SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - SAN DIEGO (CNS) - After nine years of operating a temporary fire station in Mission Valley, the city of San Diego celebrated the grand opening of an $11.1 million permanent facility Monday morning.
The new station actually became operational last week on Friars Road across the street from Qualcomm Stadium. The temporary location was in the stadium's parking lot, which fire officials said caused delays in responding to calls.
The two-story building is the first-ever permanent San Diego-Fire Rescue Department station in Mission Valley, and the first built in the city overall since 2008. The 16,290-square-foot structure houses an engine and truck, along with a dormitory for 16 firefighters and a hazardous materials team.
"This station gives us so many opportunities to better serve the residents of Mission Valley and the city," said Fire-Rescue Chief Javier
"The addition of a truck here has been needed for some time and improves our response for fires and rescues," Mainar said. "Moving the
hazardous materials apparatus from Mira Mesa puts them in a more centralized location to be able to respond citywide. While we operated well from the temporary station, this facility is immeasurably better."
Mission Valley is one of 19 areas in San Diego listed in a consultant's report issued five years ago as being priorities for new stations.
Another neighborhood listed in the report, Skyline, is being covered by a temporary firehouse opened in August. A third, Encanto, underwent a one-year experiment with a two-man Fast Response Squad designed to beat regular firefighters to an emergency scene and assess the situation or begin rescues and medical aids.
The fire department says it cut response times in Encanto by nearly 30 percent. A second unit is expected to begin operating in University City early next year.
Some other fire stations are on the drawing board. While some are paid for with developer funds, others are competing for municipal dollars with other infrastructure priorities, like roadway fixes and repairs for city buildings -- including several deteriorating fire stations.
"My goal is to make sure the city is investing more in neighborhood infrastructure, and we're starting to see results with projects like this,"
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "New fire stations are just one of many ways we're working to boost public safety in neighborhoods that need it most and to make sure we're providing a more equal level of service across the city."
The next new fire station is scheduled to open in 2017 on Pacific Highway, serving areas along San Diego Bay west of Interstate 5.
The San Diego Police Department has launched an internal investigation into a program intended to reward officers for making drug arrests.
Police were involved a pursuit late Saturday that ended with a deadly officer-involved shooting in Escondido.
Two people died early Sunday morning after a high-speed chase ended in a head-on crash in North County.
A man was shot and killed by police at an officer- involved shooting in Escondido, a sheriff's lieutenant said Sunday.
An approaching winter storm is poised to open an "atmospheric river" of subtropical rain clouds on Southern California this week, but the San Diego area is expected to see just a fraction of that moisture, forecasters said Sunday.
A man threw rocks at vehicles on Interstate 5 near Imperial Beach Sunday, and threatened police with a pickaxe as he ran into a riverbed.
San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins will make history Wednesday when she becomes the first woman and first lesbian to hold the California Senate's top job.
A 16-year-old boy was allegedly drunk when he crashed his car into a stopped vehicle, pinning a motorist between two bumpers, police said Sunday.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
A large plume of smoke filled the sky in Miramar on Saturday morning after a concrete supply building went up in flames.