Aspen fire station project to silence siren |

Aspen fire station project to silence siren

ASPEN ” A decades-old tradition will be broken next spring when the noon siren goes out of commission while the fire station is redeveloped.

The Aspen Fire Protection District won approval Monday from the City Council to put a temporary shelter off of Main Street to house one engine while the Hopkins Avenue station is under construction.

Redevelopment will take up to 24 months, during which time the fire siren will stop sounding off ” for both emergency calls and the noon-time notification.

Fire Chief Daryl Grob said the siren will return to the new station and will be put in a specially-designed acoustic well to soften the blow for surrounding properties.

There was some concern that the siren wouldn’t return, but Grob said there is too much affinity in the community for the fire district to permanently do away with it.

“Overwhelmingly the sentiments I’ve received is that they love it,” he said. “The phone calls I receive are 10 to 1 for it.”

Councilman Jack Johnson said the return of the siren was a condition for approval in his mind.

“I personally think the noon whistle is an important community benefit and I would be loathe do without it,” he said.

The fire station is scheduled to be demolished in April. A new structure will be built in the same footprint; the project will take an estimated 18 to 24 months.

All fire department operations, fire apparatus and equipment will be moved to the new North 40 substation at the Aspen Airport Business Center during construction.

But in the interest of maintaining a rapid response to emergencies within the city, the fire department will house a fire engine in a one-story tent-like shelter on the Zupancis property, behind the parking department building on Main Street.

The shelter will be 26 feet by 40 feet, and will utilize a 300-pound propane tank and 40 amps of power that will be drawn from an existing electric panel attached to an historic garage on the property.

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