nov. 17, 2011. Station apparatus includes a fire engine, tanker, advanced life support unit, two swift water rescue boats, and brush truck.

Residents are invited to the grand opening and hose uncoupling, refreshments will be provided, with tours of the station and apparatus conducted by firefighters.