Groundbreaking Ceremony planned for New 119th Wing Fire Station

  • Published
  • By Capt. Penny Ripperger
  • 119th Wing Public Affairs
A groundbreaking ceremony to mark the onset of the construction of a new fire, crash and rescue station at the North Dakota Air National Guard is scheduled to take place at the 119th Wing on Wednesday at 1 p.m.

The North Dakota Air National Guard Fire Department has the responsibility to respond to all military and civilian aircraft emergencies at Hector International Airport.

"This new facility will help us continue the strong relationship between the city of Fargo and the North Dakota National Guard that ultimately benefits the community of Fargo and our state. This facility will provide fire fighting and suppression services to all flight operations and it will meet the needs of our firefighters and the anticipated future expansions of the airport," said Gov. John Hoeven.

T.F. Powers Construction Company, based out of Fargo will begin construction on the new station with an estimated completion date of one year. Zerr Berg Architects, Inc., also based out of Fargo, designed the facility. The 22,400 square foot facility will cost approximately $4.8 million.

"We appreciate the support by our congressional delegation in securing funding for this new joint-use facility. The dedicated Airmen of the 119th Wing will continue to work with their civilian counterparts to ensure that we provide this outstanding service to our community," said Maj.Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, N.D. National Guard adjutant general. "With their current flying mission of the C-21 Lear Jet and the upcoming mission of the C-27J Spartan, we need to be able to meet the expanding needs of the 119th Wing and the city of Fargo."

The new station will be a 'Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design' (LEED) certified building. According to the U.S. Green Building Council website, LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

"Everyday our 119th Wing firefighters work together with their civilian counterparts to provide an important service to our community. This new fire station will allow these individuals the room they need to continue this service, remain trained in firefighting operations and because this will be a LEED certified building, they will be able to do it more efficiently by using less energy," said Col. Rick Gibney, 119th Wing commander.

Currently, the existing fire station, which was built in the 1950's with the latest addition completed in 1989, is the oldest building on the base. The new station will be located north of the existing fire station making it closer to the airfield, resulting in shorter response times for aircraft emergencies.

"The Municipal Airport Authority values our 63-year partnership with the men and women of the North Dakota Air National Guard. Aircraft rescue and fire fighting services are required by the federal aviation administration in order to allow commercial airline service to take place in our community," said Shawn A. Dobberstein, executive director of the Municipal Airport Authority. "This state of the art facility will ensure that we will be able to meet the needs of military and civilian aviation operations for many years. We appreciate the North Dakota Air National Guard's commitment to excellence in all phases of aviation safety and emergency response services."

Media is invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. Please contact Penny Ripperger, 119th Wing public affairs officer, at 701-451-9194 for more information and to arrange a media escort on base.

What: Groundbreaking Ceremony for Fire, Crash and Rescue Station

Where: North Dakota Air National Guard, 1400 32nd Ave North, Fargo

When: Wed. April 21, 2010 at 1 p.m.

Instruction: Media will be escorted to the site once on base, contact Penny Ripperger at 701-451-2194 to arrange a media escort.