New Beulah Fire Station Opens This Week. Here’s A Sneak Peek.

July 9, 2024

The ribbon will be cut Thursday on the new Bradshaw-McNair Beulah Fire Station.

NorthEscambia.com got a sneak-peek at the station recently, and today we are taking your inside and learning more about the state-of-the-art facility that has been years in the marking for the fast-growing Beulah community.

For a photo gallery, click here. (Note that the front bay doors you see are temporary with the permanent doors order, and there was final work ongoing at the time of our July 5 tour.)

The new Station 2, now known as the Bradshaw-McNair Fire Station, pays tribute to two individuals who greatly contributed to fire service in the Beulah area. The late Escambia County Fire Rescue District Chief Dwain Bradshaw, 42, lost his life in the line of duty during the early morning hours of November 6, 2019, while on scene of a fatal crash on the Muscogee Bridge. He was a volunteer district chief at the Bellview Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, volunteer assistant district chief for the Beulah Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and lived a life of public service. Retired ECFR District Chief Steve McNair served the Beulah community as a volunteer firefighter for over 50 years. He helped rebuild the current station after fire destroyed the original Beulah Fire Station in 1977.

“It’s named for two great men,” District 1 Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh said, sitting the new training room of the new Bradshaw-McNair Beulah Fire Station. The training room will double as a community meeting room or public use.

“This has been a seven-and-a-half-year evolution,” Bergosh said. “When I took office, my predecessor Wilson Robertson said, Jeff you’ve got continue to work on Beulah. So, I took the torch, and it has been a long process. I took me three years to get the (fire department) volunteers at that time to come up with the appropriate paperwork so we could sell it (the old Beulah fire station) to the county. We got that bridge crossed, and then we had to come up with the funding and cobbled it together.”

“Millions and millions of dollars and it just took time. Then we had to get the property, we had some environmental issues with an adjacent property, we were able to get that mitigated and here we are seven and a half years later and if you count the time, you know, Wilson had, I think he broached the subject a few times, uh, you know, and then I kind of took the torch. These projects take long time,” he said. At about $8.5 million, the fire station was funded with Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue.

The new station was designed to be used by a combination paid and volunteer fire department. There are even four pantries and four refrigerators, plus four lockers in each bunk room — one for each of three paid shifts and one for volunteers.

Paid crews will staff the new Bradshaw-McNair Beulah Fire Station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“For many, many years, we had dedicated volunteer firemen that protected our area and served the community and over the years, over the last 10-15 years, the number of people who volunteer, not just here but nationwide,” the commissioner said. “I’m not throwing shade on anyone, but just the number of people who volunteer in general has diminished.

“We now have the ability with this modern fire station to not only have a modern fire station but now have a 24/7 around the clock full-time paid crew as well as a compliment of volunteers who will also assist and support. So, I think it’s a win-win. It’s a beautiful station.”

The station with a total of 14,503 square feet and four vehicle bays, including one for EMS, also features smart fire station technology.

“This one is truly state of the art,” Escambia County Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore said. “When the station gets a call, the system of the house takes over and opens the bay doors. It turns off any gas appliances that are going. If it’s nighttime, it does a night vision type of thing where it does not blindly wake people up. It kind of brings the house to life to open things, close things, and get the firefighters out the door in a quicker time period.”

The Mach interface is a $25,000 add-on to the county’s computer aided dispatch (CAD) system, but Motorola is paying for it so the county can determine if it might be beneficial at other fire stations.

“It’s kind of like an Alexa smart home kind of thing,” Gilmore added.

The station has numerous features to comply with what is commonly called the Florida Heart and Lung bill to provide health protection for firefighters. Many are aimed at keeping potential carcinogens at bay with bunker gear staying in the truck bay and never entering the living quarters.

RIBBON CUTTING

The public is invited to the Bradshaw-McNair Beulah Fire Station ribbon-cutting ceremony is at 11 a.m. Thursday at the new fire station at 6400 West Nine Mile Road. The Bradshaw-McNair Fire Station is located directly behind the current Beulah Fire Station. Parking for the event is at Beulah Middle School, 6001 West Nine Mile Road. ECAT shuttles will transport attendees to and from the fire station beginning at 10:15 a.m.

For a photo gallery, click here. (Note that the front bay doors you see are temporary with the permanent doors order, and there was final work ongoing at the time of our July 5 tour.)

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Comments

2 Responses to “New Beulah Fire Station Opens This Week. Here’s A Sneak Peek.”

  1. Demetrius Baldwin, Fire Chief on July 9th, 2024 11:50 am

    What a wonderful tribute for our fallen firefighters.

  2. Hurst Hammock on July 9th, 2024 8:20 am

    What a wonderful addition to Beulah and a much need support for the fire service personnel who provide so much to the community. I am pleased to see two dedicated leaders honored by the county. It is good the department will have paid, fully staffed personnel, but I can’t say enough about the numerous volunteers who served us for so many years. They were tireless in their dedication to meet our needs whether through fighting wildfires, house fires, or providing medical support expediently before EMS could arrive. The volunteers and paid personnel all deserve the best for putting their lives on the line for us every day. Thank you for service and enjoy your new fire station.





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