The Ardmore Fire Department’s dream of replacing Fire Station No. 3 has finally come to fruition.
Bidding on the construction contract for Fire Station No. 3 is expected to open  next month, officials said. Putting the expected completion of the station around Spring 2018.
The current location, in the west end of the public works’ building, is shared with the Department of Public Safety and was only meant to be temporary. The Fire Department moved into the temporary substation around 2002, and has been meaning to move ever since.
“The current location just doesn’t meet all the needs they have,” Kevin Boatright, assistant city manager said. “It’s going to be built from the ground up as a fire station should be.”
Bill Lumpkin, of Lumpkin and Associates Architects in Ardmore, spent “hundreds of hours” designing the 39 sheets of drawings that detail the 6,600-square-foot station which will feature: three living quarters, two bays for long- full size fire trucks, three bays for brush trucks, a decontamination room, kitchen, workout space, and an alternate dispatch room.  
Ardmore Fire Chief Cary Williamson said the need for an alternate dispatch room became apparent during a safety drill conducted by the city where personnel pretended they had to evacuate downtown because of a bomb threat. The question became, if city hall was wiped off the map, where would dispatchers go in order to stay in communication with first responders?
The alternate dispatch room also doubles as a “safe room”— meaning in the event of a tornado firefighters will have a place to bunker down until the storm passes.
In addition to those features, the bay, where the firetrucks are kept, will be equipped with machinery that will capture the diesel exhaust pouring out of the truck when the crews start it.
“We’ve seen an increase in firefighters dying of cancer when the leave the job,” Williamson said. “We’re making a strong push to alleviate their exposure to hazardous chemicals.”
The new Fire Station No. 3 will be built at 125 Veterans Blvd, a mile east of it’s current location. The new location is considered more viable. The station’s current coverage area overlaps heavily with that of Fire Station No. 1.
For ISO insurance ratings, a station’s coverage expands out in every direction for a 1.5 mile radius, but by removing the overlap, the residents in the northeast could see an improvement in their ISO fire insurance rating. Fire officials also hope that by moving the station farther east, it will even out response times throughout the city.
“We appreciate the support of the citizens and the city staff,” Williamson said. “I’m unbelievably excited. Station 1 was built in 1997 so anytime a city is able to build and operate a new station that is something to celebrate.”
The city has budgeted $1.55 million for the construction of the new station.