Hyattsville Fire/EMS Station & Red Cross
In a true partnership, the American Red Cross has agreed to deed its land to the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) with Prince George’s County providing funding for the new combined public safety facility.
Funds for the initial scope of the project and design/construction plans were approved in the FY2012 Prince George’s County budget with full construction funded in FY2014-FY2016.
The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Approved Public Safety Facilities Master Plan, published in 2008, calls for the replacement of the existing station with a new facility shared by the Hyattsville VFD and the American Red Cross.
The location of the Hyattsville firehouse, at Belcrest and Queens Chapel Road, has been identified as the most ideal for fire, rescue and EMS response to our community and keeping the facility at its present location was of key importance.
The project would not have been possible without the significant support from Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s County Council – led by Hyattsville District’s Will Campos,, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Chief Marc Bashoor, City of Hyattsville Mayor Marc Tartaro and former Mayor Bill Gardiner and the leadership of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department and American Red Cross – National Capital Region and National headquarters.
The current Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department’s station at 6200 Belcrest Road was built in 1958 as a sub-station to the then-main Farragut street firehouse. It was intended only as an emergency apparatus storage facility. When the Farragut Street station closed in 1969, the Belcrest Road site became the main firehouse for the community of Hyattsville.
In 1988, the station was expanded to include an additional apparatus bay for the 100-foot aerial tiller truck as well as expanded office space and the day room.
The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department has actively been seeking a replacement station to replace the current outdated facility actively since 1998.
New Red Cross Facility
The new public safety facility will serve as the Prince George’s County headquarters for the American Red Cross – National Capital Region.
The building will include a Visitor’s Center for local clients and customers to learn more and interact with Red Cross staff, space for up to five paid and volunteer staff crossing multiple disciplines including the Community Executive, Disaster Program Specialist and Health and Safety Specialists.
In addition to the many uses of the training and multi-purpose room (described below), including a regional disaster operations center, the facility will also serve as a staging area to push resources to disaster sites and as a center for disaster supply and response vehicle storage.
The Red Cross will have its own entrance along Queens Chapel Road with dedicated parking, including room for their primary disaster response units.
Joint Training and Multi-Purpose Room
The joint training and multi-purpose room in the facility will be utilized by all of the partners. The room will be state-of-the-art with capacity for ongoing disaster operations.
The Red Cross will provide First Aid, CPR and AED training, Functional Disaster courses, Babysitting and Caregiver courses; Utilize the room for local and regional organizational meetings for volunteer leadership to plan programs and services; and it will serve as a Disaster Operations Center for major and minor incidents that occur in Prince George’s County and nearby jurisdictions.
The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will utilize the space to host numerous meetings and classes, including EMT-B, Firefighting and Fire Officer classes, CPR, Emergency Vehicle Operations and beyond.
The space will also be made available to our community response partners for their use including the City of Hyattsville Police Department, Prince George’s County Police and CERT.
State-of-the-Art Fire/EMS Station
The combined facility is 24,988 square feet including 4,353 square feet dedicated to the American Red Cross and nearly 8,000 square feet of emergency apparatus bay space, gear and equipment storage. The combined facility replaces the current 9,000 SF firehouse and 22,000 SF American Red Cross building.
The ground level Red Cross facility includes 1,041 square feet of shared meeting, training and multi-purpose room on the lower level which will also serve as a regional disaster management facility if needed.
The Fire Department space will be on two levels. The first floor will include four large apparatus bays with supporting rooms for gear and equipment, a watch desk area, offices, day room, dining area and kitchen. The second floor features separate male and female quarters for live-in members, male and female sleeping quarters for local members on duty for response, shower and toilet facilities and a laundry room, a study room (for our college students and other members who need dedicated areas to study), a physical training (fitness room) to be shared with the Hyattsville police officers and the administrative and operational officers of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department including two offices and a conference room.
Special care and attention by the design team, the HVFD and PGFD went into the design and space planning of this facility. All interior spaces are ideally located in the new building for firefighters and EMS personnel to quickly access emergency vehicles each time the new station is alerted to provide fast response times to calls for help in the community.
The design and construction of the new facility is intended to be "a green building" by selecting low energy use lighting, low energy use HVAC units, and added exterior wall and attic insulation to reduce energy consumption.
The exterior of the proposed new facility was specially designed to have a residential look with specific features indigenous, sensitive, compatible, and consistent with the existing residential-like Hyattsville neighbor community using gabled shingle roofs, residential sized reddish-color brick, residential windows, covered porches, large roof overhangs, decorative but supporting cottage style roof brackets, cottage style columns, and more.
Fall/Winter 2013: temporary apparatus bays for the HVFD to be built in the current Red Cross parking lot. The Red Cross building will have modest adjustments made to serve as temporary living quarters for the HVFD.
Spring/Summer 2014: The HVFD moves into the temporary quarters and construction begins on the new joint public safety facility.
2016: Construction is expected to be completed, taking 18-24 months. Following completion of the new building, the HVFD and Red Cross will move into the facility. The current Red Cross/temporary quarters will be demolished for parking space.
The project will include dedicated space for community art.
The temporary bays and other temporary quarters components will repurposed by the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department.
Key Fire Department Stats
On average, 70 active volunteer fire, rescue and EMS responders operate out of the station including up to 18 live-in members, many of whom are college students. Volunteers handle over 70% of all emergency responses including all calls after 3pm weekdays, overnight, weekends and holidays.
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department provides six career firefighter/EMTs during weekday business hours, 7am-3p, to provide staffing when our dedicated volunteers are typically at work or school.
The Hyattsville VFD operates an engine company, heavy duty rescue squad, 100’ ladder truck and two basic life support ambulances (one of which upgrades to respond as Paramedic Ambulance when staffing permits). The new station will have room to grow for additions to its EMS and fire/rescue fleet in the future.
The station responds to some 6,000 emergency and non-emergency incidents annually, an increase of nearly 50% over the last 15 years – led by more demand for emergency medical services as the community grows.
The Hyattsville VFD has been continually serving the community since 1888. Its first due response area includes the City of Hyattsville and Town of University Park and Chillum Road/Queens Chapel area. The full first alarm response area includes all or parts of Chillum, Adelphi, Langley Park, Riverdale, College Park, Brentwood, Mount Rainier, Bladensburg, New Carrollton and most of Takoma Park in Montgomery County.