The new 10,036-square-foot brick and stone building is more than 2.5 times larger than the former Fire Station No. 5, which opened in 1963 and was demolished last year. Construction costs for the new $3.4 million station were funded by the 2008 bond election.The 3,754-square-foot station was originally built to provide protection for the rapidly growing Great Southwest Industrial Park, which at the time was one of the largest industrial parks of its kind in the country. About 25 years after the station opened, the Arlington Fire Department created and stationed its first Hazardous Materials Response Team there. As entertainment venues have increased in the American Dream City, responsibilities for the crews at Fire Station No. 5 have also grown over the years. The new station is now also home to the Arlington Fire Department’s Office of Special Events (OSE), which works closely with the Police Department and Public Works/Transportation engineers to provide for all the public safety management, planning and resources for homeland security or large special events in the city.
Station No. 5 handles more than 2,000 calls for service a year. The OSE units responded to more than 1,100 calls for service at special events and managed 352 large events in 2015. That includes concerts, games and other major events in the Entertainment District, which draws about 10 million visitors a year and is home to AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park in Arlington and Six Flags Over Texas.The outside of the station features a Maltese cross bearing McAndrew’s badge number 94 and silhouettes of the Great Southwest Industrial District and Entertainment District.On the walls inside the station hang pictures of McAndrew and his family as well as photos of east Arlington and the former station as they evolved over the years.“Today is the honor of a lifetime,” said Keith McAndrew, McAndrew’s son. “To come back and relive the fire station that my dad worked at, the final station and the final crew that my dad had here at Fire Station 5, was just an overemotional powerful thing.Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self and Fire Chief Don Crowson worked both worked under Captain McAndrew at his time of death.“We have a personal connection to the station and to the McAndrew family,” Self said. “Ronnie did a lot of great things for the department. Adding his number and pictures to the new station may be a small thing but it was important for us to never forget him or his contributions.”