- Bay County Fire Department, Bay County Florida
- Hurricane Michael caused catastrophic damage when it made landfall in Bay County as a category 5 storm in October
2018. Several fire stations were destroyed and needed to be replaced in order to reduce local emergency response times.
- Southport Fire Station – 70′ wide x 62.5′ long Insulated structure
- Hiland Park Fire Station – 60’ wide x 60’ long Insulated structure
- Designed to meet Miami-Dade County Product Approval
- Bay County fire crews say that with their new and improved fire stations, operations are running smoothly and emergency response times have improved. Bay County used FEMA funds to purchase the two Sprung structures and the project came in at one-third the cost of a conventionally built facility. The structures were built to Miami-Dade County code compliance for hurricanes and were complete within 6 months of Sprung being awarded the contract. Bay County intends to use the structures at these locations for several years and then rotate them around the county as needed to meet ongoing space needs.
Feedback from Bay County
“A lot of people want to say tent, but this is not a tent. Sprung is in a different category because this is extremely resilient and extremely functional…We’re tied into the foundation and it’s a robust system.”
General Contractor of the new Southport Fire Station
(via Panama City News Herald)
“The great thing about these stations is that we can relocate them. We can move them to other areas of the county as we expand our fire protection capabilities.”
Brad Monroe, Deputy Chief of Emergency Services
I am writing this email to thank your company, Sprung Instant Structures Inc., for the job well done on finishing the Bay County Fire Stations. Within the three months of the construction project, your company has shown diligence and dedication to finish work in time, which benefited other pending projects we are handling.
Even though there have been several problems during the course of the construction project, your company was able to maintain the efficiency of the development. Your attention to the specifics of the construction as well as proper scheduling has been very remarkable, resulting to a job well done.
Again, I would like to express my gratitude in providing your 100% in completing our project. We would not hesitate to refer Sprung Instant Structure Inc. to other organizations who are also in need of a quality product.
I hope that this would be the start of our continuous relationship and future success.
Chief Operations Officer
WCC Services Inc.
Bay County New Release
October 5, 2020
BAY COUNTY REPLACES TWO HURRICANE-DAMAGED FIRE STATIONS
New fire stations portable, hurricane-resistant
Panama City, FL – Three Bay County fire stations were a total loss from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Michael almost two years ago, but thanks to new, state-of-the-art technology, two of those stations have been replaced at a fraction of the cost.
Bay County firefighters moved into their new digs at Hiland Park and Southport over the summer, and the innovative projects have thus far proven a good investment, according to Bay County Public Works Director Keith Bryant.
“After the storm, we needed to replace the fire stations we lost to ensure that our citizens would not see further increases in their insurance rates,” Bryant said. “So we reached out to Tyndall Air Force Base to see what they were utilizing to get their fire station they had lost back up and running.”
Enter Sprung Structures, a Utah-based company that specializes in tension fabric membrane structures aimed at providing durable, functional, rapid, and economical solutions to construction problems. The technology has been embraced by manufacturing giants such as Elon Musk at a Fremont, CA-based Tesla assembly plant, and Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos’ Kent, WA space exploration headquarters.
“The beauty of these structures is that they meet all of the strictest building codes, they can be permanent or portable, can be put up in two months, and can last 25 years or more,” general contractor Christopher W. Rohe said. “Building a brick and mortar facility can take 12-18 months and is much more expensive.”
Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB) was decimated by Hurricane Michael; the storm’s eyewall passed directly over the base, damaging or destroying some 1,200 buildings and leaving the base’s future in uncertain territory. But in February 2019 the federal government pledged $3 billion over five years to construct “the installation of the future,” an effort, Rohe said, that includes the erection of more than two dozen Sprung buildings so far.
Tyndall’s projects so impressed county officials that they pursued replacing two of the destroyed fire stations with portable structures. At $1.5 million each, Sprung was the low bidder, and in just under three months, once construction began in February 2020, the county’s firefighters were finally able to return to work at their stations full time.
“A stick-built station is between $3 and $6 million, depending on how big it is,” Bay County Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen said. “The biggest reason we did this is because of the portability, yet they are rated for Category 5 winds. This is much heavier duty construction than your typical portable building.”
Bowen said at some point in the future he would like to replace the temporary buildings with brick and mortar structures and relocate the Sprung buildings to more far-flung regions of the county with the aim of providing better fire coverage to more rural residents and reducing their insurance rates.
In the meantime, he said, the firefighters are happy – they have more space and privacy, and the new buildings replace structures that were badly in need of refurbishing even before the storm.
“It is so much nicer than what they had,” Bowen said, “these guys have been through so much since the storm, and we’re glad to have them back in their stations.”