Not so long ago, Stafford’s Fire Station 14 at 53 Shelton Shop Road looked more like an old country farm than a working fire station in one of the busiest parts of the County. After a few upgrades, the station now looks like a modern, cutting-edge fire station, one which Stafford plans to use as a blueprint for future firehouses. The County is holding a “hose uncoupling” ceremony to signal the official opening of Station 14 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to which the public is invited.
“This fire station was planned to meet our current and future needs by allowing room for more personnel in a growing area of the community. As well, it incorporates systems designed to protect the health of our personnel,” said Chief Joseph Cardello. “It is exciting to celebrate this wonderful new resource for our county.”
Speakers at the official opening, which features a fire hose uncoupling as opposed to the traditional ribbon-cutting, include Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Meg Bohmke, Falmouth District; Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer, in whose Garrisonville District the station lies; Deputy County Administrator Fred Presley, who became Stafford’s County Administrator on July 1; and Fire Chief Joseph Cardello.
Fire Station 14 evolved from a ruling by the Insurance Services Office, a group that rates services for insurance companies, that the northwestern portion of the County did not meet its standards. The ruling would have caused an insurance reclassification in this area of the County that would have elevated insurance coverage prices for residents and businesses in that area.
To prevent this in 2008, Stafford officials decided to initially rent the property, which contained a circa 1920 farmhouse, until a permanent station could be constructed. The temporary station was so successful in that location that the County decided to purchase the land for the permanent station. The house continued to deteriorate, and firefighters found themselves dodging water leaks and pesky critters like snakes, raccoons and more.
By 2011 the situation was untenable, and the decision was made to place a modular facility on the site. In 2017, the Board of Supervisors authorized the financing to fund the new two-story, $7.7 million fire station.
The public is invited to the ceremony and is asked to park across the street from the station in the Weis parking lot (with limited parking available in the front of the station). Social distancing must be observed, and masks are recommended (but required when inside).