The Northbridge Fire Stations do not meet the needs of a 21st century fire department. The main fire station was constructed in 1922 for a private department to protect the Whitin Machine Works. Similarly, the Rockdale substation was constructed in 1940 to protect the Rockdale Mill. Today, the Northbridge Fire Department is comprised of 17 career firefighters and 17 on call firefighters who responded to 3,193 calls in 2018.
Both stations are nearing the end of their functional lifetimes. There are signs of structural damage in each that will require further investigation and remediation. The electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems in both stations consist largely of original equipment that have been sporadically updated but still do not meet current codes. There are also significant violations to the life safety and accessibility codes in both stations.
For more details on the existing conditions of the station, please scroll through the photo gallery below. If you would like to tour the stations, please contact the Fire Department at (508) 234-8448.
The existing Fire Department Headquarters facility at 193 Main Street is nearly a century old.
The apparatus doorways remain the same size despite increases in equipment sizes.
Tight clearances result in longer response times.
Damage to doorways also result from the undersize openings.
The lack of an adequate apron means the vehicles must block traffic both when responding to and returning from calls.
Both EMS vehicles must share a single exit.
Structural columns within the EMS bay further exacerbate the single exit condition.
The fire apparatus bay is also undersized.
Access to the vehicles is limited by the overcrowded conditions.
Structural columns can limit access to the vehicles.
Lack of adequate gear storage area adjacent to the vehicles.
Equipment for filling oxygen & breathing apparatus tanks are exposed to contamination within the vehicle bays.
Existing Fire Department substation at 2305 Providence Road was constructed eighty years ago.
Apparatus doorways are undersized.
Mirrors must be folded in to enter the station.
Front apron is failing under the weight of the modern vehicles.
Continuous standing water in the back of the lot.
Continuous standing water in the back of lot results in frequent flooding of the basement level.
Constant flooding has also resulted in rusting at the base of the fuel tank.
Extensive structural damage may be related to soil conditions in this area.
Further study will be required to identify the causes and suggest remediation plans for this damage.