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New Western Addition fire station showcases results of quake bond funding

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday her plans to introduce a $628.5 million Earthquake Safety and Emergency Resilience bond measure for the March 2020 election.

The bond measure would fund the seismically retrofit of public safety infrastructure such as fire stations, police stations, and The City’s firefighting water system.

Of the $628.5 million, $275 million would go towards funding to retrofit and make seismic upgrades to fire stations and training facilities, and $153.5 million would fund improvements to the emergency firefighting water system.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, who is in support of the bond measure, said in a statement she wanted to make sure the firefighting system would be able to provide water to the west side of The City:

“This bond will allow for the addition of a desperately needed Emergency Firefighting Water System to the west side of the City. Building this infrastructure will go a long way toward making our west side neighborhoods truly prepared for when disaster strikes.”

Supervisor Catherine Stefani is also a co-sponsor of the measure.

Breed, along with fire officials, opened a new fire station in the Western Addition after Breed had announced the new bond.

Fire Station No. 5 was rebuilt using a previous voter-approved ESER bond measure.

The new station is one of the largest in The City with over 21,000 square feet of space.

Firefighters began moving in on Monday, said Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White.

The new station has a rotating crew of 57 first responders and 11 firefighters on duty at the station at any given time.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Mayor London Breed, center, speaks to a crowd of city officials and to the public during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new fire station in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Breed said at ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new station:

“We know that protecting these facilities is so critical to making sure that when disaster strikes in our city, that the people who are housed in these facilities don’t have to worry about saving themselves.”

The San Francisco Department of Public Works was in charge of completing the $21 million state-of-the-art facility.

Mohammed Nuru, director of Public Works said the old fire station had failed to meet building code standards and that the new facility met national standards of seismic resiliency:

“Every time we open a new civic building for our first responders, we are providing a safer San Francisco that will be prepared for when disaster strikes.”

City Administrator Noami Kelly said there is a 72 percent chance of a 6.7 earthquake to hit The City over the next 30 years, and first responders will have to get to the public quickly:

“Our first responders need to be in seismically safe, functional building because the faster they can respond to emergencies, the faster that we can reduce death, injury and property loss.”

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, center, speaks to a crowd of city officials and to the public during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new fire station in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

The event was a bittersweet moment for Hayes-White to participate in what was her last ribbon-cutting ceremony as fire chief.

Hayes-White’s official retirement date is on May 5, which is on the same day as the late Mayor Ed Lee’s birthday.

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