Station 61 Dedication

Yesterday March 29th 2008 was the grand opening of the Phoenix Fire Departments Station 61. Mike, Chris, Sean and I attended. You may note in the picture below that the billboard is missing, I removed it digitally.
The new station is 10500 square feet, and instead of the barracks style sleeping arrangement of many older stations, this fire house has 9 individual dorm style sleeping rooms.
This fire house also has a separate entertainment room. With recliners and a wide screen HDTV.

hmmm... Looks like their favorite program is on now.
There is a second HDTV in the dining area.
This station boast an awesome kitchen, with 3 refrigerators.

There is even a complete weight room.

Strangely though there are only 4 bathrooms. All of them have 1 shower and 1 toilet, even though there is room for several stalls in each, limiting the number of people who can use a bathroom at one time, and each of the bathrooms is labeled differently. One is labeled as "restroom" one as "toilet" and one as "bathroom" I don't remember what the fourth one was called. There is a room just off the bay where the turnout gear is kept.
The bay has room for 3 apparatus. The front doors fold open horizontally. They can open electrically or manually. The open very fast, and they have infrared light sensors to prevent the doors closing on an apparatus.
When we arrived we had missed the landing of "Firebird 10". They landed the helicopter right in front of the station.

There were some little turnout coats, pants and boots on the front of Engine 61. These were for kids to dress up in and get their picture taken.
Here is an interesting comparison. On the left of the pictures below is the radio from a PFD station taken in the late fifties/early sixties. The cabinet on the right side of the left picture "is" the radio and had one frequency.

Contrast that with this station. The radio is a tiny little unit in the center of this cabinet, and has (I believe) at least 10 channels. This cabinet also contains an LCD monitor and a Dell 1U rack mounted server at the bottom.

Quite a lot of people showed up and there was even an unlucky fireman who was dressed up in an inflatable smoke detector costume.

Because of the way the costume is made the guy inside walked in a bizarre 1950's robot looking way. Maybe Mike will post the video on his website. One of the firemen even brought a Dalmation.
Mike and I took the opportunity to take a few HDR pics, here are mine:

OH MY GOD!!! another Humat valve!!!

Here are some Misc. equipment and apparatus pics.

And some pics of wildlife.

There was food and trinkets available but at about the time all of the "dignitaries" arrived and were giving their speeches we decided to leave and have Mexican food at Carlos O'Brien's. Of course the food at the station was not served until "after" the speeches (you have to pay for your meal somehow). Here is the dedication plague for the station.


What's My Engine Company Number?

This article was written by my father "Bob Guildig" and published in the Phoenix Fire Department book "Up From The Ashes" written by Harold Shell in 1986.

What's My Engine Company Number?

Can you imagine coaching a football team when all the players had the same number or no number at all on their jerseys? WELL... before 1969 the Phoenix Fire Department had a lot of fire companies in service with just that problem. Either the same number, the wrong number, or no number at all. You were required to have ESP or something just to be able to identify the companies.

There were times we fire buffs were asked by a captain or chief officer what company was parked a block away from the fire scene. The engine in question was unidentifiable because... Well let me give you a few examples.

Engine Company 1 and 6 were both numbered 6. Engine company 3 and 8 were both numbered 3. At another time Engine company 8 was numbered 34, and Engine company 5 was numbered 12, and at another time 28. Engine company 7 was numbered 4, and so was Engine company 4. Engine Company 14 went in service using a Tanker as their engine but lettered Tanker-Pumper 2. There was a Ladder Company in Phoenix that was lettered Ladder Company 4 on the doors and Truck 2 on the hoods. (It really was Ladder 4).

Can you imagine a "booter" that got assigned to one of the following stations? If he was lucky or maybe if he put a secret mark on the engine he was assigned too, he went home on the right rig because.... Engine Company 9 was numbered 10 and Engine Company 10 was numbered 9 with very similar looking Pirsch pumpers. Part of the problem was solved when the rig of Engine Company 9 was given to Engine Company 10. But when the old rig of Engine Company 10 was repainted and given to Engine Company 15 a new problem developed. Engine Company 12 had a identical rig and both were now in service without any company numbers on the doors.

When Engine Company 9 received a new Van Pelt, the rig was numbered 18 and Engine Company 18 went in service with a twin sister numbered 17. Now Engine Company 17 was lucky they went in service with a new Central rig numbered 17.

Now if this doesn't confuse you, I have a couple more. Engine company 11 was numbered 13 and Engine company 13 was numbered 2 on one side and blank on the other and to top that off both rigs were almost identical. There was also a time when some companies didn't have any numbers. Those being Engine companies 5, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22 and 23. In the early 50's, station 1 ran a Squad company 1 and Engine company 9 ran the old Squad as their engine, BOTH were numbered Squad company 1.

How about a new TV program for the command officers? "What's my Engine Number"?

One last comment. Let's not forget the alarm room. Before 1965 the alarm response cards called for dispatching Ladder Co's 1, 2, 3, and 4. But the in service Ladder Companies were Ladder 1, 4 (2) 9 (4) and 10 (3).


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