San Diego County Tuesday opened County Fire Station 38, its newest fire station in the south San Diego area of East Otay Mesa, a largely commercial and industrial neighborhood previously experiencing long emergency response times.
Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas cut the ribbon on the station, intended to reduce response times in the area, including medical calls to construction workers, traffic accidents, warehouse workers, incarcerated persons and any calls related to the border crossing, according to a county statement.
“This is a big win for fire protection, critical incident response and emergency medical services,” Vargas said. “The new East Otay Mesa Fire Station is essential for the economic growth of this area.”
The community surrounding the new station includes industrial and commercial businesses, several correctional facilities and the Otay Mountain open space to the east.
Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham thanked partners at the city of San Diego for housing Cal Fire crews and apparatus at the Brown Field Fire Station for more than five years, while Station 38 was being built.
The new four-bay fire station will house a ladder truck, a fire engine and two ambulances. It has 12 bedrooms, a full kitchen, a large gym and a living area.
The county Department of General Services designed the station to be zero net energy with roof solar panels, meaning it will produce more energy than it uses. It also will achieve LEED Gold certification.
According to the county statement, the station is also the county’s first building to achieve a 30% embodied carbon reduction goal. That means at each step of the building process, materials lower in carbon emissions such as low carbon concrete, steel from local sources and wood from Forest Stewardship Council-certified sources were used.
City News Service contributed to this article.