Photos by Megan Mann and Carol Rock
Even if there weren’t houses in view of the two new fire stations dedicated today, given the area’s propensity for wildfire, the stations’ placement couldn’t be better, nestled in the hills of Plum Canyon and Sand Canyon.
In fact, the hillside just a few hundred feet away from Station 128 was burned in the Buckweed Fire of 2007.
“This is a good day for the Santa Clarita Valley, dedicating this $11.8 million, 9,500 square foot station, the first of two new stations in Canyon Country,” said L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, calling the LA County Fire crews “the best in the world.”
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“When there’s a crisis around the world, such as the tsunami in Japan or Haiti, or other places, our fire department is able to respond and save lives and protect people in tragic times,” he said. “This is a continuing effort of the County to ensure that the fire department has the resources.”
Antonovich stressed the department’s accessibility to the community, offering blood pressure checks, school tours and fire prevention talks.
“It’s critical to fire safety, and children coming here can see the apparatus and perhaps consider future careers when the station is open to the public,” he said. “These are greatn men and women who serve the County, and we thank you for your dedication and leadership.”
Both stations are within city limits and the dignitaries gathered all stressed the team effort needed for the construction process as well as during emergency responses.
“The City council always places public safety as its number one priority,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry. “The most impressive thing about this station opening are the efforts of the chiefs and county staff, cooperating during the budget crisis. How incredible is it to say that we got two fire stations open in one year during times like this?”
The second station to open was Station 132 on Sand Canyon Road, next to the Stetson Ranch development. While many of the same people were in the audience, Mayor Frank Ferry singled out two firefighters assigned to the station that he’d struck up a conversation with earlier, noting that the two friends from John Bosco High School went through training and ended up together again protecting the public at Station 132.
A third station will open in Canyon Country later this year with the dedication of Battalion 22 headquarters, Station 150 on Golden Valley Road.