On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Northwest Fire Department announced the opening of their eleventh station with a ceremonial bell-ringing. Station 341, located at 10350 W. Tangerine Rd. is the fire district’s sixth location to serve Marana and was constructed to serve one of the town’s fastest growing areas, Gladden Farms.
“We started planning facilities and identified a need for a station in this area about five years ago,” Northwest Fire Chief Brad Bradley said. “A large amount of Marana’s growth is happening in this area, and the station is an anchor in the community that will spur growth. Being next to the interstate, new housing and the municipal complex, its location is ideal.”
The new facility includes many features found at other Northwest Fire stations, including a kitchen, weight room, living room and bedrooms for firefighters. The station also includes solar panels over the parking lot and a wall-sized map detailing the jurisdictions of other Northwest Fire stations. Station 341’s jurisdiction runs between Northwest Fire’s main station 36 to the north, and station 34 to the south.
“The way we construct our stations is we have a hub-and-spoke design. So the hub is the large, central station for the community, and as additional needs occur, we add some spoke stations,” Chief Bradley said. “This would be one of the spoke stations. So we designed this as a local community firehouse. It’s designed to be functional, not over-the-top.”
Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta predicted the full economic impact won’t come from the new station itself, but from the development it signifies in the area. Station 341 is located less than a mile from the new Tribute at Gladden Farms housing development. Mehta says the station may lead to more houses, and those houses in turn can lead to more business in the area.
“This is a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility that not only represents our community but also our business owners, too. This is going to attract businesses and keep businesses in Marana,” said Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Audra Winters. “And as a resident that lives and works just right behind here, and as someone who is deeply afraid of fire, I’m so glad there’s a great fire station right here.”
The station’s construction was funded by Proposition 446, passed in 2016, which allowed Northwest Fire to issue up to $23 million in bonds for capital improvement projects. Northwest Fire and the Town of Marana enlisted Core Construction and WSM Architects to build the station. According to a 2018 Core Construction design development proposal, construction for Station 341 cost an estimated $3.7 million.
“It’s so neat to see a community say, ‘We’re willing to reach into our pockets to give first responders, and those who are putting their lives on the line every day, give them a new facility,’” said Todd Steffen, president of Core Construction. “And then to see that facility become a tangible thing, that is a great tool for them… It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.”
Northwest Fire is currently using their existing staff to operate the new station. However, they are in the midst of a new recruitment class to staff the facility. There are a total of 12 crew members on three separate shifts comprising the entire crew.
“Our mission is to save lives and protect property and care for our community. This station allows us to do that, to meet that mission, at a much greater degree,” said Chief Bradley. “Prior to today, one station and one fire truck served this entire community, the next closest backup was about 14 minutes away. Now, we’ll be able to put eight firefighters in the span of a couple of minutes on a large incident. It takes safety to a whole different level for us.”