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Mayor Bowser Reopens FEMS Engine Company 16

Monday, March 6, 2017

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Department of General Services (DGS) Director Greer Gillis and Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Chief Gregory Dean to celebrate the modernization of the historic Engine Company 16.

“Washington, DC is a thriving city, and as DC grows, we must ensure our emergency response system keeps up with that growth. The entire region depends on DC’s infrastructure, and with our population the highest it’s been in 40 years, it is critical that we invest in the systems and facilities that keep our city operating and safe,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through the continued modernization of facilities like Engine Company 16, we are creating a safer, stronger Washington, DC.”

Engine Company 16 is located at 1018 13th Street, NW, and is home to FEMS fire fighters and personnel and their respective support teams. Originally built in 1932, Engine Company 16 was designed by DC Municipal Architect Albert Harris and was Washington, DC’s first four-bay firehouse. During the modernization, DGS was able to retain much of the building’s history.

The $9 million, 14-month modernization included:

  • widening the apparatus bay doors from 10 feet to 12 feet to ensure greater safety and protection for apparatus and staff;
  • repair and restoration of the deteriorating exterior building shell;
  • replacement or refurbishment of all windows and doors;
  • replacement and renovations of sleeping and living quarters;
  • installation of adequate accommodations for female personnel;
  • renovation of the locker rooms and showers;
  • complete replacement of the existing mechanical (HVAC), electrical, plumbing and communications systems;
  • installation of a new roof and roof drainage system;
  • installation of an emergency generator;
  • renovation of the kitchen and replacement of appliances;
  • installation of a new code-compliant fire alarm and fire sprinkler system;
  • replacement or repair of all concrete (floor, apron and side alleys);
  • renovation of the basement;
  • installation of a new ADA-compliant public restroom; and
  • installation of a biohazard decontamination area.

“This is a unique facility, and one of our goals was to modernize the building while also maintaining some of its historic features,” said DGS Director Greer Johnson Gillis. “Engine Company 16 provides excellent service to the community, so we are excited to complete this project and turn the building back over to our first responders.”‚Äč

With new features like an energy efficient lighting system, Engine Company 16 is now eco-friendly and energy efficient, meeting the Gold Certification for LEED. In fiscal year 2016, DGS completed 11 LEED-certified projects, and for the second year in a row, Washington, DC received the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award for the use of green power and clean, carbon-free electricity.

“While this beautiful building is viewed as a firehouse by most, it is considered a home away from home by 56 FEMS members who will now have access to some of the most energy efficient, updated amenities found in any firehouse across the country,” said DC Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean.

The modernization of Engine Company 16 is part of Mayor Bowser’s ongoing commitment to improving DC FEMS. Since 2015, the Bowser Administration has improved the Department by filling critical vacancies and bolstering DC’s previously depleted apparatus fleet. In just two years, the Administration has hired an additional 45 firefighter paramedics and 48 firefighter EMTs and put 34 new or refurbished ambulances and 12 new or refurbished ladder trucks and engines on the street.

A rotation of 14 FEMS members will return to Engine Company 16 before the end of the month.