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FairfaxDedication of fire station ushers in new era in Tysons

Dedication of fire station ushers in new era in Tysons

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The eastern edge of Tysons, home to many burgeoning new development projects, now has a nearby Fire and Rescue Department station to keep it safe.

Fairfax County officials on Sept. 18 held the grand opening for Tysons East Fire Station No. 44 (Scotts Run Fire Station), which is designed to be friendly both to the environment and neighbors.

The station, which became fully operational Aug. 14, had been in planning for a decade, said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D). It is the county’s 39th fire-and-rescue station, which indicates the importance that supervisors and residents place on public safety, he said.

“We can have the best assets in the world, the best equipment, the best stations, but it’s really our people that make Fairfax County excel,” McKay said. “Taking care of each and every one of you remains my highest priority.”

The Scotts Run station will be an important piece of the public-safety puzzle as the county continues its long-term transformation of Tysons from a suburban office center to an “urban lifestyle” community, he said.

The state-of-the-art station has modern technology and a well-appointed kitchen, said Supervisor Dalia Palchik (D-Providence). County officials will ensure the facility has proper staffing, support, equipment and training to be effective, she said.

The county also will build Station 29 on the other side of Tysons to further protect the public, Palchik said.

Located on 4.15 acres at 1766 Old Meadow Lane, Station 44 was financed and built by Cityline Partners LLC as a proffer for its Scotts Run Station South mixed-use redevelopment project.

The two-story, 15,150-square-foot station will operate 24 hours per day. It has three single-loaded truck bays, administrative offices, operational-support areas and living quarters for up to 12 crew members per shift.

A 35-foot-wide transitional-screening area shields the station from nearby multi-family residences, and the building has no exterior speakers. Fire and Rescue Department officials have pledged to use vehicle-mounted sirens and air horns sparingly in the vicinity.

A Cityline Partners official said the company “assembled a great team to design and construct the station,” including Trinity Group Construction.

“Building in a pandemic from basically from start to finish was challenging, but we collectively were able to overcome those challenges with flair,” the representative said.

Chris Herrington, who on July 12 became the new director of the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, said he had “absolutely nothing to do” with the station’s creation, but was proud to participate in its dedication.

Herrington’s department managed the station’s construction, but several other county agencies also played crucial roles in the project, he said. For example, the department coordinated with the Fairfax County Park Authority to build restrooms at the site that will be used by patrons of a future adjacent athletic field.

The facility has been designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, Herrington said.

The site uses low-impact development practices to lessen stormwater runoff, has energy-efficient systems to lower operating costs and is built with materials that promote better indoor-air quality, he added.

“I think maybe the only thing we forgot was the doghouse and dalmatian,” Herrington said.

The station’s development reflects Tysons’ rapid growth and its concomitant demand for public-safety services, said Fire Chief John Butler. Tysons, with its growing number of high-rise buildings, presents unique challenges for first responders, he said.

Butler then gathered the assembled dignitaries and station personnel for the traditional hose-uncoupling ceremony. The group held up a pair of long, white, connected firehoses and McKay and Butler unscrewed the hoses’ metal couplings to officially declare that the station was in service.

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