BOSTON (CBS) — The city of Boston celebrated the opening of its first new firehouse in more than three decades on Thursday.
The new $23.5 million, state-of-the-art facility is the Engine 42, Rescue 2, District 9 Firehouse in Roxbury.
“It’s so important that we make sure that our first responders, our frontline workers, have the support and the tools necessary to do their jobs and to do it with honor and integrity,” said Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
It was designed from start to finish with firefighters in mind. It is complete with in-house training opportunities around every corner and at every height. It also has a sparkling new kitchen, a gym, and sleeping quarters.
“I can see the smiles in all the firefighters faces. It’s just an awesome feeling for us to take this over,” said Robert Dowling, Chief of District 9.
Debatably, the most crucial part of this new firehouse is the decontamination room, where firefighters can rinse off with their gear on, and then wash it to free it from all toxins.
“There’s so much that they put here for the safety of firefighters,” said retired firefighter Jack Kelly, who knew the old firehouse well.
His brother-in-law, who has since passed away, called it home.
“It would blow his mind. I could just see him sitting up there on the couch,” Kelly said.
The new firehouse may be replacing the one built in 1952, yet the legacy of all the firefighters who passed through lives on.
“The four plaques that bear the names of members from previous firehouses who died in the line of duty will remain on this firehouse as a reminder of their sacrifice,” said Boston Fire Commissioner John ‘Jack’ Dempsey.
And though it’s the first new firehouse in many years, it won’t be the last. Officials hope to break ground on Engine 17 in Dorchester in December.