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World’s Only Floating Fire Station Sails Into San Francisco Bay

Written by: Juliana Choy Sommer
Published: June 1, 2022
Category: Latest News

The new Fireboat Station 35 in San Francisco opened on March 10th, 2022, at a ribbon cutting event with Mayor London Breed. Priority Architectural Graphics collaborated with Swinerton Builders and San Francisco Public Works on the launch of the new $40M, two- story, 16,000 square foot project for SFFD water rescue and emergency response.

The only floating fire station in the world, the new facility, constructed on top of a steel float and secured by four steel piles, is located immediately adjacent to the historical fire station bearing the same name at Pier 22 ½. The Fireboat Station 35 building is three times the size of the old fire station which was built in 1915 to serve San Francisco’s Fire Boats after the fires of the 1906 earthquake destroyed most of the city.

The new floating station will dramatically improve operations for the fireboats which can easily now access the station as it rises and falls with the bay’s tides.  San Francisco Fire Department’s three fireboats and rescue watercraft are now moored at the new floating facility.

The barge supporting the new Fire Station was constructed in China, shipped over to San Francisco, and in December 2020, unloaded at Treasure Island where the Fire Station building was then constructed by Swinerton Builders.  After completion, the barge was then towed to its permanent location on the Embarcadero.

Priority Architectural Graphics was subcontracted by Swinerton Builders to design, manufacture, and install exterior and interior code signage for Fire Station 35. This included a variety of digitally printed graphics on vinyl, surface-applied to aluminum faces as well as acrylic panels, surface painted with raised tactile text and accompanying Grade 2 California braille.

Priority’s signage installation team reached required elevations via a boom lift on a very narrow platform leaning out over the San Francisco Bay to install the exterior building signage at the top of both sides of the building.  Our installers were equipped with water safety gear for protection as they were working above the icy waters of San Francisco Bay. Our safety team had to also address high winds encountered at the higher elevations during the sign installation process.

The project is funded through the voter-approved Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response (ESER) bond program in 2014.



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