Bramell is the project manager for the Tracy Fire Department on the construction of new facilities for Station 96, 1800 W. Grant Line Road, and Station 92, 1035 E. Grant Line Road.
“There’s a lot of hands that go into doing this,” Bramell said during a tour Wednesday of the new stations. “I’m kind of the one, from a practical standpoint, that says, Here’s what the fire department actually needs.”
The department, in conjunction with the Tracy Rural Fire District, decided to replace Station 92 in Banta because it was built in the mid-1940s and was not capable of supporting modern technology.
“The engine that’s there now literally has probably an inch or two play on both sides and maybe an inch above. It was built in a different era,” Bramell said.
The department decided to replace the current Station 96, 301 W. Grant Line Road, because it was also limited and left some of the western edges of the city, near Wal-Mart and West Valley Mall, outside the department’s response time goal of 6 minutes, 30 seconds from when a 911 call is made to when the first fire crew arrives.
“We had an opportunity to replace both those facilities, one that was limited, one that was aged, and accomplish our goal of improving response time,” Bramell said.
Construction began in June and each station was scheduled to open April 1. The stations are now expected to open in mid-May, because of changes to the bathrooms and because construction of Station 92 is a couple of weeks behind that at Station 96. The two stations must open at the same time so there is no gap in coverage.
Bramell said he and the city staff built in efficiencies at every stage of the project. According to the battalion chief, the city hired one architect to design one floor plan for both stations and one construction firm to handle both buildings.
Each station has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a common room, a kitchen and an exercise room to support crews of three firefighters during their 48-hour shifts. Each is designed with a loop for fire engines to quickly enter and exit during emergencies. The floors are a mix of concrete and carpet tiles that can be replaced individually instead of cleaning or replacing a whole carpet.
Most importantly, Bramell said, each station is designed so that firefighters can respond to an emergency quickly.
“Every second counts,” he said. “So no matter where you are operating in the station, whether it’s in the apparatus room or the other side of the station, you are a few steps out to the (fire engines).”
Bramell added that the city now owns the station blueprints and can save money when building future stations with proven plans.
“You will see that it’s not excessively over the top, but I believe it to be very functional. It’s certainly more functional than the existing facilities that we have,” he said.
Bramell, who also worked on the redesign of the fire administration building at Ninth Street and Central Avenue, feels a great degree of ownership for the design and features in stations 92 and 96.
“I’m a little jealous that I won’t be the guy working in it,” he said. “I do take a lot of pride in this project for both sites. It’s exciting for me to see it come to fruition.”
• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4231.