After delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fire Station 100 in Hermosa Beach is fully operational after nearly $2 million in renovations to the nearly 60-year-old station.
Assistant Fire Chief of Los Angeles County Fire Department Scott Hale said the pandemic was a big setback, shutting down the project for almost two months.
“For a period of time, we could only have one person working on the fire station, interior wise, at a time, so it really set us back,” Hale said.
The construction included removing the second floor, a new roof, seismic upgrades, a renovated kitchen, telecommunications equipment upgrade to be compatible with the county system, tinted and retrofitted windows, new landscaping as well as ADA accessible restrooms, five dormitories and an office.
“We know firefighters are on site 24, seven, and so it's really a home away from home,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell. “To have all the resources that they need to be at the top of their performance, ultimately makes a difference in their ability to serve day in and day out.”
Mainly because of safety concerns, Hermosa Beach firefighters moved out of the fire station in 2015 and into a mobile unit on an employee parking lot behind city hall.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department began providing fire services to Hermosa Beach in December 2017, and the city entered into a memorandum of understanding with L.A. County to support the initial funding of the renovations by offering no cost interest to the city which would be paid back by 2023.
“We're extremely happy that the station is finally open and we've been able to move the fire crews from the trailer to the actual station itself,” said Brandy Villanueva, emergency services coordinator for the city, “It's a really nice feeling to know that our crew is in their space.”
Hale said morale has been high with the new fire station and he feels the firefighters can be a bigger part of the community.
“They were tucked away in the back, now they’re out front with the community, people walking by and you say hi,” Hale said. “It’s just more of a social feeling.”
Also helping with the fire station’s face lift was Leadership Hermosa 2020, which for its class project focused on the history of firefighters and their service to the city.
The project included a new flagpole and dedication area in front of Station 100, which includes historical engraved pavers in the sidewalk that trace the history of firefighting in Hermosa Beach, from the city's first volunteer force to its transition to L.A. County.
Engraved bricks bought by community members to help raise funds for the project surround the flagpole.
Jessica Accamando, co-project manager for the leadership group, said more than 150 community members and business owners contributed to the project.
“The Class of 2020 is truly honored to have had this opportunity to give back to our community and the amazing firefighters who protect us day in and day out,” said Accamando in an email.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was not an official dedication ceremony when the station officially opened on Aug. 30. But those interested can take a visual tour on the city’s website at hermosabeach.gov.
Villanueva said they hope to have a public celebration in the future.