Town Manager Nat Tupper speaks to attendees at last week’s ceremony the opening of the Yarmouth Public safety Building on North Road. Kristen McNerney / The Forecaster

Yarmouth residents, employees and volunteers gathered last week for the unveiling of the town’s new 27,000-square-foot public safety building.

The $8.5 million headquarters for the town police and fire-rescue departments and an Emergency Operations Center was about five years in the making.

“Thank you to everyone who agreed to pay for it,” Town Manager Nat Tupper said.

“Thank you to all of Yarmouth who paid for it even if they didn’t agree,” he added with a smile.

Yarmouth Fire-Rescue staff members serve refreshments in the truck bays at the new Yarmouth Public Safety Building. Kristen McNerney / The Forecaster

A steering committee in 2016 to evaluated the needs of both departments, and the following year, the Town Council decided on an option to consolidate the two departments at one site and save on land costs. The project was approved by voters in 2018 and construction began last June at the North Road  site of town’s Central Fire Station.

“Safety is our highest priority,” said Yarmouth Town Council Chairman Randall Bates. “This will allow our first responders to continue to provide first-class service for years to come.”

Fire-rescue facilities will include offices, five apparatus bays, a decontamination room, bunk rooms and a day room. The Emergency Operations Center can also be used as a meeting and training space.

“The new building will decrease response times,” said Fire Chief Michael Robitaille.

The current average time from getting a call to arriving on scene is about 6 minutes, he said.

Response times will be cut down because living quarters are now on-site rather than in a separate building across the parking lot as they were before, according to Deputy Dan Masselli.

Calls to the Yarmouth Fire-Rescue rose from about 400 calls in 2004 to about 1,700 in 2018, Robitaille said. Because people were less apt to call for ambulance transport to a hospital during the pandemic, the number of Fire-Rescue calls dropped in about 1,450 calls in 2020, he said.

Police Chief Dan Gallant said the building includes police department offices, evidence processing and storage, a patrol room and a separate entrance for individuals in custody, is “beautiful, efficient and modern.”

It “fits our community and meets the needs of our two departments who have wide ranges of responsibilities,” he said.

The former police station in the basement of Town Hall on Main Street will this fall become the new home of Yarmouth Community Services, which has been operating out of a 1,200-square-foot modular building behind the building.

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