BEDFORD, N.Y. -- A consulting firm's report recommends that the Bedford Village Fire District proceed with plans to replace its existing firehouse with a new one at a location outside of the downtown area.
The report, which is from Matrix Consulting Group, cites several operational problems with the current firehouse, which is located at 34 Village Green. One of the problems is a low bay height of 108", which requires the fire district to get custom-sized vehicles, which are known as apparatus.
The report adds, "There is also limited space between the apparatus and behind the apparatus, which increases the likelihood of an accident while backing apparatus into the bays."
The fire district is the political entity that includes the Bedford Fire Department. It is governed by a Board of Fire Commissioners.
The study also notes that racks with protective gear are too close to vehicles, which exposes them to diesel particulates. It adds that this proximity puts firefighters at risk of being struck by moving fire vehicles while they are donning their gear. In addition, the firehouse lacks the proper ventilation system to remove diesel particulates, the report adds.
The report states that there is only one shower stall, which is only in the men's bathroom and does not meet standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The study also notes there is a lack of locker facilities and fitness space.
Other site problems mentioned pertain to the location in the downtown, with issues including Post Office trucks blocking parking access for volunteers, along with a need to acquire multiple adjacent properties in order to expand.
The site being eyed for a new firehouse is located at the intersection of Old Post Road (Route 22) and South Brook Road. The parcel, which is currently vacant and wooded, is roughly 10 acres and was acquired in 2012, town and county records show.
The fire district's parcel was created out of portions of two parcels owned by the Westchester Land Trust and Brian Pennington, Bedford Town Assessor Harold Girdlestone explained.
The property has a full market value of $371,800 and an assessed value of $38,000, according to town records.
The Matrix report does not offer details on what a concrete proposal could look like. Nor does it offer a timeline for when the Board of Fire Commissioners should decide what its next steps will be.
Joseph Iantorno, who chairs the board, said that a building committee is being formed.
A copy of the report can be read here.
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