Firefighter mental and physical wellness are focus of new facility

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 9:41 AM EDT
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On Saturday, the pubic is invited to tour the impressive new Fire Station 88 in Riviera Beach. The 31,000 square foot facility is designed to take care of the well-being of its firefighters.

Mayor Felder Takes Ride Down Fire Pole

Fire Station 88 will have its grand opening on Saturday in Riviera Beach on the northeast corner of Congress Boulevard and Blue Heron Boulevard.

"This is a new concept that's coming up out, and this station will be one of the first in the state like this, to have the three concepts of mental health, physical and cancer prevention," said Riviera Beach Assistant Fire Chief Mark Johnson.

"Well, [designing it] wasn't an easy task, I must say but it really started with our community, supporting their firefighters and also our elected officials to making a commitment to bringing a station like this to the city of Riviera beach," said Riviera Beach Fire Chief John Curd.

The facility has a strong focus on firefighter decontamination.

"This station is built on what's known as a Hot Zone Concept where we're trying to keep cancer causing carcinogens out of our living spaces. So we actually have different mechanisms for decontamination as crews come back from a call, so they can decontaminate before they go back into their living areas," Curd said.

Recently, there has been a focus by firefighters on cancer causing carcinogens with a decontamination room.

"Across the country we're trying to prevent cancer in the fire service. With this station here, we've dedicated a room to it. As you walk in, you can wash your boots, wash your mask, wash your face. As you come down the Decon room. We have a washer and dryer to take off after a fire to get the carcinogens off and then we have two machines right here which are called extractors. You take your gear off, you throw them in there, immediately special soaps, special washing machines, and then they go into their second set of gear," said Johnson.

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There are several items built in to the station for the firefighter's mental health including a meditation spa to help decompress after seeing trama and plush furniture to relax in the quiet room.

"Firefighters are more likely to commit suicide than dying in the line of duty and that's a trend we want to change," said Curd.

"The day room this is one of our biggest mental health and wellness rooms. It is where the firefighters come to destress. These room have circadian lighting," said Riviera Beach Assistant Fire Chief Keith Golden.

The lights adjust with intensidy along with the body's natural circadian rhythms.

Fire Station 88 has a new nationally recognized 9/11 memorial and mural's on a wall design by local elementary and middle school students.

The public is invited to tour Fire Station 88 Saturday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. The city is providing tours, music food, snow cones face painting and prizes. There will be an unvailing of a new piece of artwork at the September 11th memorial.

Fire Station 88's Grand Opening

  • Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Tours, music, food, snow cones, face painting, and prizes

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