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Your Blueprint for the Most Effective Public-Safety Facility
Planning for the future of your fire department in these tough economic times is a monumental task. But now is a good time to learn how to prevent expensive errors in site location, the design phase and construction. The eighth annual Station Style Conference promises to take fire and public-safety facilities from initial concept and site selection through construction and sustainability, giving attendees a blueprint for success.
- Powerful three-day program delivered by industry experts and fire service personnel
- Diverse topics to address the needs of emergency service leaders, city managers, architects and more
- Multiple networking receptions and expanded exhibitor space and time
- Targeted pre-conference tracks to extend your learning
- Tour of Phoenix area fire station and training facility
- Golf tournament at Arizona Grand Golf Course
- Hotel conveniently located six miles from the Phoenix Airport
Wednesday, April 10 - Saturday, April 13, 2013
Arizona Grand Resort
8000 South Arizona Grand Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Station Style Conference Teaches Chief Valuable Lessons About More Than Just Station Design
First-time attendee Chief Jim Kitchens of the Lucas (Texas) Fire Department explains why anyone wanting to become a fire chief needs to attend the Station Style Conference — and why he is glad he attended in time to repair what he has done so far.
Why the Station Style Conference is a Must
By Chief Mark Wallace
Every year, someone asks me, "Why do you want to attend the Station Style Conference again this year? It's not like you're new at building fire stations?" Every year, I answer the same way: A fire chief doesn't get many opportunities to build a new station. I attend the conference because I want to make sure that my next fire station is as good as it can be.
Building a fire station is a low-frequency, high-risk proposition. It requires — no, demands — more training, more attention to detail and more research. There's no easy do-over for a missed critical component or incorrect measurement. We've all heard horror stories about departments that found their newly delivered engine or aerial was too tall or too long, or had a turning radius too wide to use the drive-through bay of a just-completed fire station. Are there best practices, tools or checklists that can departments help avoid errors?
Departments must build fire stations that meet growing needs yet fit within the budget of the community. Stations should provide firefighters — who will be spending up to a third of their lives working at the fire station — with comfort, functionality and safety. Often the community's aesthetics or architectural standards also factor into the new fire station's design and style. How can you best meet all these standards?
Building a new fire station is a very expensive endeavor. Most communities feel some sticker shock when the bids are opened. How do you know how much your budget request should be and why? How do you know that what you are being told by your local architect or internal construction cost "expert" is reasonable?
The Station Style Conference can answer these questions and more.
If you consider the total cost of building a new fire station today against the cost of gathering more insight and information by attending the Station Style Conference, you will find that it is worth the relatively low cost to network with experienced fire chiefs who have built numerous stations; with other fire officers who are preparing to build their first fire station; with architects who willingly make themselves available to "show you the ropes" or answer your questions as well as give you their best advice; and, with quality product suppliers/vendors anxious to show off what they have available. I see it as an investment in the critical knowledge, skills and abilities — I learn more each time I attend.
The fire stations we build today and tomorrow will be expected to function efficiently and effectively. The brass plaque at the entrance will forever list the city council members, the city manager, the fire chief, the architect and the construction company that were responsible for the approval, design, construction and usefulness of that station. What will the community and its firefighters have to say about the station long after you have retired?
Can what you learn at the Station Style Conference positively affect their answers? It can — but only if you attend.
Mark Wallace, MPA, EFO, CFO, MIFireE, CEM, is the fire chief of the McKinney (Texas) Fire Department, a member of FIRE CHIEF magazine's Editorial Advisory Board, and a previous panel member for "Experience Speaks" for the Station Style Conference.