Temporary Structure To Be Built For Housing Fire And EMS Equipment
By Firefighter Mark Robertson Sr.
June 15, 2017

The following is a copy of the story regarding the temporary building that is being purchased by the Township of Willingboro. The structure will be used to house Willingboro Fire and EMS apparatus and equipment during the construction of the new firehouse.

The story was written by Burlington County Times Staff writer Todd McHale and published in the June 13th edition of the newspaper.

Township constructing temporary shelter for EMS, fire while new station is built
By Todd McHale

WILLINGBORO — A multi-level shelter will soon be erected on the property of the vacant Joseph A. McGinley Elementary School to house emergency vehicles while a new station is being built.

Deputy Manager Richard Brevogel, the director of township Public Works, said the shelter is needed to house the numerous vehicles used by the Willingboro Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Services while a firehouse is under construction.

Councilman Nathaniel Anderson described the structure as similar to a "airplane hanger."

And it won't come cheap.

With approval from the governing body, the township will pay $209,940 to purchase equipment and install a fabric storage structure through a government cooperative purchasing agreement made with Clear Span Fabric Structures International of South Windsor, Connecticut.

"There are only several companies that offer this kind of structure," Brevogal said. "They use it on military installations."

Two companies did submit proposals to build the structure but Clear Span's offer came in about $65,000 lower than the other vendor, according to Brevogel.

He added the deal is considered a lease-purchase agreement and the township will be able to use it in the future even after the firehouse is built.

"This building will be re-used," Brevogel said. "So when the facility is done and the fire and EMS move back into the new facility this structure will be used at the Public Works yard to replace a structure down there that needs to be taken down."

Brevogel said he expects the construction of the shelter at the Middlebury Lane school will likely begin in the coming weeks.

Currently, the fire department has numerous vehicles housed at the station on Charleston Road, which will soon be demolished, including three command vehicles, three engines, a tower ladder, a rescue vehicle, a brush unit, fire police unit, utility pickup truck, support sport utility vehicle, support van, fire safety house trailer, and fire prevention trailer.

In addition, the emergency services has a number of vehicles including four ambulances and a command vehicle.

The township is working to retrofit the school to serve as a new home for first responders until a new facility can be built on the existing site on Charleston Road.

In February, the council approved a $10.1 million bid to demolish the existing station and construct a 34,000-square-foot structure that will house the fire department and emergency services.

The next month, the township and local Board of Education reached a deal that runs until Aug. 31, 2018 for the fire and EMS to use the school during construction.

In return for using the school, the township agreed to pay $1 to the school board for rent, fund a school resource officer, and provide the district with a 2005 Jeep Liberty.

An artists rendering of the new Fire and EMS facility
An artists rendering of the new Fire and EMS facility