The new DeLand Fire Station 81 is located at 343 West Howry Avenue, just down the street from Station 81’s previous location at 201 West Howry Avenue in DeLand. The 343 numerical pays homage to the 343 firefighters who were killed on September 11th, 2001.
The new 16,000-square-foot fire station was designed to be able to serve the DeLand area for the next 50 to 100 years as the city continues to grow. The former Fire Station 81 was originally designed in the late 1960s as a volunteer station which posed several issues when operating a full-time paid staff in modern times. In 2021, Station 81 ran over 5,300 calls for service making it one of the busiest stations in Volusia County.
“The old Station 81 was never built to be a full-service, career fire station, but it has served this community very well for the last half-century, and our city’s needs have grown in that time,” said Fire Chief Todd Allen. The new station was designed with measures to protect our firefighters from harmful contaminants encountered on our responses and meets the needs of a diverse workforce by ensuring separate facilities for our male and female employees.
The new station houses all of the fire department’s administrative offices, two response fire companies, the shift commander, and fire prevention under one roof. Previously, the Fire Marshal’s Office was located in City Hall. Having a central location for administrative operations allows for improved communication and coordination.
The new station features a large multi-use community room that can be used for hosting training classes, hosting city meetings, etc. The community room is available for other groups to utilize if available at the requested time and date. In addition, this station incorporates training props within the building for our firefighters to continually meet our training requirements. The props allow firefighters to train in the areas of confined space rescue, aerial operations, etc. completely within the station.
The safe storage of personal protective equipment was a major focus of the design. The new station is equipped with a negative pressure ventilation system and a diesel exhaust removal system to reduce the firefighter’s exposure to potentially harmful carcinogens. Instead of storing their gear in the apparatus bay, there are designated negative-pressure rooms for storage and laundering of their gear.
When the original fire station 81 was built, it was not designed for firefighters to be living there and all of the firefighters were male. The department now has 5 female firefighters so providing separate sleeping quarters for each firefighter was a major priority when designing the new station. Each firefighter now has an assigned room to utilize during their 24-hour shift that is separate from the other bunkrooms. The station currently is staffed 24/7 with a minimum of seven firefighters but could accommodate twice that amount when heavier staffing is required for tropical weather events.
Tower 81: 2020 Arrow XT (100' platform)
Squad Engine 81: 2018 Pierce Enforcer
Battalion 80: 2020 Ford F250
"The Sutherland": Fully restored 1942 Chevrolet fire truck; used for public education and special events