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Woodland Beach Fire Department Purchases New Property

It may take more than five years to complete, but firefighters said the new location will greatly benefit the department and community.

The (WBVFD) will be moving to a new location after it announced last week the purchase of a new property on the corner of Maryland Route 2 and Maryland Route 214.

The property will give the volunteers better technology and quicker access to the nearby community, WBFVD President Mac Connell said. Currently stationed in a residential neighborhood on Londontown Road in Edgewater, Connell said the move is a much-needed one, both for the department and those it serves.

Their current station was built in 1946-47 and its location causes significant problems for volunteer firefighters and paramedics.

Whenever traffic-slowing accidents occur on Route 214 or Route 2, Connell said response times to emergency incidents are greatly affected and being in a “residential” area hurts efficiency and effectiveness.

Location isn’t the only problem either. Because of the building’s size, new fire equipment costs the department money due to its inability to fit within the walls.

“Today, fire equipment is so much bigger. When we get a new piece, we’ve got to modify it so it can fit in our building,” said Mac Connell Jr., a 38-year veteran of the WBVFD. “Those [modifications] cost a lot of extra money.”

The new station’s design will be a prototype of the newest stations throughout the county, such as Station 8 on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis, Connell said. It will include eight drive-through bays accommodating eight different vehicles. The building may have additional space for a training center and classrooms.

Connell said he hopes construction will begin within the next five years but the project would need to be funded first.

“To try and give an accurate guess would be hard to do, but the range we’re talking about, in a guess, would be somewhere between $2 million to $3 million,” Connell said.

Connell said the architect’s design and available space will determine the final cost of the project.

“We’ve got a lot of things to do and we’re looking at any and all available grants,” Connell said. “We’re doing it on our own. The county is not contributing so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

When it’s finished and the station is complete, it seems the department will no longer face unnecessary expenses or constant traffic delays.

“Our new location will give us much quicker access to the Mayo Peninsula,” Connell Jr. said. “Now, we’ll be able to get right out onto Route 214 and increase our response to the peninsula by at least two minutes.” 

John Sweeney February 28, 2012 at 11:12 PM
The WBVFD has not planned anything with the current building yet, we are now working on a timeline for the new building, Jim yes this property was part of the veto, if you would like to go on our website and sign up for the newsletter we would like to keep the community in the loop as we continue our project! Thanks for your support
kh February 29, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Isn't this one of the most dangerous intersection in AAC? Would this cause more accidents? I agree the FD is too small now
Kevin J. Best March 08, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I oppose a FD at this location due to noise and traffic concerns. It has a lot to do with money. The parcel is zoned RA and failed to be recently upzoned due to executive veto, so the FD got a discount deal. Other sites were not seriously and recently explored. The AA Fire Study said the the new site should be closer to the Mayo peninsula. They say the Lee Family won't sell but would lease the old Giant site and they wouldn't build a FD on leased property but the land is zoned commercial, so the plausible reason is that the owner wants fair market value at the commercial rate. To add insult to injury, the WBVFD insists on keeping the name on the new facility while moving to the very heart of South River Colony. They say its because its too costly to change the names on the trucks but that doesn't hold water since the trucks can keep the old name, will soon be retired and the station will last for a lifetime. Edgewater Station is the logical name. A raffle is foolish to pick the name because they winner's proposal may make no since. Finally, if when the site plan is submitted it should include tree buffers on all exterior property lines in keeping with the development scheme of the planned community surrounding it. The police facility, library and college nearby have respected this scheme of development and so should the FD.
Anon1218 March 08, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Noise and traffic concerns? Have you sat at that intersection? Its nothing but noise and traffic, why would a fire dept be a nuisance to it? I live in WB and to be exact the FD is at the corner of my street, their equipment is so big that when they pull the trucks out of the bays I have to pull out into the middle of Londontown Road so that I can see past their trucks to make a left turn. They have outgrown their building and I will miss feeling the security of knowing they are within walking distance but the community has grown and it calls for a bigger FD. Thank you WBFD for all your services you have been so selflessly providing WB.
Richard Lancaster July 30, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I am appalled at this planned move. Yes the old one is small, but delays in getting out to Mayo? Give me a break, that's just an excuse for this. Since 75%of the homes in Woodland Beach were built back in the 30's and 40's out of WOOD, with minimal and now very very old electrical work, THAT is where the fire department should stay. We have a daughter one block away from them and the FD presence was a factor in their buying and fixing up an old wooden, dry home. But this moves them far away (I can make the same traffic argument for their return to Woodland Beach in an emergency) to serve all those new homes, condos and school buildings that are far less likely to catch fire than the old Woodland Beach homes. Stay where you are needed the most, where the homes are very old, very dry and some what dangerous. Do not go closer to the rich, fancy homes and condos s that should not have nearly as high a fire rate. Think about the people that you now serve and will not be nearly as quick to serve in the future of this misbegotten idea of a firehouse placement!

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