PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. – Picatinny Arsenal completed the consolidation of its two firehouses here this week, a cost-savings initiative that will allow for operations and emergency response to continue on and off-post without a reduction in manpower or services.
On Oct. 12, Fire Station Two – which is located near the commissary – began operating strictly in an administrative capacity. On the same day, the bulk of firefighting operations commenced from Fire Station One, which has sufficient capacity to support Picatinny Arsenal’s fire and emergency response needs.
The consolidation allows for the bulk of firefighting operations to be conducted out of a single fire house while retaining all of its firefighters, equipment, and the full range of emergency response capabilities required to support Picatinny Arsenal’s community and mission.
“Our mission analysis indicates that, historically, there has been a low occurrence of fires on the installation and I found that the consolidation of the majority of our Fire Department personnel and assets to a singular location to be a more efficient use of our resources,” said Lt. Col. Adam Woytowich, Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander.
“There is no reduction, planned or otherwise, in my Fire Department’s manpower nor equipment,” Woytowich continued. “All capabilities to effectively combat fire hazards on and around Picatinny Arsenal remain the same. We will continue to honor the commitment we have to assist our mutual aid partners as we always have and to the best of our ability.
“The consolidation of PAFD assets to Fire Station One does have a marginal effect on response times to the immediate surrounding area of Fire Station Two,” Woytowich said. “However, our analysis indicates that we can still meet the National Fire Protection Association’s time response standards from Fire Station One.”
The central location of Fire Station One – located in the heart of what is known as Picatinny’s “downtown” -- makes it possible to meet demands for a timely response across the entire 6,500-acre installation.
Having only one fire station is not unprecedented here on Picatinny Arsenal. Between 2010-2016, Fire Station Two’s building was used to house Family Morale, Welfare, & Recreation’s outdoor recreation services.
Fire Station Two was originally constructed in 1903 as a Dutch-Colonial structure. It served as horse stable and later a garage for the Lake Denmark Naval Ammunition Depot.
By 1945, the structure was converted into a dormitory and fire station for the Navy. Army firefighters moved into the building in 1962, and it remained the fire headquarters at Picatinny until 2009.
The unique capabilities offered by the Picatinny Fire Department often augment the capabilities of the volunteer and full-time fire departments in surrounding communities.
Historically, calls into the PAFD have resulted in response to structural collapse/fires, emergency medical services, wildland firefighting, water rescue, automobile extrication, and hazardous material response. The department also offers fire prevention and education services, as well as fire investigation and training.
Picatinny Arsenal is the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military. The installation is home to more than 6,000 personnel includes Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, U.S. Federal employees and contractor personnel who lead in the research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of advanced conventional weapon systems and ammunition. Picatinny's portfolio comprises nearly 90 percent of the Army's lethality and all conventional ammunition for joint warfighters.