ENCINITAS — Residents in the Olivenhain community have gotten what they’ve wanted for some time now — a 24-hour, fully staffed fire station.
More than a year after fire service was established with Station No. 6, the Encinitas Fire Department hired three new firefighters and is upgrading the facility on Rancho Santa Fe Road and Lone Jack Road.
The station is undergoing upgrades to its kitchenette, an addition of a shower, and a remodeled bathroom to help make it more comfortable for the firefighters. The station is also undergoing construction on a garage, which will be able to house one standard fire engine at the site.
All of the upgrades and garage construction comes at a cost of approximately $110,000.
Encinitas Deputy Fire Chief Mike Daigle said that the expansion represents a new era in service to the east end of Encinitas, especially by cutting down response times to that area.
The Encinitas Fire Department now has 48 firefighters, which puts staffing levels at its all-time high for at least the past 25 years, Daigle said.
The six firefighters now operating Station No. 6 will face some challenges that come with providing service to a more rural, natural area as Olivenhain is, though Daigle said they’ve already been addressing some of those issues. Some of which include making residential addresses more visible and improving access to properties.
“They’ve been doing really well out there as far as addressing some of those issues,” Daigle said.
“It’s different than responding in a busy downtown area, naturally, so it has some challenges that you don’t have downtown, but then in other ways it may have some pluses too.”
Since its first year of operations firefighters at Station No. 6 have responded to 473 total calls.