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Celebrating International Firefighters Day with Existing Conditions

Celebrating International Firefighters Day with Existing Conditions

In honor of International Firefighters Day, we're excited to share our collaboration with the Irvington Fire Department and Sullivan Architecture. At Existing Conditions, we take pride in supporting the firefighting community by providing essential documentation for firehouses.

Read on to discover how Existing Conditions collaborates with fire departments and architectural firms to enhance the safety and functionality of firehouses through detailed and accurate documentation.

 

About International Firefighters Day

According to Days of the Year, International Firefighters Day is celebrated annually on May 4th, honoring the sacrifices and dedication of firefighters worldwide. The history of organized firefighting traces back to Ancient Egypt, where private companies provided services to those who could afford them. In Ancient Rome, Caesar Augustus established the Vigiles, a state-funded fire guard, marking a significant shift towards state-supported firefighting efforts.

Caesar Augustus (1)

Augustus Caesar, "prima porta" sculpture, 20 BC, Louvre (Photo by Stephencdickson).

Fast forward to 1999, Firefighters Day was created following a tragic incident in Australia, where five firefighters lost their lives battling a sudden wildfire outbreak in Linton. This day honors Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, and honors the sacrifices and bravery of firefighters worldwide.

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The blue and red ribbon symbolizes International Firefighters' Day, with blue representing water and red symbolizing fire, chosen by JJ Edmondson for their global recognition in emergency services. The ribbon, one cm wide and five cm long, can be worn on clothing lapels or placed on various items like car mirrors or trees to show support for firefighters worldwide. It serves as a simple yet powerful gesture of support for firefighters.

So, on May 4th, let's unite in gratitude and solidarity to support the firefighters who bravely protect our communities daily!

Case Study: Irvington Fire Department

 

Background:

Irvington Fire Department states that they have served the community for 125 years, and have a rich history dating back to 1880. Initially organized as the Irvington Fire Association No. 1, the department acquired essential equipment like a hand-drawn fire engine and established its first firehouse. Over the years, advancements were made, transitioning from hand-drawn to motorized apparatus, with the acquisition of a 1911 Locomobile truck and later a White hose and ladder truck.

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In 1921, the department reorganized as the Irvington Fire Company, expanding its membership and eventually establishing a benevolent association in 1952. The department's growth continued, with the construction of a new headquarters in 1965, which remains its home today, preserving the legacy of its early firefighting history.

The department's journey included milestones like increasing membership, forming a benevolent association, and establishing an inactive list for senior members. The construction of a new headquarters in 1964 marked a significant development, with the formal dedication in 1965 solidifying it as the department's home. Today, the historic fire bell from the department's early days holds a place of honor at the front of the firehouse, symbolizing the department's longstanding commitment to serving the community.

 

The Challenge:

According to Irvington New York, the Village's focus on safety and functionality drives the need for upgrades, particularly in the firehouse to better support volunteer firefighters. The existing condition of the firehouse no longer meets the essential standards to safeguard the well-being of the volunteer firefighters and their capacity to respond efficiently to emergencies. The proposed bonds aim to address these requirements. Later in this blog post, you will discover that the proposed bond has now been rejected.

As part of the Irvington Fire Department's renovation and expansion, Sullivan Architecture provided consulting services. In 2022, Sullivan Architecture selected Existing Conditions to document the space. Architects often require updated floor plans due to ongoing changes or the absence of clean CAD drawings resulting from outdated paper-based drawings. Having worked with Sullivan Architects on multiple projects over the years, Existing Conditions was the ideal partner to bring onto this project.

Leica RTC360

On-site image of the state-of-the-art Leica RTC360.

Sullivan Architecture typically uses AutoCAD and this project required 2D CAD drawings and a 3D Revit model. Gabriel Lopez, our Operations Associate utilized the Leica RTC360 to measure approximately 6,500 square feet of the interior and exterior of the fire department space. The scanners captured this information, which was successfully delivered.

Exterior rendering of the irvington fire department

A 3D point cloud and 3D Revit exterior rendering of the Irvington Fire Department in Irvington, New York.

 

The Solution:

Sullivan Architecture is always a pleasure to work with. In addressing the challenge, Existing Conditions successfully provided accurate drawings for the project, so they could focus on what they do best. The gap in not having up-to-date documentation can hinder project progress and accuracy in design implementation. By delivering a 3D Revit model, floor plans, exterior elevations, reflected ceiling plans (RCPs), and a roof plan, Existing Conditions bridged this gap, enabling our client to work with reliable and updated information for the renovation and expansion.

Explore our portfolio to witness firsthand how Existing Conditions fosters successful partnerships through accuracy and reliability in documenting existing buildings.

3D Revit Model

3D Revit model of the Irvington Fire Department in Irvington, New York.

In November of 2023, CBS News New York stated that Westchester Country voters have rejected a proposal to issue bonds worth $18 million for constructing a new municipal complex and firehouse. Some voters were opposed to the high cost of the project, while others objected to its location, which is on prime real estate on Main Street. Although most people agree that the volunteer firefighters need better facilities, it is unclear how the village will now proceed.

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After we collaborated with Sullivan Architecture on the Irvington Fire Department project, they selected Existing Conditions to work on two more projects, including the Harmon Firehouse in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. All in all, Existing Conditions stands as the industry leader in measuring buildings, with a client retention rate of over 90%.

Exterior elevation

Exterior elevation of the Irvington Fire Department in Irvington, New York.

 

Our Impact on International Firefighters Day

As we celebrate International Firefighters Day on May 4th, Existing Conditions proudly reflects on our contributions to the firefighting community. Our team has been at the forefront, scanning firehouses and witnessing the crucial work firefighters do on-site to ensure safety during emergencies.

“It's always fascinating to scan a firehouse, observing how the space is utilized, where the trucks are parked, and understanding the building systems that support their operations. It's very exciting to experience a day in the life of a firefighter and witness the spaces they navigate and interact with daily. Being in a firehouse is truly thrilling, and I'm enthusiastic about providing our as-built drawings for these essential facilities” - Jesus Bravo, Operations Director.

The team at Existing Conditions takes pride in capturing the intricacies of a firefighter's day-to-day environment, from the layout of their workspace to the functionality of the building systems that aid in their lifesaving efforts. Contributing to enhancing the efficiency and safety of firehouses is a rewarding aspect of our work. Thank you to all the firefighters for their bravery, dedication, and service in keeping our communities safe.

 

Ready to enhance the safety and functionality of your firehouse or any project? Contact Existing Conditions today to learn how our accurate documentation can support your renovation and expansion projects.

Let's work together to make a difference in your community. Reach out now to get started!

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