New building allows Sasebo to consolidate fire operations
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The new headquarters building for the Regional Fire Department Sasebo should ensure a safer community by bringing all operations under one roof, according to a department official.
“The way we’re set up now in three different locations, it just doesn’t meet the needs we have,” Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Clark said Thursday. “The new headquarters will go a long way toward improving that.”
The government of Japan is building and paying for the 21,000-square-foot structure for the regional fire department, which is part of Commander, Naval Forces Japan. The Defense Facilities Administration Agency puts the cost at about 600 million yen, or $5,441,189.
Until the facility is operational in late October, firefighters and equipment will remain in the station along Wisconsin Loop on the Hirase Peninsula. That building dates to the late 1920s, Clark said, and is slated for demolition.
“The current station isn’t even large enough for our ladder truck … we have to leave it parked outside,” he said. “The new building is going to give us the space we’ve needed for quite some time and provide our firefighters a better place to work and live.”
Administrative personnel use offices about 50 yards away, above the Spare Time Bowling Center. Also nearby, the fire inspectors and training area are on the second floor of Building 47, above the Navy Legal Services Office.
“The space for all of us in one building, as well as the quality-of-life improvements for our firefighters who work and live there, will greatly enhance our readiness,” Clark said.
The new headquarters is to be turned over to the base by the end of September. The U.S. government then is to outfit the building and pay for furnishings and any special equipment needed.
An approximate U.S. cost is yet to be determined, an official from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday.