Fire Station 9 now operational at interim location

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The City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Austin on Tuesday evening to authorize a lease agreement with the former Boeing (now Goodman) Fitness Center site, at 2019 E. Wardlow Road, just east of Cherry Avenue, to be the new temporary location for Fire Station 9.

Firefighters from Fire Station 9 have been relocated to a new location at 2019 E. Wardlow Rd. while a permanent station is constructed.

The firefighters have been operating from Fire Station 16 (2890 E. Wardlow Rd.) and Fire Station 13 (2475 Adriatic Ave.) since June 18, 2019. The new location is expected to improve response times by 1.5 minutes for Engine 9, and 2.5 minutes for Rescue 9. The new location will better serve the residents of the California Heights, Los Cerritos and Bixby Knolls neighborhoods.

“I’m pleased we could provide our firefighters with safe accommodations,” said Councilmember Al Austin II. “Our residents will benefit from both Engine 9 and Rescue 9 deploying from the same station.”

“Station 9’s temporary relocation to the Wardlow Road site will ensure response times are at the same levels as before, if not improved and will benefit residents in the service area,” said Councilmember Roberto Uranga. “It’s great to have the fire crew as our neighbors.”

In 2019, the City of Long Beach permanently closed Long Beach Fire Department Station 9 at 3917 Long Beach Blvd due to unsafe building conditions. City staff evaluated more than 15 locations and identified 2019 East Wardlow as the most suitable option to meet the service delivery needs of the community as a temporary site, since it had proximity to the impacted area and the necessary acreage to house the displaced Fire Station 9 crew and apparatus. Relocation to the new premises will allow crews to maintain the physical distancing requirements of the COVID-19 health orders.

“We are grateful to the team from Fire, Economic Development and Public Works Departments for the time and energy they committed to searching for the right property, developing a relationship with the property owners and making improvements to the building to make it suitable for our firefighters to operate out of,” said Fire Chief Xavier Espino. “This effort has culminated in a new home for Engine 9 and Rescue 9 that will benefit the services for the residents in Station 9’s service area.”

Efforts to secure a permanent Station 9 are ongoing, and the City is currently in escrow for the potential purchase of a property.