FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Fire Department unveiled its new fire station in Northwest Fresno on Wednesday.
Just west of the Highway 99 sits the new Fresno Fire Station 18.
For 17 years, firefighters worked out of a nearby home that was converted into a fire station.
"We're in the middle of the cul-de-sac, responding out of what's essentially the backyard," explained Fresno Fire Captain Wiley Erikson.
But now, the Northwest Fresno fire crews have a new place to call home.
Erikson says the new facility allows for more room to train and clean.
He says the building is better for their well being and mental health.
"We've been waiting a long time for this, it's pretty exciting to be here," Erikson said.
City Leaders hosted the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony, along with a tour.
The large facility will have modern amenities, a comfy day room, plus individual rooms and showers for improved privacy.
Not to mention state of the art technology like the Ramp Up Alert tone system that escalates in volume to reduce stress.
Trucks will have access to Shaw Avenue for quicker deployment.
Mayor Jerry Dyer says with more businesses coming to this part of Northwest Fresno, there's a need for a bigger fire station to support that growth.
"It's exciting when you see the level of growth happening in Fresno, residential growth, business growth, and we have to keep pace with that and that's the purpose of fire station 18 right here in the heart of all that growth," said Dyer.
The City of Fresno is growing fast, and so is the Fire Department.
In the last two years, 66 more firefighters have been added.
Fire Chief Kerri Donis says she's had her foot on the gas for the last nine years, leading the charge for innovative and progressive fire services that will forever leave an indelible mark on the department.
"But we got a lot of things done, a lot of things done, and we can't list them all. But probably unprecedented in the history of this department," said Donis.
It's her last week at the department before her March 1st departure for retirement.
Dyer says there are two more fire stations in the design phase, slated to be in construction within the next year.
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