The Los Angeles Fire Department and USC officials gathered at McAllister Field Thursday afternoon to celebrate the groundbreaking of USC Fire Station No. 15.
Those present at the event included President C. L. Max Nikias, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilmember of the 9th District Curren Price and Interim Fire Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department James G. Featherstone. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was scheduled to attend but could not make it due to an emergency conflict regarding the state drought.
The new Fire Station No. 15, which is set to replace the current station situated on Jefferson Boulevard, will be located on the corner of Hoover Street and 30th Street.
Fire Station 15 opened its doors in 1900 and moved to its current location on Jefferson in 1950, Featherstone said. On average, the station responds to approximately 14 emergency calls per day, totaling around 5,120 emergencies in the past year. In order to keep up with the emergencies in the area, the new facilities will be situated on an acre of land.
The new fire station is funded by USC, which annually invests $32 million in the surrounding community.
“This mutual commitment to our neighborhood is not a job — it is our calling,” Nikias said.
The university’s donation allowed the new station to move forward with its improvements after delays due to lack of funding.
Price noted the project works toward helping both USC and the surrounding neighborhood.
“We’re celebrating the inauguration, the creation and development of a community resource; a resource that’s going to serve not only the university but also the community at large,” Price said.
City officials, including Feuer, were grateful for USC’s contributions toward emergency response services.
“A little over a year ago, I was on my way to the swearing in of our newest district attorney, and a very big vehicle ran a red light and ran into my very small vehicle,” Feuer said. “I’m extremely fortunate to be here at all … I was on the receiving end of the service from these paramedics. They’re very serious about their job.”