by Andrew Crisp
City of Boise officials joined the Boise Fire Department today to officially open the city's new $1.8 million Fire Station No. 15 in Harris Ranch. South of Warm Springs Avenue and north of the Boise River, the state-of-the-art station sprung from what was once an isolated dirt lot.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said the three-bay station represents the growth of the Harris Ranch neighborhood.
"We invested in this area and this facility during tougher times than most of us have seen," said Bieter. "We talk a lot about building a livable city. Nowhere is that more important than Harris Ranch."
Bieter, Fire Chief Dennis Doan and Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan all pointed to the Harris Family Trust, which donated the land for the station.
Doan said the LEED Silver-certified fire station was "designed to last."
"The building you see before you was built with the future in mind, and it will serve the people for 50 to 100 years," said Doan.
Station No. 15 replaces Station No. 22, better known as the Whitney Station, on Amity Road. That nine-person staff will man the new Harris Ranch facility. The station is expected to provide an average 4-minute response time to a 1.5 mile radius.
"This is good community growth," said Doan. "We so often see leapfrog development where they try to service the area with one engine."
The facility has room for expansion as the neighborhood grows, said Doan. It's also designed to deal with Harris Ranch's wildlife-urban interface, as more residential units are built next to the Boise Foothills. Fires have historically been an issue during the dry summer months, and this station is meant to protect those nearby homes.
Bieter said the Boise Fire Department once saved his family home. Back in 2000 after he and his wife were married and before he became mayor, his home was almost lost to a fire.
"My neighbor called and said 'I don't know how to tell you this, but your garage is burning,'" said Bieter. "Our fire chief [Doan] was the captain that day."